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Foods Your Dog Shouldn’t Eat

We may treat our pets like humans, but put bluntly, they shouldn’t eat the same foods we eat.

It is our job to properly care for them which extends to being responsible for what they digest.

Because of this there tends to be lots of disparity and confusion regarding what you should and shouldn’t feed your dog.

So to make it easier, we have compiled a list of foods that you shouldn’t feed your dog, to ensure they live a long and healthy life.

Alcohol:

can cause vomiting, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, coma, tremors and decreased coordination. Even if products contain alcohol, this can still be harmful to your dog.

Avocado:

mostly a problem for birds, rabbits, donkeys, horses and ruminants such as sheep and goats. Cardiovascular damage is a problem that avocado consumption can cause for birds, as well as potential death.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine:

all contain substances called Methylamines, which are found in cacao seeds and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, panting, excessive thirst, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures and even potential death in pets.

Citrus:

causes irritation and if digested in significant amounts can cause central nervous system depression. Consumption in small doses can also cause an upset stomach.

Coconut and Coconut Oil:

coconut water is high in Potassium and shouldn’t be given to your pet in any way, shape or form.

Grapes and Raisins:

the toxic substance is unknown, however, these foods can cause kidney failure and disease.

Nuts:

almonds, pecans and walnuts contain high amounts of fats and oils and can make your pet feel ill.

Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last between 12-48 hours.

Milk and Dairy:

milk and dairy products should be avoided as pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase which is an enzyme used to bread down lactose in milk. Humans and cats are the only mammals that can tolerate milk as adults, with some exceptions.

Onions and Chives:

can potentially cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Cats are more susceptible, but dogs are also at risk if a large quantity is consumed. Onions and chives can cause anaemia if consumed over long periods of time.

Garlic:

similar symptoms to onions and chives. However, cats are particularly sensitive to garlic.

Raw/ undercooked Meat:

contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets.

Eggs:

raw eggs contain an enzyme called Avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin) which can lead to skin and coat problems.

Bones:

dangerous to domestic pets. Pets can choke on bones, or sustain an injury should the bone splinter damage their digestive tract.

Salt:

can produce excessive thirst and urination if consumed in large quantities. Vomiting, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature and seizures are also symptoms.

Xylitol:

used as a sweetener in many products including lollies, gum, baked goods and toothpaste. Xylitol causes insulin release in most species which can lead to liver failure. Initial signs include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to seizures.

Yeast Dough:

can result in gas accumulating in your pet’s digestive system which can cause bloating. This can be painful and potentially life threatening to your pet.

Sugar-free Peanut Butter:

more dangerous to consume than chocolate. Xylitol is a sweetener that is commonly found in gum and ‘sugar-free’ products – including peanut butter. Xylitol can cause vomiting, lethargy, stupor, seizures, and possibly even coma.

It can also cause liver failure by releasing excessive amounts of insulin and hypoglycaemia.

Apples (including seeds and core):

dilated pupils, bright red mucous membranes, difficulty breathing and shock are all symptoms of apple consumption. Most potent when wilting or rotting.

Apricot and Peaches:

symptoms include dilated pupils, bright red mucous membranes, difficulty breathing and shock. Potentially even death.

Chamomile:

can cause vomiting and anorexia in your dog. Long term effects include bleeding.

Cherries (including steams, leaves and pits):

contain cyanide and can cause dilated pupils, bright red mucous membranes, difficulty breathing, shock and possibly even death.

Mustard seeds:

can cause vomiting and digestive pain as well as digestive issues.

Rhubarb:

side effects after consumption include hyper-salivation, tremors and kidney failure.

Tomatoes:

have solanine toxicity, with side effects including anorexia, lethargy, central nervous system depression, confusion, behavioural change, weakness, dilated pupils and a slow heart rate.

Citrus fruits:

small doses can cause stomach pain and digestive problems. Large doses increase stomach pain and the chances of suffering depression.

Potatoes:

can cause vomiting, anorexia, disorientation, lethargy and central nervous system depression. Potato skin can furthermore cause vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, tremors, seizures and cardia arrhythmias.

Liquorice:

if your pet consumes large quantities of liquorice this can potentially cause or lead to muscle damage and adrenal gland issues.

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In contrast, the best foods to feed your dog are:

Real food! Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, lamb and fish as well as a small amount of fresh vegetables and fruits and occasionally yogurt and eggs.

In addition to this, there are several other products which are really healthy for your dog to consume, with links to strengthening their immune system and helping them live a longer and healthier lifestyle.

These are:

Green Tripe

Green tripe is a super food that no dog should go without! Tripe is loaded with natural digestive enzymes and probiotics.

Milk Thistle

Although milk thistle is technically a herb and not a food, it works as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, that is easy to incorporate into your dog’s diet.

Silymarin is linked to treating liver diseases and is the main active ingredient which helps strengthen your dog’s immune system.

Ultimately, not all dogs react to food in the same way, so it is really important that you research and understand your own breed of dog.

However, this is a general guide to foods all dogs should stay away from.

Because regardless of their tolerance levels and immune system, over time, large quantities and consumption of these foods can lead to a variety of health issues. 

And at the end of the day, you are responsible for the health of your dog, so it is crucial you understand what they can and can’t digest! 

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