It's hard to resist your pooch's big pleading eyes when they beg for a snack or morsel from your dinner plate, but take heed: Man’s best friend should not share your meal plan. Humans can easily digest food that would make your puppy sick. And in worst-case scenarios, the wrong food can be fatal to your tail-wagging friend. Beware of these eight treats never to feed your dog.
Yes, you've probably heard this one before. Chocolate is bad for dogs. The cacao plant (from which chocolate is made) contains the alkaloid theobromine. This bitter organic compound is harmless to humans but can cause vomiting, seizures and even death in dogs. You should never give your dog a piece of chocolate — no matter how much they beg.
Potato chips, salty pretzels and other salt-laden nibbles can cause sodium ion poisoning in your pooch. Some of the symptoms of sodium ion poisoning include seizures, excessive urination, a rise in body temperature and diarrhea. No matter how much your dog salivates when you pop open a can of Pringles or bag of popcorn, resist the urge to share salty snacks with your couch companion.
Milk and cheese can be hit and miss with canines. Many dogs — like their human counterparts — are lactose intolerant. They can suffer from the same symptoms people do (big intestinal problems) when they consume too much dairy. If your dog seems fine after a bit of milk or cheese, your pup is probably safe when it comes to these foods. Still, keep the dairy-based treats to a minimum — better to err on the side of caution here.
Grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts
Some foods just don't agree with your dog's digestive system, and scientists aren't exactly sure why. Grapes and raisins (and trail mixes with these items tossed in) can harm your pet’s kidney, leading to vomiting and possibly fatal renal failure. Macadamia nuts make your pup extremely weak and sick, inducing vomiting, chills and seizures. So save the grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts for yourself.
Feeding your dog the right food
Finding the right dog food can be tough. We’re here to make it easier. Read up-to-date customer reviews and expert opinions on our dog food guide, or explore our top three picks below.
Garlic, leeks, shallots and onions
Garlic, leeks, shallots and onions are part of the genus Allium, which, when raw and fed to dogs, can harm their red blood cells. Garlic and onions, when consumed in large quantities, can cause anemic reactions (fatigue, loss of appetite) in your pooch, which is not what any responsible animal owner wants.
Bacon and avocados (fatty foods)
Mmmm ... bacon. Fatty foods, like breakfast favorite bacon, have an aromatic allure but can cause pancreatitis in your fluffy pal. Avocados also contain a lot of fat that isn't good for your dog. Even worse, the pit — if swallowed — can lead to a dangerous blockage in your pet's digestive tract.
Sugar-free sweets like candy and gum often contain the sugar substitute xylitol. Too much xylitol messes with your dog’s liver and pancreas, leading to an insulin dump from the pancreas. This excessive insulin can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and create serious health consequences. You might be on a diet, but keep those sugar-free sweets away from Fido.
Raw meat and eggs
Raw and uncooked foods like meat and eggs have the potential to give humans and dogs food poisoning. If you don't want to see your pet suffer through twin eruptions of vomiting and diarrhea, refrain from slipping raw meat or uncooked eggs to your dog while you're cooking and make sure these foods are never left where your dog can reach.
These eye-opening examples should make you more cautious about the human food you feed your dog. The wrong treat, while well-intentioned, can lead to serious canine health issues. Take time to research the best dog foods and treats available for your pet to ensure your furry companion enjoys a healthy diet and happy life.