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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dangerous Foods for Dogs!

Love Your Dog? Keep These People Foods Locked Away!

American Bulldog
We love our animals, and who can resist those baleful puppy dog appeals to share your favourite foods? We raised dogs for years, but caring for other people’s pets brings increased awareness. While I knew about most of the foods in this list published on WebMD, I came across a few surprises. Many foods that are healthy for people, or that have been traditionally given as dog treats can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Do any of the dangerous foods in the following list surprise you? Be sure to get your pet to a vet if they eat any of the following foods:

Dangerous Dog Foods

  1. Avocado: Don’t give guacamole to your dog, no matter how delicious you think it is. Avocados contain persin, harmless for humans who aren't allergic, but large amounts can kill dogs. If you are growing avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as in the fruit.
  2. Alcohol: Beer, liquor, wine, foods containing alcohol – can kill your dog. Alcohol is a depressant and slows down the functioning od a dog's liver and brain the same as it does to humans. It takes far less alcohol to damage a dog’s vital organs. Just a small amount of alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, and even death. The smaller the dog, the greater the effect.
  3. Onions and Garlic These may be healthy for humans,but onions and garlic in all forms -- powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated -- can destroy a dog's red blood cells, leading to anaemia. Even the tiny bit of onion powder found in some baby food can lead to disaster. Either eating a large quantity once, or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause poisoning. Symptoms of anaemia include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness.
  4. Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine: There is no antidote for caffeine poisoning. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include  rapid breathing, restlessness, muscle tremors, heart palpitations, fits, and bleeding. Caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, stimulant drinks such as Red Bull, as well as some cold medicines and pain killers.
  5. Grapes and Raisins: I was surprised to find out grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. We used to have a dog that would eat grapes right off the vine. Apparently just a small amount can make a dog ill. Repeated vomiting is an early sign. Within a day, the dog will become lethargic and depressed. We’ll definitely make sure the dogs are not allowed anywhere near the grape vines.
  6. Milk and Dairy Products: Did you know milk and milk-based products like ice cream can cause diarrhoea and other digestive upsets, as well as set up other food allergies? This makes me wonder about Milkbone dog biscuits.
  7. Macadamia Nuts: As few as 6 raw or roasted macadamia nuts can be fatal to a dog. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms even worse, possibly leading to death.

  8. Raw Potato: Some people swear by raw potato as a cure for heartburn,but dogs need to be kept well away from raw potato and all parts of the plant. Potatoes and other Solanum species, including tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are members of the nightshade plant family These plants contain solanine and other toxic alkaloids which, if eaten in large enough amounts, can produce drooling, severe gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhoea, loss of appetite, drowsiness, central nervous system depression, confusion, behavioural changes, weakness, dilated pupils and slowed heart rate. Baked potato, however is fine.

  9. Candy,Gum, Baked Goods: These aren’t good for us,so how could we think we should feed them to pets? Sugar can lead to obesity,and diabetes. Foods sweetened with xylitol are especially dangerous to dogs. Xylitol can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your dog's body which in turn, can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop and lead to liver failure. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Eventually, the dog may have seizures. Liver failure can occur within just a few days.

  10. Chocolate: In addition to the caffeine in chocolate,theobromine is extremely dangerous for dogs.Theobromineine can be found in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate, chocolate mulch, and unsweetened baking chocolate.  Even just licking the icing bowl, can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhoea, and be excessively thirsty. .Theobromineine can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.

  11. Fat Trimmings and Bones: Fat trimmed from meat on table scraps, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Although it seems natural to give a dog a bone, a dog can choke on it. Bones can also splinter, and lacerate or  obstruct your dog's digestive system.

  12. Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums:Fruits with pits are dangerous for dogs, as they can block the digestive tract. In addition, persimmon seeds can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs.  Plus, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs.

  13. Raw Eggs: Did you know an enzyme in raw eggs interferes with the absorption of a particular B vitamin? This can cause skin problems as well as problems with your dog's coat. Raw eggs can also give your dog food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. Nasty,deadly diseases!

  14. Raw Meat and Fish: No sushi for Bowser!Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, can cause food poisoning. In addition, some fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can contain a parasite that causes "fish disease." If not treated, the disease can be fatal within 2 weeks. The first signs of illness are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Thorough cook fish to kill the parasite, and protect your dog.

  15. Salt: Put that pretzel back! Sharing salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, depression, elevated body temperature, and seizures. Too much salt may even cause death.

  16. Yeast Dough: Raw bread dough is not meant to rise in a dog’s stomach. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch the dog's abdomen and cause severe pain. In addition, when the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it produces alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.

  17. Your Medicine:Don’t try to doctor your dog with your medications.Keep all medicines out of your dog's reach. Only give your dog over-the-counter medicine unless on your vet’s advice.Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are medicinal ingredients, and can be deadly for your dog.

  18. Kitchen Pantry: No Dogs Allowed! Many common pantry items can harm your dog. For instance, baking powder and baking soda are both highly toxic; as are nutmeg and other spices. Keep food items high out of your dog's reach, and keep pantry doors closed to protect your dog from serious food-related illness.

Did Your Dog Eat a Dangerous Food?

Dogs,like babies, explore with their mouth. No matter how cautious you are, your dog can find and swallow what it shouldn't. It's a smart idea to always keep the number of your local vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the Animal Poison Control Center handy in case of emergency. If it is at all possible that your dog has eaten something toxic, call for emergency help at once.
Which of these foods surprised you?
WebMD.com Dangerous Foods for Dogs (Slide Show)
ASPCA Pet care: Potatoes
Veterinary Medicine Library: Nightshade

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