Dog food: 12 potentially toxic foods

Bacon, cooked bones or treats are not dog food. And if you’re used to feeding your dog raw meat, read our recommendations carefully.

Your dog can’t eat dairy products

Like their owners, some dogs can be lactose intolerant. They drink their mother’s milk like all puppies, but as adults, most are unable to produce enough enzymes to digest the lactose in milk. Too much milk can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Cheese contains less lactose than milk, so small snacks are safe for many dogs, as long as the cheese is low in fat and sodium.

Your dog can’t eat grapes

A great snack for humans, grapes are toxic to dogs. They can make them vomit or lose their appetite. If your dog has symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression or tremors, his kidneys may be failing. What about raisins? They’re just as bad.

Your dog can’t drink coffee and tea

These drinks – and caffeine in all its forms – can cause high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, hyperthermia (increased body temperature) and seizures. A few drops of spilled coffee licked off your dog won’t poison him, but a small dog eating coffee grounds or tea bags could die.

Your dog can’t eat treats

Keep Fido away from the candy bowl. Eating large amounts of high-sugar, high-fat treats can cause pancreatitis in dogs, even though symptoms may not appear for two to four days. Watch for loss of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy and abdominal pain.

Your dog can’t eat chocolate in any form

Chocolate is the worst food for your dog because it contains theobromine, a caffeine-like substance. Cooking and dark chocolates contain the most theobromine, but white and milk chocolates are also harmful. As with caffeine, symptoms of chocolate poisoning include high blood pressure, tremors and seizures.

Your dog can’t eat leftover fat and cooked bones

Don’t give your dog leftover steak. Not only can leftover fat make him obese – it doesn’t take many extra calories for a small dog to become obese – but it can also give him pancreatitis. The most severe cases can lead to sepsis and internal bleeding. Small bones, such as those found in meat, are likely to choke him and can break into slivers and tear a dog’s throat or intestines. If your dog wants a bone, make sure it’s raw.

Your dog can’t eat peaches

Peach flesh is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin A, but the pit contains cyanide. Cyanide interferes with cellular oxygen transport and prevents blood cells from getting the right amount of oxygen. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning include dilated pupils, reddened gums and difficulty breathing. Other stone fruits such as cherries and plums have the same problem. Be sure to cut the fruit into small pieces before feeding your dog.

Your dog can’t eat raw fish

Regular consumption of raw fish can cause vitamin B deficiency, which can be accompanied by seizures. The most toxic fish for dogs are salmon and trout. Raw salmon can harbor parasites infected with a bacterium called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which can be fatal if not treated properly.

Your dog can’t eat raw meat

Raw meat is a controversial topic among pet owners. It is an excellent source of protein, but it may contain microbes and parasites such as E. coli or, in raw poultry, salmonella. If you feed your dog raw meat, buy the best quality you can afford and make sure it’s fresh.

Make sure you know what unpredictable reasons your dog might be anxious.

Your dog can’t eat salt

Salt poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst or urination, and kidney damage. He may even die. Watch for sources of salt other than in your kitchen, such as de-icing salt, table salt, paintballs and sea water.

Your dog can’t eat onions

Cooked or raw, onions contain thiosulfate, a substance that destroys your dog’s red blood cells and leads to hemolytic anemia. Symptoms, which can take two to four days to develop, range from diarrhea and vomiting to shortness of breath and lethargy. You’re also putting your dog at risk if you give him certain onion-based foods, such as pizza or tomato sauce, that could trigger the same reaction.

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