Life or Death Diet
Be careful — some of your favorite foods might lead to a life-or-death scenario for your dog. Though your buddy may beg for table scraps, there are certain “human foods” to keep away from a precious pet, no matter the puppy eyes they make at you. If you suspect your dog has eaten one of these items, contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline as soon as possible.
Because this artificial sweetener typically found in sugar-free gum, breath mints, mouthwash, and toothpaste tastes like sugar, it may be tempting for pets. But Xylitol should be kept away: Even small amounts, such as from two pieces of gum, can cause seizures, liver failure, or even death after the xylitol is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and causes a rapid decrease in blood sugar, VCA Animal Hospitals say. This can happen within 10 minutes to an hour.
Watch out when baking with these. This very tasty but fatty nut may cause pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, if even a little bit is eaten by dogs, even within a cookie or bread. Other common symptoms from macadamia nut ingestion include weakness in the back legs, vomiting, and diarrhea, the ASPCA says.
This is another one of those ingredients a dog may ingest when counter surfing. The signs of chocolate poisoning in a dog usually appear within six to 12 hours, and symptoms can be wide ranging: vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination, racing heart rate, muscle tremors and seizures — and can lead to heart failure if too much is eaten. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which can speed the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system of dogs, according to the Merck/Merial Manual for Veterinary Health. Just how sick a dog gets can depend on the type and amount of chocolate; cocoa powder is considered to be the most toxic form, milk chocolate less so. You can calculate risk based on how much and what was eaten.
Grapes and Raisins
Even one grape or raisin can be fatal for some dogs by leading to acute kidney failure, the American Kennel Club says. Before panicking, it’s worth noting that dogs are generally more likely to be poisoned by large amounts, and there appears to be a range of sensitivity. Some dogs may be able to eat a few and be fine, according to VCA Hospitals. Though it’s not confirmed, the danger may arise from mycotoxins produced by fungus or molds, tartaric acid, or salicylates found in grapes that lead to decreased blood flow to a dog’s kidneys. Symptoms such as lethargy and lack of appetite appear within 24 hours after ingesting, with symptoms such as urination problems taking another day.
Onion, Leeks, and Chives
While it’s hard to imagine a dog just grabbing an onion to chow down on, a pup could easily sneak a meal seasoned with onion, leeks, or chives, such as a nice piece of chicken, and a 45-pound dog can eat just the equivalent of one regular-size onion to suffer serious side effects. Onions and their cousins are dangerous because they can make a dog’s red blood cells fragile and cause them to burst, VCA Hospitals say. Certain breeds — such as dogs of Japanese descent including Akitas or Shiba Inus — may have a higher risk for toxicity.
Like onions, garlic can cause harm to a dog’s blood cells. You’ll want to be especially careful of concentrated dried and powdered forms, which could cause illness faster. For example, it takes 15 to 30 grams of garlic per kilogram of a dog’s body weight to make them ill, and one clove of garlic may weigh somewhere around 3 to 7 grams — but 1 teaspoon of garlic equals about eight cloves of garlic.
Alcohol’s effects on a dog are based on the pet’s size and the alcohol concentration ingested. For example, light beer is lowest in alcohol, while gin — or even the alcohol level in hand sanitizer — is going to be the highest and most dangerous. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning in dogs would be similar to humans and include a lack of coordination, vomiting, weakness, drooling, and finally decreased breathing.
We may need it simply to wake ourselves up, but caffeine raises blood pressure in dogs and can cause cardiac arrhythmias. Pets may also lose muscle control and have tremors or seizures as a result of taking in caffeine, as well as suffer damage to the liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, and central nervous system. Don’t panic, though; one to two laps of coffee, tea, or soda is unlikely to cause problems for most pets; just be sure to keep coffee grounds, tea bags, and the like tucked away safely.
Raw Yeast Dough
Baked bread is safe for dogs to eat, though it isn’t the most healthy treat to share with your pet. Letting a pet consume raw dough is downright dangerous, though. Unbaked bread dough can expand in the warm and moist environment of a dog’s gut, leading to bloat or a twisted stomach — a very dangerous and even potentially deadly condition for dogs. Bloat symptoms include a clearly uncomfortable animal who may be retching with nothing coming up, distended stomach, an elevated heart rate, pacing, and panting.
Raw food diets have become popular for pets, with many social media groups devoted to the topic. But before you jump on the bandwagon, be aware that this may not be a very safe trend. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Center for Veterinary Medicine, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration all say raw dog foods can be dangerous to pets and their owners. One study found that nearly one-fourth of commercially available raw dog foods tested positive for salmonella and listeria. These bacteria can make humans and canines extremely ill. But dogs can actually carry salmonella in their intestines without showing signs of illness, exposing owners unknowingly.
Indigestible Parts of Foods
Dogs may love a taste of a nice meaty bone or a bite of a watermelon, but problems arise when these types of treats are given to a pet without monitoring. Dogs can’t be counted on to stop eating when they reach the part of a food that isn’t digestible, which includes bones and watermelon rinds but also corn cobs and peach and avocado pits. (In very small amounts, avocado pulp itself may irritate a dog’s stomach, though is unlikely to cause death.) These items can cause an obstruction in the stomach, which may lead to surgery or worse.
For humans, this plant is decorative and pretty; for a dog it can be deadly. Eating even a small amount of the leaves and especially the seeds from this plant can cause severe gastrointestinal problems, affect the nervous system, and cause liver failure. Symptoms are likely to show up within 15 minutes of ingesting the plant, but may also take hours.
Article written by Jennifer Magid for cheapism©