Dogs are known to be omnivores, and they can eat a variety of foods. However, not all human food is safe for dogs.
There are certain types of food that should never be given to dogs, as they can cause serious health issues such as digestive problems, allergies or even poisoning. It is important to know what foods are safe and which ones should not be given to your pet.
In this post, we will go over some of the most common foods that should not be fed to dogs. Of course, knowing what not to feed your pet can help you keep them safe and healthy.
Human Foods Not to Use as Dog Food
Onions, Garlic And Chives
Onions, garlic and chives contain a compound called thiosulphate which can cause anaemia in dogs if they consume it. While it is among the common human foods, this compound can kill the dog’s red blood cells in the body and lead to anaemia.
All types of onions, including green onions, scallions and chives are not safe for dogs.
In fact, eating this set of food can even be poisonous to dogs and can cause severe side effects like vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, lethargy and a loss of appetite.
Do not feed your dog onions or any food containing these ingredients.
You should never let your dog eat chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are toxic to dogs.
Ingesting chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, excessive thirst, seizures and even death in severe cases. Do not feed your dog any kind of chocolate, whether unsweetened, or dark chocolate, considering they are not safe for dogs.
Chocolate goes in handy with caffeine, both of which are toxic for canines.
Hence, it is never advisable to give chocolates to your pet as dog food. Ensure that your dog never has access to any human foods like chocolate, such as dark or unsweetened.
Macadamia nuts are high in fat and can be poisonous to dogs. Dogs that have eaten macadamia nuts have been known to experience vomiting, lethargy, muscle weakness, and elevated body temperatures.
So dogs should never eat macadamia nuts with the presumbtion are equipping them with fat for energy. If your dog has eaten any macadamia nuts, contact a veterinarian or follow the emergency tips to save it from deteriorating further.
Experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) say that in most cases, the negative effects of macadamia nuts are mild.
If your dog eats them, you can manage them from home with a little guidance from a veterinary professional.
Corn On The Cob
Do not feed your dog corn on the cob, as it can be a choking hazard and may get stuck in their oesophagus or intestines.
Corn is also difficult for dogs to digest, so if eaten, it could cause digestive upset. Although corn husks are non-toxic, they should still be avoided as they can cause blockages in the dog’s digestive system.
Avocado flesh’s high-fat content can lead to gastrointestinal upset and pancreatitis in dogs if they eat too much. And because avocado has calories in plenty, it can also lead to weight gain.
Besides, the stone at the centre of the fruit may cause choking and intestinal obstruction.
Your dog should not feed on avocado also, as it contains a toxin called persin, which is toxic to dogs. If ingested in high amounts, it can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
It’s best to keep your dog away from any avocado skins or seeds you may come across while cooking.
Artificial Sweetener (Xylitol)
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many sugar-free foods and products. It can be extremely toxic to dogs. Should your puppy eat xylitol, it will cause a quick drop in the dog’s blood sugar levels, seizures, liver failure, and death, which is why it is not safe for dogs.
Unsalted peanut butter with no added sugar or sweeteners is safe for dogs to eat in moderation.
Alcohol should never be given to your dog in any form. It can be dangerous to your dog’s health and even fatal in large doses.
Ingesting alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma and even death. Alcohol has the same effects on dogs as it does on humans.
If your dog is small, the effects of alcohol poisoning can be even more severe.
Some dog owners insist on feeding their dogs human foods such as raw eggs, but this food is not suitable for canine consumption. Feeding your dog raw eggs may contain bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli, which can cause food poisoning in dogs.
Even if your dog does not get sick from the bacteria, raw egg whites contain an enzyme called avidin, which binds to biotin and prevents its absorption.
Biotin is an important essential vitamin necessary for good health, so dogs should not be fed raw eggs.
Grapes And Raisins
Grapes and raisins have been known to cause rapid kidney failure in dogs. Apparently, it’s not clear why grapes and raisins are toxic to some breeds of dogs but not others. It is best to avoid feeding them at all, or risk making your dog sick.
Keep your dog away from grapes or raisins that may find their way into the trash or onto the counter.
Persimmons, Peaches, And Plums
These fruits contain a substance called person, which is toxic to dogs. Feeding your pet these fruits can cause them to experience vomiting and diarrhoea.
If they ingest enough of the fruit, it could even lead to more serious complications such as respiratory distress.
Seeds from persimmons, peaches, and plums can be particularly dangerous for animals as the cyanide contained inside them is toxic.
Sugary Foods And Drinks
A lot of sugar can be bad for dogs, as too much can lead to obesity and upset stomachs. Foods such as candy, chocolate, cakes, and cookies should never be fed to a dog.
You probably have come across owners letting their dogs eat sugary drinks like soda as an occasional treat. This is a choking hazard and can cause severe health effects. Even natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup should not be given in large quantities due to their high sugar content.
Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your dog’s digestive system, which can be painful and even lead to a twisted stomach or intestinal rupture.
The same way bread dough rises is the same way raw yeast dough can expand in your dog’s stomach. This leads to serious and sometimes fatal health complications.
Any spoiled food should not be fed to your dog, as it may contain bacteria that could make them ill. Spoiled food can also cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
Do not hesitate to throw away spoiled food for the purpose of putting it to use as dog food. Instead, you will hurt your dog if you give spoiled food to them.
If you have to stock your food, do so that is enough so that you don’t drag your dog to eat human foods whenever they go bad.
Feeding your dog salty snacks may be a good gesture, however, it can be dangerous for their health. Too much salt can lead to excessive thirst, urination and electrolyte imbalances which could possibly lead to sodium ion poisoning.
Examples of salty foods include chips, pretzels and popcorn.
Starchy Foods & Breads
Large amounts of starchy foods like bread, pasta, crackers and sweet potatoes may cause your dog to become overweight or obese. Most dogs love sweet potatoes but it is safe to eat in moderate amounts.
If your dog eats, starchy foods, it can also be difficult to digest, leading to intestinal discomfort and vomiting.
Coconut milk or oil is a popular healthy fat for humans, but it’s not a safe option for dogs.
It can lead to digestive problems and dehydration in some dogs, even when given in very small amounts. Therefore, coconut oil should not be used as dog food.
Milk And Dairy
Milk sounds ironic, but the truth is that it’s not considered a healthy option for dogs. Some dogs are lactose intolerant, and they cannot eat dairy products. They cause digestive distress, stomach pain and diarrhoea in many dogs.
Plus, some dairy products are specifically designed for canine consumption, but they should be used only after consulting a vet.
Gum, or any other type of candy, is a big no-no when it comes to feeding your dog. It contains an artificial sweetener that can be highly toxic and even deadly if ingested by dogs.
In addition to potential health problems, gum may also cause digestive issues due to its chewy nature.
Lemon or Limes
Lemon and limes may be helpful in seasoning foods for humans, but they can cause serious digestive distress for your dog.
The citric acid in these fruits can lead to an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhoea. They also have high acidity levels that can destroy the enamel on your dog’s teeth.
Mushrooms can be poisonous to your dogs due to their high content of toxins. If ingested, these toxins can damage the liver, causing severe organ damage.
It’s best to keep mushrooms away from your pet altogether.
Spiced foods can be a tasty treat for human foods, but they can cause gastrointestinal issues and even organ damage in dogs.
Many spices, such as garlic, onion, and chives, are toxic to dogs if ingested in large amounts. To keep your pet safe, avoid feeding them any food that contains spices.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Bad Food
There are steps you can take if you think your dog has eaten human foods bad for their health.
- Observe any signs of illness or distress.
Look for any changes in your dog’s behaviour, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, or loss of appetite. This step is often the first indication that something is wrong with your dog.
If you notice any of these symptoms, take action on the emergency tips to salvage the situation.
- Feed them a balanced diet
If your dog has ingested bad food, give them a balanced diet of white rice, cooked chicken, plain turkey and boiled potatoes. This will help to settle their upset stomach until the food passes through their system.
A balanced diet also neutralises the toxicity just incase the dog had fed on toxic food.
- Induce vomiting
You can induce vomiting if the food your dog has ingested is likely to be toxic. For example, if they have eaten chocolate, onions, garlic, or xylitol. This can help to prevent any serious illness or harm.
Be careful not to cause more harm, as this may be a very delicate procedure
- Visit a vet
Take your dog to the vet if you think something is off or if they are exhibiting any of these signs.
Your vet will be able to evaluate your pet and determine if there is a problem and what kind of treatment may be necessary. This is the last line of defence when it comes to bad food.
What Dog Breeds Are At Risk Eating Bad Food
All breeds are at risk of experiencing a negative reaction if they eat bad food. The severity and effects of the reaction vary by breed; however, some breeds tend to be more sensitive than others when it comes to diet-related health issues.
Smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas, Toy Poodles, Shih Tzus, and Maltese are more susceptible to nutritional deficiencies and poor digestion, as well as food allergic reactions.
Large breeds such as Great Danes, Mastiffs, and St. Bernards may be more prone to obesity if their diets are not carefully monitored.
In addition to size differences between breeds, some breeds have certain genetic predispositions that put them at greater risk when it comes to diet-related health issues.
For example, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can develop a deadly heart condition known as Mitral Valve Disease if they consume too much fat or cholesterol in their diets.
Other breeds, like Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers, have an increased sensitivity to grain-based foods that may cause digestive upset.
Overall, when choosing a food for your dog, it is important to research the specific needs of your breed and select a diet that meets those needs while avoiding any potential triggers or allergens.
It is also important to monitor portion sizes of your dog’s diet, as overfeeding can lead to health issues such as obesity or diabetes.
Dog Poison Emergency Tips
Here are some of the emergency tips in case your dog poisons itself by eating human foods it should not:
- Call your vet or animal poison control centre immediately. Have the package of the food on hand and be ready to give a full description of the dog’s symptoms and when they began.
- Do not try to make your pet vomit against professional opinion. Each situation is unique; some toxins may be very dangerous in vomited form and should not be induced.
- If your pet is having seizures, difficulty breathing or losing consciousness, take them to the vet immediately.
- If instructed by a veterinarian, administer activated charcoal to absorb toxins in the stomach. Follow dosage instructions closely as giving too much can cause further health problems.
- Do not give your pet any medications or food unless instructed by a professional.
What, Then, Do Dogs Eat?
Other than harmful human foods dogs cannot eat, there other human foods that are safe and provide health benefits.
Rice, oatmeal and other grains are essential sources of carbohydrates to use as dog’s regular food. Look for whole-grain varieties such as brown rice or steel-cut oats.
On top of that, offer a variety of vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, green beans, bell peppers and cucumber. Spinach boosts your dog’s immune system and energy levels.
Green beans are a source of dietary fibre and are high in protein, minerals and vitamins. Hence, to prepare green beans, you need to steam, boil, grill or roast.
Dogs can safely eat fruits, although in moderation. Some of the fruits that are okay for dogs to eat include apples, blueberries, melons and bananas.
Apples are a healthy snack your dog eats because they are high in vitamin C and A, they are low in calories and contain lots of fiber.
Another human food safe for dogs and a healthy treat is fish. After all, veterinarians often recommend lean proteins for your dog.
Choose fish such as tuna or salmon, eggs, skinless chicken breasts and turkey—all of which are low in fat for dogs to eat. However, be careful while feeding because salmon contain a parasite that is known to cause salmon poisoning disease.
Lean beef cuts like sirloin and ground beef can also provide your pup with protein. When choosing treats, try air-popped popcorn or dehydrated raw potatoes.
Cooked eggs and pork
Cooked pork or eggs are a great source of protein in dog foods, just as in human food. The different styles for dogs to eat are boiled, scrambled, or omelette.
Give your dog cheese as an occasional treat. As long as they are cooked Cheeses —cottage cheese and hard cheeses in moderation you dog is safe.
Low-fat cheese are best, so dogs eat it. Cheese makes a fantastic treat for your dog as long as it is not lactose intolerant.
Remember, when selecting food for dogs to eat, read labels carefully and look out for added preservatives and fillers that can have a negative impact on his health.
Raw meat is perfectly safe for dogs because of stomach acids. It means they are stronger than humans.
However, dogs living on raw meat, though, are more likely to have nutritional deficiencies, so a raw diet is probably not a good idea in the long run.
Bottom Line: Check Your Dog’s Diet
Dogs are food-motivated creatures that will pretty much eat anything they can get their paws on. However, there are many human foods that dogs should not eat because they can be toxic.
If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not your dog can eat human food, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and not give it to them.
The list of foods above is by no means exhaustive of all the foods, but it covers some of the more common human food that many pet owners need to be aware of.
If you feel your doggie may have eaten something he shouldn’t have, talk to your veterinarian ASAP. (Find a Veterinarian in your state)