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Dangerous Foods for Dogs

Updated: Mar 18, 2019

On the Bone Ball Bark blog this week we are looking at something in the 'BONE' category; health and nutrition! What are some dangerous foods for dogs? Everyone pretty much knows that chocolate is a big no no to feed your dog, but there are many more toxic substances in everyday human food that your dog should never eat.

Here are five foods to ensure your dog avoids at all costs!

  1. Grapes

  2. Raisins

  3. Macadamia nuts

  4. Onions

  5. Coffee

Dangerous foods for dogs

Grapes and raisins are extremely toxic to dogs. A 10lb dog eating 1 or 2 grapes has been known to frequently cause kidney failure, likewise with their dried counterparts, raisins. Like with all these foods, different dogs have different levels of sensitivity to grapes. Whereas one dog can eat a bunch and show little effect, others can eat a few and have very serious consequences.

Macadamia nuts aren’t fatal to your dog when ingested in small amounts but have been found to cause vomiting, depression, shaking, and hyperthermia. This usually passes in a couple days but each of those symptoms can have knock on effects like dehydration and the shutting down of vital organs. Remember that macadamia nuts can be found in cookies, flours and other baked goods.

It doesn’t matter if your dog ingests raw, cooked or dried onions, the result is the same. Onions can cause anemia which in turn leads to organ failure. Some dogs have shown high sensitivity to broth that contains cooked onion juices, as well as supplements that contain onions. In fact, other members of the onion family like leeks, garlic and chives should be avoided too.

Coffee contains very similar properties to chocolate because of the caffeine component. This is what is highly poisonous to dogs. A couple laps of your coffee shouldn’t do too much harm but a whole cup, or ingesting coffee grounds or beans is an immediate emergency vet trip. Caffeine ingestion can cause shaking, vomiting, difficulty breathing and seizures.

Keep everything your dog can get access to, including dog food and treats, in tightly sealed containers!

Common signs of poisoning

No two dogs are alike but here is a list of some of the symptoms your dog can present if he has been poisoned. Call your vet immediately if you have any suspicion that he has eaten something toxic.

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Shaking

  • Panting

  • Lethargy

  • Not able to walk

  • Uncoordinated movements

  • Blood in urine

  • Blood in vomit

  • Blood in stool

  • Seizures

  • Elevated heart rate

  • Hyperthermia (elevated body temperature)

What to do if your dog has been poisoned?

Call your veterinarian immediately. Remember that it usually takes a few hours from when your dog ate something toxic to when symptoms first show.

Depending on your dog, what he has eaten, and the symptoms he has, your vet may recommend you try helping him at home. DO NOT TRY THESE WITHOUT ADVICE FROM A VET. Two useful products to have at home in your canine cupboard that can help are:

  1. Activated Charcoal tablets - can bind to the poison and prevent it being absorbed.

  2. Hydrogen peroxide- a teaspoon can induce vomiting.

How to prevent poisoning?

It sounds a lot like common sense but keeping all products that contain toxic properties well out of the reach from your dog. That includes dried spices that can be left out in the kitchen, leftover Halloween candy, the used grounds from the coffee machine, and children’s lunchbox items. Also make sure your trash can is shut away.

A lot of poisonings happen when you are with them. I personally have had it happen when guests at a party have fed the dog from the table. Either put your dog away when there is food out at a party, or have them with you on leash.

Some owners employ no-human food policy, mainly to reduce begging behaviors, but also to try to have a bit more control over what their dog has access to.


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