There are certain foods and substances that are harmful to your dog’s health. Some may cause discomfort, vomiting and diarrhoea. But others can be deadly for your dog.
So you need to be aware of what your dog can and what must not eat, ever and under any circumstances. Although the advice is to choose the best food for your dog and not to give him any other type of food, no matter how much he asks you to give him yours. It is difficult, but think that it is the best thing for his health and general wellbeing.
Prohibited foods for dogs
- Chocolate. Cocoa beans contain a toxin that is highly dangerous to your dog’s health. So any product containing chocolate (i.e. not just chocolate bars, but a biscuit or yoghurt) can be very harmful to your dog. Ingesting excessive amounts can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, convulsions and even death.
- Onions. It is also toxic for your pet. That’s why you have to be especially careful if you give them any leftovers from your food, as they usually include this ingredient. Whether it is raw, cooked, powdered… onions contain sulfoxides that attack red blood cells and cause anaemia. It also releases a substance that affects the functioning of the kidneys.
- Dairy products containing lactose. Dogs’ digestive systems are not able to digest lactose, so it can cause flatulence, diarrhoea or vomiting. Milk, cheese, yoghurts… are foods that a dog should not eat, although if they do not contain lactose they should not harm him.
- Grapes and sultanas. They are also highly harmful, and in their case they do not need to eat a large quantity to have diarrhoea and intestinal pain, which will lead to renal failure.
- Raw potatoes. If you cook it, boiled or steamed, it poses no danger to your dog. But the starch in raw potatoes is not digested and can cause gastroenteritis.
- Coffee and tea. These are two drinks that affect the central nervous system and are toxic for your friend.
- Alcohol. Dogs do not tolerate alcohol well and ingestion of alcohol can lead to a dangerous alcoholic coma.
- Cooked bones. They break more easily than raw ones and splinter. They could stick in your throat or puncture the intestine. Fish scrapes should also be avoided.
- Avocado. Especially the pit and leaves, which contain a toxin that is harmful to dogs.
- Fruit seeds. For example, apple, which, when decomposed, releases cyanide. Other larger seeds, such as plum or peach, may obstruct the larynx.
- Nuts and dried fruits. Their high phosphorus content can cause bladder stones, muscle and joint pain, weakness and vomiting.
- Mushrooms. Most contain toxins that are dangerous to dogs, even those that humans can eat.
- Sugar and salt. The former can cause obesity, diabetes and vision problems. The latter can lead to dehydration at best.
- Bread, buns and sweets containing yeast are toxic to dogs and can cause gas and respiratory problems.
Beware of plants
If you have a terrace, garden or patio, or if you live in the countryside surrounded by nature, be aware that many plants can be toxic to dogs, causing vomiting, diarrhoea and even more serious and irreversible health problems.
Some of the most common plants in our homes are ivy, potos, aloe, cyclamen, oleander, spathiphyllum, cycad, Adam’s rib, daffodil, azalea, hydrangea, geraniums…. And they are all toxic for your dog. Keep this in mind, put them out of his reach if possible, and if not, keep a close eye on him and teach him not to nibble them.
What to do if your dog has eaten something toxic?
Whether you are sure or think your dog may have eaten something toxic in sufficient quantities to cause a health problem, take him to the vet immediately. He or she will be able to assess the condition and act accordingly. Making your dog vomit is also an option, but this is not always easy to achieve.