The list our vet tech shares below is one ALL dog owners should become very familiar with.
Because we all want our dogs to be healthy. And the foods we feed our dogs (whether it’s dog food or “human” food) play a MAJOR role in our dog’s health.
So to help you with that, our resident vet tech Jennifer looks at one of the most common food related questions dog owners have… “Can dogs eat grapes?”
You’ll also find her recommendations of 8 other foods that can potentially be toxic to your dogs. (For questions about whether any foods not on this list are safe for your doggo, check out our ever-growing FAQ section.)
1. Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and and raisins can cause acute (sudden) kidney failure and lack of urine production in dogs. Currents also fit in this category as well. Grapes can be red, green, seeded or seedless.
The most common symptom of grape / raisin toxicity in dogs is vomiting within the first 24 hours of ingestion. In large quantities, grapes can be fatal to dogs. Unfortunately, the toxic agent found in grapes has not been identified. Always consult a veterinarian for grape/ raisin toxicity in your dogs.
2. Chocolate and Coffee
Chocolate and coffee are stimulants and very toxic to dogs because they contain a chemical called Theobromine. The amount of Theobromine varies in different types of chocolate. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is.
Chocolate toxicity causes vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, hyperactivity and even death. GI symptoms can smell like chocolate when eliminated from the body (vomiting and diarrhea). These clinical signs can take hours to develop and may last for days. Chocolate toxicity is a real medical emergency. Always consult a veterinarian.
Referred as Alcohol Toxicosis, toxic levels can be mild to potentially severe depending on the amount ingested. Alcohol is absorbed through the GI tract and first signs usually start within 30- 60 minutes of ingestion.
Dogs experiencing Alcohol Toxicosis can show signs of drunkenness, vomiting, CNS depression, hypothermia, and can lead to death. Always consult a vet if your pet ingests alcohol.
4. Raw Yeast Bread Dough
When raw dough is ingested it heads for the stomach and will expand (or ferment) because the stomach is a very warm, moist environment. This can cause a bloated, distended looking abdomen.
Signs and symptoms include depression, lethargy, vomiting or retching, distended abdomen, increased heart rate, collapse and even death. This is considered a medical emergency and your pet should be seen immediately by a veterinarian.
These green super foods contain a toxin called Percin. This toxin rarely affects dogs, however.
The big risk with avocado ingestion is FBO or Foreign Body Obstruction. If part or all of the seed is swallowed, obstruction may occur in the esophagus, stomach, or intestinal tract.
The main signs of FBO are straining to defecate, diarrhea, and lack of stool if obstructed. Vomiting may also occur as food will not be able to pass through the intestinal tract.
Avocados also have a high fat content which can also cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). FBO and pancreatitis are medical emergencies and your dog should be seen by a veterinarian ASAP.
6. Onions and Garlic
These potent foods are toxic to dogs. These foods can damage the body?s RBCs (red blood cells) causing them to burst. RBC?s play a vital role in the body because they contain a protein called hemoglobin which carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body.
Gastroenteritis is also another symptom which can cause vomiting, drooling, lethargy, abdominal pain diarrhea, and pale gums. This toxicity has a delayed onset of disease. It may take several days to see clinical signs. Always consult a veterinarian.
7. Macadamia Nuts
The toxin in this nut is unknown making it harder to know how to treat. Clinical signs depend on the amount of macadamia nuts ingested.
The biggest concerns are joint stiffness, tremors, and hind limb lameness (which affects the dogs ability to walk). Pancreatitis is also a concern due to the high oil content in the macadamia nut. Always consult a veterinarian.
8. Products containing Xylitol
Xylitol is a sweetener that has a low glycemic index. It’s found in sugar-free gum, candies, mints, gelatins…the list goes on and on.
While it’s great for diabetic humans, it’s deadly in dogs. In both humans and dogs, the level of blood sugar is controlled by the release of insulin from the pancreas. Where humans and dogs differ is that xylitol doesn?t stimulate a release of insulin in humans.
Dogs that ingest xylitol absorb it very quickly into the bloodstream resulting in a potent release of insulin from the pancreas. Therefore, dogs experience a rapid decrease in blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Signs of hypoglycemia include: weakness, vomiting, tremors, seizures, lack of coordination, and coma. Severe cases may cause seizures and liver failure. Fast, aggressive treatment by a veterinarian is important.
There are so many sugar substitutes so always check ingredients.
9. Last but not least, Marijuana (pot, ganja, weed, any product containing THC)
The ingestion of marijuana can come from many different forms. Edibles, liquids, marijuana in form or second hand smoke can cause a toxic response in dogs.
Signs of toxicity can be seen 5 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion or exposure and can last 30 minutes to several days depending on quantity ingested and the size of your dog.
Symptoms include: sedation, dilated pupils, difficulty walking, sedation or stupor. It can be very difficult to get an accurate history from an owner when a pet is brought to the clinic showing these symptoms because owners are afraid of legal action.
Understand… veterinarians and technicians could care less about your weed habits! We just need to know if it was a possibility that marijuana was ingested. And guess what? We can smell it on your dog and in their mouth!
As marijuana becomes legalized in more and more states this problem will continue to drastically increase. Always consult your veterinarian.
(Questions about whether foods not on this list are safe for your dog to eat? Check out our ever-growing FAQ section. And if you don’t find the answer there, let us know in the comment section below.)