Human Foods That Can Kill Your Dog
Most of the dogs know just how to make their humans give them a bite of their snack. However, every dog owner needs to know that there are some human foods that can kill a dog. Although it is hard to resist the dog’s begging, giving them these foods can be fatal. The most deadly human food for dogs is chocolate. Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine that is toxic in large quantities. Theobromine stimulates the central nervous system, and has different cardiovascular effects. Also, dark chocolate contains ten times more theobromine than milk chocolate. So the rule is – the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Eating chocolate causes stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, spasms, and increased heart rate. Research has shown that only 20 mg of chocolate per kg of dog’s body weight can be fatal and can lead to heart attack, internal bleeding, and death.
Caffeine is also deadly to dogs. It can cause abnormal heart rhythm or lung failure, and eventually death.
Another fatal product is paracetamol. Paracetamol is an analgesic that humans use to get rid of a headache and other aches. However, if a dog gets his paws on paracetamol, the paracetamol’s component - acetaminophen can damage the dog’s liver and red blood cells, and the dog may die from liver necrosis. Research shows that the lethal dose is 150 mg of acetaminophen per dog kilo.
Onion can damage the dog’s red blood cells and cause Heinz Body Anemia can be life-threatening. Even onion powder is enough to cause a serious damage. Garlic is not as fatal, but it should be avoided in large quantity.
Grapes and raisins are other products that need to be put out of your dog’s reach. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure and death. First signs of poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, depression. After that, signs of kidney failure (excessive thirst and very little urine production) may show.
Macadamia nuts contain an unknown toxin in them, and when dog eats macadamia nuts, this toxin can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, muscle tremors, and can lead to pancreatitis. These symptoms can occur within 12 hours after eating.
Any part of an avocado can be fatal for dogs. The avocado tree leaves, pits, fruit… they all contain a toxin called persin, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulties with breathing. This toxin persin can cause fluid accumulating in dog’s lungs (most often), chest or heart, pancreas and abdomen.
Dogs can’t tolerate alcohol. Alcohol can cause serious health problems (lung failure, seizures, coma) and death. The lethal dose of alcohol for dogs is about 0.59 ounces per pound of dog’s body weight (approximately 8 ml per kg). Raw yeast dough also needs to be avoided and kept out of dog’s reach. When a dog eats raw yeast dough, as the yeast cells start to ferment, they produce alcohol and cause dog’s blood alcohol level to rise. This can lead to alcohol poisoning and death.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is used to sweeten candy, gums, mints, toothpaste, etc. When a dog eats something that contains xylitol, xylitol causes a sudden release of insulin in the body that leads to significant drop in a dog's blood sugar. Symptoms of this happening to a dog usually show up within 30 minutes of consumption. Initial symptoms are vomiting, depression, weakness, difficulty moving, seizures, etc. Consumption of xylitol can also cause liver failure and death.
Salt is another ingredient that should be avoided. Eating too much salt can lead to “salt poisoning”. Salt poisoning causes vomiting, diarrhea, fever, seizures, etc. Sometimes it is fatal. Never give your dog too much salted foods (popcorn, pretzels) and even then make sure that your dog always has access to fresh drinking water.
Also, many fruit seeds are dangerous for dogs. Peach and apricot seeds are the worst! They contain cyanide that the dog’s digestive system cannot process correctly.
Alkalis such as bleach, ammonium hydroxide and potassium permanganate are found in detergents, washing up liquids, cleaning products, batteries, etc. These alkalis can burn the membrane of dog’s digestive system and can be fatal.
Insecticides, rodenticides, fertilizer, antifreeze, fabric softener, clothing whiteners are very dangerous to our pets so make sure that they are hidden somewhere where your dog can’t reach it.
Antifreeze is one of the greatest risks for your dog. Antifreeze has a pleasant smell (and taste) to dogs and there are a lot of dogs that die of antifreeze poisoning every year. The symptoms include: vomiting, seizures, lethargy.
Tomato, spinach, azalea, autumn crocus, oleander, nightshade, belladonna, foxglove, hemlock, water hemlock, yew, are plants extremely dangerous for your dog.
Keep your dog away from all the products and foods mentioned in this article. The best thing you can do is to keep them locked somewhere safe. If you suspect that your dog may have eaten something toxic, call your vet immediately. It is important to react promptly. The vet will tell you what to do next. Treatment will vary on the type of food your dog has eaten and your dog’s symptoms.