Have you ever come across a situation where you had to rush your dog to vet because they couldn’t digest the food?

It is difficult as a dog owner when your dog’s try to get an extra bite of everything and anything that resembles food. Dogs explore with their mouth. So, it can be a problem if they happen to eat something that can be dangerous to their health. Certain foods that are perfectly healthy for humans can be toxic to your dog’s health. You can prepare healthy and balanced diet using human food. However, you should make sure that you avoid feeding these foods and safely tuck them away where your dog cannot reach.

Chocolate and Caffeine

Most dog owners may be known to the fact that chocolate and caffeine are a definite “no- no” for dogs. Chocolate and caffeine contain a chemical called theobromine, which isn’t harmful to humans. But, if eaten by a dog it can adversely affect their heart, lungs, kidney and central nervous system. Different types of chocolate contain varying degrees of theobromine. Dark chocolate is dangerous than white chocolate because it contains a higher level of theobromine.

Treatment: Immediately seek for the vet. Induce vomiting if suggested by the vet. Give activated charcoal and aggressive supportive care with fluid therapy and medications as a last-ditch effort.

Macadamia Nuts

According to ASPCA, macadamia nuts are dangerous for dogs. The specific toxin found in macadamia nut is not known, but just six raw or roasted macadamias can be toxic for dogs. It can cause adverse effects such as vomiting, weakness, depression, high temperature and other severe illness among dogs. The signs usually appear within 6-24 hours of ingestion.

Treatment: Most symptomatic dogs recover within 24-48 hours without any specific treatment. However, severe cases will require supportive care and treatment from vet through fluids, analgesics or antipyretics.

Onion, Garlic & Leeks

Whether they are raw or cooked, these foods can be harmful to dogs if ingested enough. These foods contain a substance called Organon sulfides. This can cause gastrointestinal irritation and damage of red blood cell, ultimately lead to anemia. The symptoms may take 5-6 days to appear, but signs such as pale gums, rapid heart rate, red-colored urine, weakness, and lethargy are seen if these foods are consumed.

Treatment: Contact your vet if you identify ingestion of onion, garlic or leeks by your dog. Administration of fluids, activated charcoal or induced vomiting are usually used to remove the toxins. In severe cases, blood transfusion and oxygen therapy may be required.  

Raisins and Grapes

Raisins and Grapes can cause irreversible damage to the kidney, even lead to death in some dogs. While other dogs can consume large amount without any issue. The toxic substance residing in raisins and grapes is yet unknown and does not seem to be dose dependent. But, it’s best to avoid giving them to dogs.  The sign typically occurs within 24 hours of consumption. The symptoms can be vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, dehydration, loss of appetite and abdominal pain.

Treatment: Your vet may induce vomiting or administer activated charcoal to clear away the toxins from the intestines. Also, the vet will test kidney enzymes for any damage. In a severe case, where test indicates kidney damage, aggressive supportive care- particularly fluid therapy and medication will be provided to help with nausea and acute kidney damage.

Alcohol

Alcohol has the same effect on your dog’s liver and brain as it does to a human’s. But, dogs are more sensitive to its effect and a small amount of alcohol can do a lot of damage. Alcohol contains ethanol, a toxic compound which causes vomiting, depression, diarrhea, tremors, central nervous system, respiratory damage, coma and even death.

Treatment: Ethanol is rapidly absorbed into the system, so you need to seek immediate medical attention for your dog. Induced vomiting does not usually help to remove the toxins. Aggressive supportive care with fluid therapy and medication is required.

Fruit Seeds and Pits

The seeds and pits of fruit such as apple, plum, peach, cherry can cause a problem in a dog’s small intestine. They contain a natural chemical that releases cyanide when digested. Cyanide is poisonous for both humans and dogs. However, humans are aware of it, but dogs are not. The signs of cyanide poisoning are vomiting, heavy breathing, skin irritation, cardiac arrhythmias, and coma.

Treatment: In few cases the antidotes are available. In severe cases, oxygen therapy, fluid therapy, and supportive care should be provided.

Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in gum, candy, toothpaste and baked goods. In dogs, it stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, resulting in low blood sugar, which can lead to liver failure. The sign usually occurs within 30-60 minutes of consumption. It causes vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, collapse and seizure.

Treatment: Induce vomiting or perform gastric lavage on your dog to remove the toxins. You need to treat your dog with dextrose and monitor them closely for 1-2 days.