10 Human Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog
Published Wednesday, August 3, 2022 by Elena R.
Dogs love to munch on delicious treats, especially if they see you do the same. They would love the chance to steal away your bite or plate and munch freely on whatever you are eating. But like all delicious things, most treats your dog would eat passionately are not good for them.
Things like raw meat and vegetables might sound safe for your dog, but there’s more than meets the eye. Human foods contain a myriad of dangerous chemicals and toxic ingredients that might harm your dog. And sometimes, just hearing that a certain vegetable or meat isn’t good for your dog isn’t enough.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 10 foods that are dangerous for dogs, how they can affect your dog’s health, and what can happen if you let them indulge in too much.
Table of Contents
Onions can be toxic to dogs, even if we’re talking about a tiny amount. It's not good food for them as it can cause anemia. Onions can also cause Heinz body anemia, which is when red blood cells are destroyed by a chemical reaction that causes the cell wall to rupture, resulting in severe damage to red blood cells and their ability to carry oxygen throughout the body. In addition to onions, garlic is also toxic to dogs. It causes gastrointestinal irritation and kidney damage. Garlic's close relatives, chives, are also harmful to our furry friends.
RELATED: Does My Dog Have Allergies?
Chocolate is one of the most dangerous and toxic things you can feed your dog. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine which is very toxic to dogs. It is not a natural part of their diet, so they don't have the necessary enzymes to break down and digest it. Chocolate can be toxic to your dog in small amounts, but even if you only give them a tiny piece, it's still worth thinking twice.
You may think that chocolate is harmless because it's been around for so long, but modern-day chocolate contains far more than just cocoa solids and sugar. Some brands contain up to 30 different ingredients. Many of which are unknown in quantity or purpose, including artificial flavorings like vanillin, which are known allergens in humans. Chocolate contains caffeine as well as phenylethylamine (PEA), another compound that stimulates brain activity and is harmful to dogs.
RELATED: Food Allergies in Dogs
Grapes and Raisins
Fruits are typically deemed safe for dogs, and that’s what most pet parents know. But not all fruit is safe. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Although it's generally not recommended to give your dog grapes, it is especially risky if they are dried or sugared.
When dogs eat grapes or raisins, they can develop kidney failure within two days. Vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms of this condition, which may lead to tremors, cardiac arrest, acute renal failure, and acute hepatic failure if left untreated by a veterinarian.
You may have heard that avocado is good for you, and it is. Avocado contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, the same things that make avocados healthy for humans can be toxic to your dog.
Avocado contains a toxin called Persin which causes vomiting, diarrhea, and even death in dogs who ingest too much of it. They are more sensitive to this than we are because their digestive systems are designed to process meat and plants but not fruit like avocado or strawberries.
Xylitol (a Sweetener)
You may want to check the label on your dog's food before you feed it to them. If Xylitol is what’s on the ingredient list, know that it's toxic to dogs. Dogs can’t metabolize xylitol, so they won't be able to digest it properly. This causes hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver failure.
You might be thinking: “But why wouldn’t I give my dog chewing gum or candy? Aren't they soft treats?” That's true, but not all "candy" is sweetened by sugar. Some brands of peanut butter use xylitol as a sweetening agent instead of sugar or corn syrup. If you give your dog peanut butter with xylitol in it, then you're giving them something that has the potential to make them sick.
Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant that can lead to increased heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperactivity. Caffeine might heighten the dog’s blood pressure, which could lead to cardiac arrhythmia. Seizures have also been reported in dogs following ingestion of caffeine.
Coffee grounds and tea bags should be kept out of your dog’s reach as they contain large amounts of caffeine, and the tannins in tea can cause stomach upset or constipation if consumed regularly by your dog. No coffee or tea breaks for your furry friend!
Fat Trimmings and Bones
There are some foods that even your dog won't eat. That's because they contain harmful ingredients that they can sense. Fat trimmings and bones can cause pancreatitis in dogs, obesity, gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, and vomiting.
If you can’t resist giving your dog a treat, it’s best you stick with something soft like peanut butter or cheese but keep an eye on how much they eat so it doesn't become a choking hazard.
Dogs are very smart and self-indulgent. They know that raw eggs are delicious, but if you let them indulge in this treat, it will most likely make them sick.
Raw eggs can be contaminated with salmonella and listeria bacteria. These bacteria can cause food poisoning in people and dogs, so don’t feed your furry friend anything that could make him sick. If your pup eats a piece of raw egg and gets sick as a result, he may experience diarrhea or vomiting. Even if he doesn’t have any symptoms at first, this can still lead to food poisoning later on down the road.
If your dog eats un-cooked chicken meat (which has been known to contain salmonella), then he may become ill from ingesting it as well, so watch out.
Raw Meat and Fish
While your dog's taste buds might be begging for a bite of that leftover steak, it's best to hold off. When you feed your dog raw or undercooked meat, he could end up with food poisoning or parasites. And if you're thinking about feeding your pooch chicken wings or fish sticks, think again. That can cause allergies, infection, and other health problems in dogs.
If you want to give your pup something delicious and nutritious, especially on hot summer days, try giving him cooked vegetables instead of meat. You can even add some fruit like frozen apples or pears to keep things interesting for them.
Salt and Salty Foods
Salt is a no-no for dogs. Most pet parents choose salty foods to treat or motivate their dogs during training and it can be quite harmful. As with humans, salt can raise blood pressure and cause kidney problems in dogs, as well as other health issues.
Avoid salty foods such as chips and popcorn, which are loaded with sodium and are bad for both you and your dog.
If you want to give them something salty, opt for natural treats like jerky or freeze-dried meat treats instead of store-bought snacks that are loaded with salt.
RELATED: My Dog Doesn’t Drink Enough Water
Dogs are truly amazing creatures, and they deserve all the love and care you can give them. They deserve to be spoiled with delicious treats and have their bellies filled with safe and yummy food. To keep them happy, healthy, and with their tails wagging excitedly, it’s best that you keep their diet filled with dog-friendly, nutritious foods and avoid allowing them to indulge in human foods that can be harmful to them.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What foods are bad for dogs? Some foods that are harmful to dogs and should be avoided include chocolate, grapes and raisins, onions and garlic, avocado, and alcohol. These foods can cause a range of health problems in dogs, including vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, anemia, and even death. It's important to keep these foods out of your dog's reach and avoid feeding them to your pet.
Is grain free food good for dogs? There is no clear evidence that grain-free food is better for dogs than food that contains grains. While some dogs may benefit from a grain-free diet, most dogs can digest and utilize grains without any problems.
Is it ok for dogs to eat cat food? While it's not toxic or harmful for dogs to eat cat food on occasion, it's not recommended as a regular part of their diet. Cat food is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of cats, which are different from the nutritional needs of dogs. Cat food tends to be higher in fat and protein than dog food, and it may not provide all of the essential nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy. Additionally, if a dog eats too much cat food, it can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
Is raw food good for dogs? Raw food diets for dogs are a controversial topic in the veterinary community. While some people believe that raw food diets can provide many health benefits for dogs, including improved digestion, healthier skin and coat, and increased energy levels, there are also some potential risks and concerns to consider. Raw food diets can be difficult to balance properly, and they may not provide all of the necessary nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy. There is also a risk of bacterial contamination, such as salmonella or E. coli, which can pose a health risk to both dogs and their owners.
Is wet food good for dogs? Wet food can be a good option for some dogs, as it provides moisture and can be more palatable than dry kibble. Wet food can also be a good choice for dogs who have dental problems or who have difficulty chewing dry food. When choosing a wet food for your dog, it's important to look for a high-quality product that is appropriate for your dog's age, size, and health status. Wet food can be higher in fat and calories than dry food, so it's important to make sure that your dog is getting the appropriate amount of food for their individual needs.
Is baby food good for dogs? Baby food can be a good option for dogs in certain situations, such as when they are recovering from an illness or surgery and need a soft, easily digestible food. Baby food is often made with simple ingredients and may be free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, which can make it a good choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs.