We all love to treat our dogs and it can be tempting to give them leftovers or table scraps. Unfortunately, not all human food is safe for dogs and many can cause serious health problems.
A cheeky bar of chocolate is a tasty treat for us but can be potentially fatal for your dog. Chocolate contains Theobromine – a stimulant like caffeine that can cause vomiting diarrhea, seizures, and even death in as little as four hours if they eat enough. You can purchase doggy chocolate from pets stores that do not contain theobromine.
2. Grapes and Raisins
These fruits may be a sweet treat enjoyed with lunch, however, they are toxic to dogs. Scientists have not yet discovered which part of the fruit contains the toxin, so even seedless or skinless grapes and raisins should be avoided. One grape may cause no harm, but more than this can lead to diarrhoea, vomiting, lethargy and even more serious complications. If you see your dog eat grapes or raisins, keep an eye on them for 24 hours.
3. Onions and Garlic
These vegetables and herbs are toxic to dogs, causing severe stomach and intestinal irritation. If left untreated or if ingested in large quantities, the toxins can damage red bloods cells and cause anaemia. the effects of the toxin may not show until a day or two after your dog eats the food. Many table sauces and gravies contain onion and garlic so should food cooked in these should not be given to your dog.
Caffeine is a stimulant and the effects it causes are exaggerated in dogs compared to humans. The symptoms are similar to ingesting chocolate; digestive distress, vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity and restlessness, excessive panting, heavy breathing, and seizures.
5. Yeast Dough
Baking bread or other baked products that require a yeast dough are very dangerous for dogs to eat. The internal body temperature will activate the yeast and cause the dough to start expanding. This can be incredibly painful for your dog and can easily lead to a blockage. The gases released may also cause Bloat (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus) which can force the stomach to twist and cut off the blood supply.
If you suspect that your dog has eaten any of these foods, even in a small quantity, it is best to contact your veterinarian and seek advice. In small amounts, the best response is to monitor your dog carefully for 24 hours and go to the vet if symptoms persist or get worse.
Small breed dogs may suffer symptoms from eating smaller portions that a larger breed dog. Puppies and elderly dogs are at risk of experiencing more severe symptoms or a quicker onset of symptoms due to their reduced immune response. If in doubt, go straight to your vet.
There is no reason why you cannot feed table scraps as an occasional treated as long as you know what is in the food and it has not been cooked in any harmful ingredients.