While we may consider dogs to be members of our family, treating them as such at mealtimes can cause more injury to them than just spoiling their dinners. Here’s a look at the five most dangerous foods for your dog, how they affect dogs’ bodies, and what to do in case of an emergency.
Unlike their feline friends, most dogs don’t have an “off” button when it comes to finding food, says Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. While the amount of chocolate your dog consumes will also determine the toxicity, symptoms of chocolate poisoning to look out for can include vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. According to Dr. Wismer, the darker the chocolate is, the more serious the poisoning can be — making baker’s chocolate and cocoa powder more dangerous than milk chocolate.
An artificial sweetener found in sugarless gum, candy, and baked goods, Xylitol may be approved for people but can cause liver damage and a life-threatening drop in blood sugar in dogs. According to the Pet Poison Helpline (PPH), a 10-pound dog would only need to eat a single piece of sugar-free gum to reach a potentially toxic dose. Low blood sugar can develop within 10 to 15 minutes of ingestion, in addition to vomiting and loss of coordination, says PPH.
Both grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, with vomiting, increased urination and increased thirst potential symptoms of poisoning. Help your dog stay out of trouble by keeping grapes and raisins out of reach at all times. Dr. Wismer also recommends talking to your vet about a list of things you and your children should or shouldn’t feed your dog.
“Dogs have different nutritional requirements and metabolize things differently [than people],” says Dr. Wismer. “Dogs have amazing noses and when it comes to food, they can get themselves in trouble.”
For the complete slideshow on 5 Foods that Could Kill Your Dog, visit petMD.