There are a number of food & drink items that are toxic or poisonous to dogs. Dog owners should not feed them to their pets.
1. Alcohol or food product containing alcohol
Results in vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, breathing difficulty, staggering, abnormal blood acidity and even coma or death.
2. Caffeine (commonly found in coffee, tea or soda)
Causes vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, irregular heartbeats and even death.
3. Grapes & Raisins
Eating 2 ounces per 10 pounds of a dog’s weight in grapes in raisins can lead to acute renal (kidney) failure in a small dog or an already sick dog.
Tomato leaves and stems and green tomatoes contain atropine which is toxic. It can cause dilated pupils, irregular heartbeats and tremors.
As for ripe tomatoes, it is still an ongoing debate about its effects on dogs. Nonetheless, they are high in acid and thus probably not the best food to feed to your pet.
Consumption of chocolate by dogs can cause a wide range of reaction, depending on weight of the dog and quantity consumed.
Symptoms range from vomiting, diarrhea, panting, abnormal heartbeats, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, seizures and even death.
6. Nuts (macadamia, almonds, peanuts etc)
Consuming 1 ounce of nuts can cause the condition of temporary paralysis in a dog’s hind legs which may last more than a couple of days.
Other forms of consequences are weakness, depression, vomiting, seizures, hyperthermia and even death.
Avocado leaves, fruit and seeds and its bark contain a fungicidal toxin called persin.
It will lead to vomiting, diarrhea, nasal congestion, breathing difficulties and fluid accumulation in the dog’s heart that often results in death.
Dogs lack the enzyme needed to break down thiosulphate, which is found in onions (and garlic too).
Thus, the ingestion of large amounts of onions can result in gas, vomiting, diarrhea or severe gastrointestinal distress. It can also cause a severe hemolytic anemia (destruction of red blood cells) and increase the risk for development of blood clotting abnormalities.
9. Xylitol (found in human toothpaste, chewing gums and candies etc)
Xylitol is a popular sweetener or a sugar substitute used in many products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, baked goods like cupcakes, sugarless chewing gums or candies.
When consumed, xylitol causes hypoglycemia – a rapid decrease in a dog’s blood sugar levels and an increase in insulin. This can lead to liver damage in dogs.
The signs of hypoglycemia include lethargy, stumbling around, involuntary collapsing and seizures before liver failure eventually sets in.
When any of the above symptoms appear on your dog, you should rush it to the veterinarian immediately. They will probably provide some activated charcoal (to absorb any toxins) and administer intravenous fluids (if needed) or induce vomiting.
10. Chicken bones
Chicken and turkey bones are very dangerous and should never be given to dogs because they are fragile and splinter easily.
Pieces can lodge in the mouth, throat or digestive tract, requiring surgical removal. It may also cut the soft tissues of the digestive tract thereby causing bleeding.
11. Cough and Cold medicines or syrups
These medicines may contain acetaminophen (Tylenol) and pseudo ephedrine (Sudafed), both which are toxic to dogs. Seek veterinarian’s attention immediately.
12. Ice cream
Dogs lack the enzyme necessary to digest lactose in dairy, which may cause bloating, gas or diarrhea. This reaction will vary among dogs.
Ice cream also has a very high fat content and so consuming too much of it can lead to pancreatitis in your dog, a serious condition requiring prompt medical treatment.
Liver is very high in fat and thus can cause pancreatitis. High amounts can result in vitamin A toxicity. The symptoms are loss of appetite, weight loss, constipation, lethargy, limping, increased sensitivity of the neck and front legs, and stiffness.
Most dogs love liver, but only small amounts should be given as a treat.