From Grapes to Avocados: 10 Human Foods Dogs Can’t Eat | And they call it puppy love

A human’s digestive system is very different from a dog’s: they have much shorter intestines, and many of the foods we eat can be too fatty, rich, or toxic for dogs. The wrong foods can cause diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration and, in some severe cases, organ failure, pancreatitis and even death.

It is always kinder and safer to feed dogs food designed for them. Pet food manufacturer Royal Canin, for example, tailors recipes, kibble shape, and serving size to specific breeds, sizes, and ages of dogs, all of which are designed by qualified and certified pet nutritionists. board.

Here are 10 seemingly innocuous foods that can cause a whole host of problems for your dog.

corn on the cob
“Dogs don’t have digestive enzymes in their mouths like we do, so they don’t need to chew to start the chemical digestion process; this means they can swallow something whole or barely chewed, which can be dangerous,” says Clare Hemmings, Royal Canin’s director of scientific communications. “It is not the corn itself that is dangerous for dogs, but ingesting a cob can cause a blockage, which can lead to devastating effects on the digestive system, such as intestinal ruptures. I came across a dog that repeatedly came in for surgeries to remove an ear from its intestinal tract, which caused scar tissue in the intestines.”

Symptoms of intestinal obstruction can include vomiting, lack of appetite, and collapse.

“The thing about chocolate is that your dog can’t metabolize the stimulants caffeine and theobromine naturally found in cocoa, and it’s often around festive periods like Christmas and Easter that the risk of dogs eating chocolate increases. says Hemmings. “If your dog consumes chocolate, it could lead to dehydration, diarrhea and vomiting. Dark chocolate has the highest theobromine content and can cause organ failure.” Hemmings is also wary of “dog chocolate” made from carob, a powder extracted from the pods of a carob tree, native to the Mediterranean. Although it does not contain caffeine or theobromine, and therefore is not toxic to dogs, “it can give dogs a taste for chocolate and also confuse dog owners into thinking that regular chocolate is not harmful.”

“Sugar-free and diet products often contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is almost as sweet as sugar but much lower in calories. Eating it is dangerous for dogs, as it can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar levels (called hypoglycemia) due to the release of insulin. The symptoms are severe and include weakness, seizures, convulsions and even death,” says Hemmings.

grapes and raisins
Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs, and even small amounts can cause serious problems. “No one knows the precise reason why they are so dangerous to dogs, and some dogs are more sensitive than others, which means that a very small amount can cause rapid kidney failure and death within days. It’s just as dangerous for dogs to eat cooked raisins, in foods like fruit pies or mince pies, as it is raw,” says Hemmings. “Mycotoxins are the suspected cause, but this has not been confirmed. Signs that your dog has eaten grapes or raisins are vomiting, tremors, lethargy, dehydration, and even collapse.”

Avocados should be avoided as they contain the persin toxin. Photo: Shikhar Bhattarai/Stocksy United

Alliums (onions)
Perhaps the strongest argument for not giving dogs human food is the ubiquity of alliums. All types of onions, including scallions, chives, garlic, leeks, and shallots, are dangerous for dogs. “Alliums contain a toxic sulfur compound called n-propyl disulfide, which can damage your dog’s red blood cells,” says Hemmings. “This makes them less effective at moving oxygen around the body, which can cause anemia and weakness. Signs of illness are not always immediately apparent and can occur up to a few days or even a week later. It’s cumulative, so one piece is unlikely to do any harm, but over time, many small pieces, fed regularly, could affect the dog’s heart rate, which is potentially serious.”

“Avocados contain the toxin persin, which can cause fluid to build up in your dog’s lungs, leading to shortness of breath, lack of oxygen, and even death,” Hemmings says. “If you are making avocado and some falls on the floor, your dog would be fine eating it; he would have to be consuming a lot over a period of time for it to be a problem, since the flesh of the avocado contains very low levels of persin. However, there is no benefit and there is potential for harm, plus avocados are high in calories so best avoided.”

yeast dough
“Yeast dough eaten raw can rise and ferment in your dog’s stomach. Fermentation can cause your dog’s stomach to stretch to the point of pain and bloating; it could cause a blockage in your intestines and release toxic levels of ethanol into your bloodstream, causing alcohol poisoning,” says Hemmings.

Like the caffeine in chocolate, dogs cannot metabolize alcohol, so any drink, food, or even household products with different forms of alcohol are not only extremely harmful to health, but can also be toxic. “Alcohol can cause dangerously low body temperature, hyperventilation and disorientation in dogs and, in extreme cases, can lead to organ failure. It’s never OK to give dogs alcohol,” Hemmings says.

“Dogs cannot eat macadamia nuts, as they contain a toxin that can cause fever, muscle weakness, vomiting and tremors. Almonds are not toxic, but they can block the esophagus,” says Hemmings. Salted almonds or peanuts could increase water retention, which can be serious for dogs prone to heart disease. It’s best to avoid all nuts, as some contain natural toxins called juglones, and all are high in calories and too fatty for dogs, especially small breeds.

moldy food
This is arguably one that many dog ​​owners don’t know about. “Moldy food can contain mycotoxins that could make your dog seriously ill. There was a kid once who left a sandwich in his lunch box and forgot about it – the dog got into his bag and ate it, and sadly passed away a few days later,” says Hemmings.

The symptoms of mycotoxin poisoning are agitation, fever, vomiting, tremors, convulsions and even death.

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