These foods are fine for humans, but poisons for dogsThink twice before giving your dog table scraps.
Many foods we eat every day, including some very healthy foods, can be harmful or even fatal for dogs.
Even some foods designed for dogs can cause poisoning.
Some of the most important:
- Chocolate - contains theobromine and caffeine (both are methylxanthines) caising hyperactivity, increased heart rate, tremors, and potentially death. Dark chocolate is the worst
- Grapes - can cause kidney failure in dogs, sometimes fatal
- Raisins - can also cause kidney failure in dogs, sometimes fatal. Vets do not know why
- Macadamia nuts - only 6 nuts can cause muscle tremors, rapid heart rate, elevated body temperatures, and paralysis
- Dairy - dogs stop producing the enzyme lactase as they age, so cannot metabolise milk, cheese or butter, causing severe intestinal problems
- Bacon - causes pancreatitis, leading to digestive issues, limiting the ability for a dog to absorb nutrients from food
- Bread - Yeast can remain in the stomach, fermenting the contents, causing expansion which can rupture the stomach
- Apple cores - Seeds contain cyanide, causing seizures, hyperventilation, and coma
- Alcohol - can cause seizures and death
- Mushrooms - many varieties are toxic, so if the dog eats a mushroom outdoors, presume it is poisonous
- Onions and garlic - Destroys red blood cells in dogs, causing anemia, vomiting, weakness, loss of appetite
- Zinc - can affect most organs and can be fatal
- Xylitol - A natural sweetener. Safe for humans, but dogs absorb it quickly, causing a huge insulin rush and fast drop in blood glucose, and liver failure
- Vitamin D - Dogs cannot make vitamin D from sunshine so must get it from food, but most commercial dog food contains vitamin D and if a supplement is given, toxic levels can be reached
- Avocados - contain persin which may be toxic to dogs and cats in large quantities, but more a common problem is the dog can swallow the pit, causing dangerous GI tract blockages
- Medicines - NSAIDS (Asprin), Antidepressants, Paracetamol/Acetaminophen, Methylphenidate (for ADHD), Fluorouracil (for Cancer), Isoniazid (for Tuberculosis), Pseudoephedrine, Antidiabetics, Vitamin D derivatives, Baclofen (muscle relaxant) - all belong in the medicine cabinet and never where the dog has access
- Rawhide chews - especially some imported varieties, can cause choking, vomiting, diarrhea, exposure to chemical residues, salmonella poisoning and stomach torsion
- Meat - spoiled, rancid meat. Fresh, raw meat from a butcher should be frozen for three days to kill bacteria and parasites before feeding it to your dog
- Leftover cooked meat - can turn rancid quickly, so ensure it is disposed of where the dog cannot have access to it
- Salmon - leftover rancid fish must be disposed of. Raw salmon can contain a parasite (Nanophyetus salmincola) containing Neorickettsia helminthoeca, causing "salmon poisoning." Freezing for one week can inactivate both
- Rat Poison - Dogs may eat rat/mouse poison, or eat a rodent rhat has consumed the poison. These poisons can cause uncontrolled bleeding and death
- Chemicals - Pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fertilisers, antifreeze, grease, paint containing lead, should all be locked away
- Toads - some species of toads are toxic to dogs, cats and humans. A toad resting in a water bowl for a while can leach out enough poison to harm the animal drinking the water
Symptoms of poisoningSymptoms of xylitol intoxication include vomiting, loss of coordination, weakness, seizures, collapse. Xylitol also causes problems in baboons, cows, goats, rabbits and ferrets, but other animals are not affected. Humans are fine with Xylitol unless consumed to excess where loose bowels are the only side-effect.
Many of these symptoms also apply to other foods above.
Dogs often chew things they should not, such as galvanised bolts, nails, pet carriers, and other things coated with zinc, forming zinc salts which damage intestinal mucosa. Zinc is then distributed to the liver, kidneys, prostate, muscles, bones, and pancreas. Pet owners sometimes give their dog zinc supplements designed for humans, but these are far too strong for a dog.
Symptoms of zinc poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, black tarry or orange coloured stools, dehydration, loss of appetite, jaundice, arrhythmias, seizures, pale mucous membranes, and death.
Dogs often eat from overturned garbage bins and eat rancid leftovers.
If your dog has eaten one of these foods, you need to call your vet for advice. The vet will want to know the breed, age, sex, and weight of the dog, the symptoms, and the type and quantity of the food eaten.
The vet may tell you to induce vomiting, but do not do this unless the vet tells you to. Vomiting may make things worse, depending on what has been eaten.
The best way to induce a vomit is to feed the dog hydrogen peroxide (3%), available at most supermarkets. Dose is one teaspoon for every 2 kg of body weight, but no more than 3 tablespoons for any dog.
The vet may also advise giviong the dog Activated Charcoal
Many people use Activated Charcoal to improve digestion, reduce bloating and gas, and to bind to poisonous toxins. Works for dogs as well as humans.
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DisclaimerLeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been studying nutrition and health since 2011 and has completed many relevant studies including:
Open2Study, Australia - Food, Nutrition and Your Health
RMIT University, Australia - Foundations of Psychology
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia - Chemistry - Building Blocks of the World
University of Washington, USA - Energy, Diet and Weight
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - Health Issues for Aging Populations
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - International Nutrition
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - Methods in Biostatistics I
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - Methods in Biostatistics II
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - Principles of Human Nutrition
TUFTS University, USA - Nutrition and Medicine
TUFTS University, USA - Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
Technical Learning College, USA - Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
Bath University, England - Inside Cancer
WebMD Education - The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands - Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
LeanMachine has now read thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.
Updated 10th December 2016, Copyright © 1999-2017 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285