It’s hard to avoid giving your dog your food, especially when they give you those cute, infamous puppy eyes! But, some snacks that we humans can enjoy without a worry can be very toxic to dogs, so it’s worth knowing the major ones to avoid letting near your doggo!
If you think your dog has had any one of these foods, we recommend contacting your vet.
Chocolate, in the same way that caffeine does, has a stimulating ingredient called Theobromine, which is toxic for dogs to consume. It’s found in all chocolate: milk, white and dark chocolate, with the highest dosage being in dark.
After digesting, the effects of chocolate can show from 4 to 24 hours in your dog, and can have detrimental effects on the nervous system, kidneys, heart and gut. The symptoms to look for include diarrhoea, vomiting, restlessness, abnormal heart rate, frequent urination and seizures.
If you notice your dog showing any of these symptoms after they have eaten chocolate, you need to take action immediately.
Grapes and raisins are known to have detrimental effects on your dog’s kidneys, even causing kidney failure. This includes foods like mince pies, fruit cake and hot cross buns. Unfortunately, there’s no clear link between the size of your pup and the amount eaten when determining the seriousness of grape poisoning in doggos. This means it’s best to keep them out of reach of your dog completely.
If you’re concerned your dog has consumed grapes, sultanas and raisins, make sure to contact your vet pronto.
These are more dangerous for cats to eat than dogs, but can still be toxic if large amounts are consumed by your pooch, whether in powder, cooked or raw form.
Onions contain a substance called thiosulfate, which dogs don’t have the ability to digest. You can imagine how uncomfortable their stomachs will feel!
When dogs consume onions or garlic, the food might kill a large number of red blood cells, which can lead to anaemia. If your dog eats a substantial amount, signs you will need to look out for are weakness, vomiting or breathing problems. At worst, consuming large amounts of onion can cause red blood cell damage in your dog, but gastrointestinal irritation is more likely.
If your pooch has consumed a sizeable amount of onions, garlic or chives, consult their veterinarian as soon as possible, then they can carry out any necessary procedures
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in a lot of human food products. If a dog were consume xylitol it can even have deadly effects, as well as a rapid decline in blood sugar and permanent liver damage. It can also cause an increase in insulin, resulting in hypoglycaemia, symptoms being lethargy, vomiting and loss of coordination. The smaller your dog, the less xylitol it needs to consume in order for it to have dangerous implications.
You need to act fast if your dog has digested xylitol, as it can take effect as quickly as 30 minutes after consumption. Symptoms will continue to show up to 12 hours after. Your veterinarian will diagnose the seriousness of it, but treatment will probably require hospitalisation.
If your dog has consumed large amounts of salt it can result in sodium ion poisoning. Due to the dehydrating effects of salt, consumption of a salty snack can cause excessive thirst and urination. In severe cases, symptoms can additionally include vomiting, diarrhoea and a high temperature. It can even cause fatality in extreme cases.
The first thing to do if you know your dog has eaten a salty food is to give them a large bowl of water. Rehydrating them is the first step towards avoiding salt poisoning. As soon as you’ve done that, call the vet. In some circumstances hospitalisation may be necessary for treatment, but the veterinarian can help diagnose how serious the situation is.
For a handy list of all foods that are toxic for dogs, we’ve put together a table of all known foods that they can't eat: