Dogs are wonderful companions to humans, and many dog owners consider their dog to be a part of their family. However, it’s very important to remember that most dogs have different nutritional needs than humans do, and may not be able to properly digest some “human” foods. There are some human foods that should never be fed to dogs, since they have the potential to cause serious health problems in a dog. Here are some of the foods that you should avoid feeding to your dog at all costs.
Many dogs like to eat grapes and raisins, though in reality, they can be very toxic to dogs. There is an unknown toxin contained in the “fleshy” part of a grape that seems to have adverse effects on a dog’s health. The symptoms of this toxin appear to be vomiting, diarrhea, severe abdominal pain and loss of appetite. The exact ratio of the toxin that is needed to produce these effects is relatively inconclusive, though many veterinarians believe it to be1/3 ounce per pound of a dog’s body weight. However, grape-seed extract seems to be relatively safe for dogs, as no adverse health effects have been reported when grape-seed extract is consumed by dogs.
There are four different toxins contained in onions and garlic that can be very harmful to a dog’s health. These toxins are allyl disulfide, S-methylcysteine sulfoxide, methyl disulfide and n-propyl disulfide. These toxins can be found in onions or garlic that are fresh, as well as dried onions and garlic that are used as spices. The effects of these toxins in a dog are to cause a medical condition called “Heinz Body Anemia”. In Heinz Body Anemia, the red blood cells in a dog’s body begin to break down, and anemia occurs. Though these toxins are contained in both garlic and onions, onions have proven to be slightly more toxic than garlic. Some commercial dog food formulas contain a small amount of garlic, though this has not yet proven to be toxic enough to cause visible symptoms. Potential symptoms in dogs that result from consuming garlic or onions include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, discolored urine, allergic symptoms, asthma and liver damage.
Chocolate is fairly well-known for being toxic to dogs, though the negative effects of chocolate can also come from tea, coffee and any other product that contains caffiene. The toxic substances contained in these foods are called Methylxanthines, which can cause potentially adverse conditions in a dog’s heart and central nervous systems. Caffiene, being a stimulant, can also cause a dog’s heartbeat to become irregular. The symptoms associating with exposure to this toxin in dogs include excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, anxiety, muscle tremors, bloating and hyperactivity. These symptoms usually manifest anywhere from six to twelve hours after a dog ingests a food that contains methylxanthines. The toxic dose is estimated to begin with as little as 9mg per pound of a dog’s body weight. As the dosage increases, the symptoms increase in severity as well.