Dogs love to beg for table scraps, but some human foods could be dangerous or even poisonous for dogs. So, handing over whatever foods are leftover on your plate after a meal is not a smart choice. Not only are human foods fattening for dogs, but many of them just aren’t good for them. Most human foods are covered with sugar, salt, or spice, which might sound tasty to us, but it’s bad news for our dogs. So, please think twice before serving your dog a human snack.
There are many human foods that are unhealthy for dogs, but only a few are considered poisonous. The following nine foods should be avoided at all costs because they can cause more serious and potentially fatal conditions for our furry friends.
#1 – Chocolate
By now, nearly every human knows that chocolate is toxic for dogs. That’s because chocolate and cocoa have theobromine in them, which can negatively affect a dog’s heart, lungs, kidney, and central nervous system. Chocolate also has caffeine in it, which can have similar affects. Dark chocolate causes significantly more harm than any other types of chocolate. If your dog consumes a large serving of chocolate, they could become hyper and experience health concerns like tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rates, and comas. Even less toxic chocolates like white chocolate can still cause harm due to the high amounts of sugar, fat, and acidity.
#2 – Caffeine
Caffeinated items affect dogs very similarly to chocolate. They could harm a dog’s heart, lungs, kidneys, and nervous system. Anything with caffeine in it could harm your dog, such as coffee beans, coffee, caffeine pills, tea, and of course, chocolate. Humans might rely on coffee to keep them awake, but if a dog takes a sip, they could experience vomiting, hyperactivity, restlessness, and weakness. The negative effects of caffeine are much more noticeable on dogs that it is for humans.
#3 – Grapes and Raisins
Most people consider fruits healthy, and luckily, most fruits are beneficial for dogs. However, there will always be some exceptions. One of those exceptions is grapes, which are one of the foods poisonous to dogs. It’s unclear what exactly is toxic about grapes for dogs, but they’ve been known to cause kidney failure. If your dog eats too many grapes, you might notice vomiting, diarrhea, a loss of appetite, lack of urination, or weakness. These kidney problems could be potentially fatal if not treated in a timely manner.
#4 – Onions and Garlic
Onions, chives, and garlic are often used to enhance human foods, but dogs don’t need those extra flavors. It doesn’t matter if they’re cooked, raw, powdered, or dehydrated because all onions are hazardous to your pup. Onions can kill a dog’s red blood cells, which leads to anemia. Eating too many onions or onion-based seasonings could cause poisoning as well. Weakness, vomiting, breathing problems, diarrhea, pale gums, and rapid heart rates are all signs that your dog has had too many onions.
#5 – Xylitol
To most people, xylitol sounds like an obscure food in an unfamiliar language. Yet, it’s actually found in many of the foods you eat. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that’s commonly used in candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and many other foods. When dogs eat it, it stimulates their pancreas, which can cause low blood sugar. Xylitol can also cause extreme liver damage for canines. Your dog could collapse, experience weakness, or have seizures after consuming xylitol. The worst part is that some dog parents could accidentally serve this food to dogs without even knowing it. So, be sure to check the label on your human foods before even thinking about giving them to your dog.
#6 – Alcohol
Alcohol isn’t the best drink for humans to consume, but it’s even more harmful for dogs. In fact, it takes significantly less alcohol to harm a dog than a human. Any alcohol can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems, coordination problems, weakness, depression, comas, and in extreme cases, death. Alcohol affects smaller dogs much more easily than larger dogs, but any alcohol consumption for dogs requires immediate medical attention. If you’re dying to grab a drink with your pup, then there are plenty of dog-friendly beer options instead, which are usually just bone broth made to look like beer.
#7 – Macadamia Nuts
Most nuts are safe for dogs to eat, but they’re never the healthiest choice. The main exception to that is macadamia nuts, which are never okay to feed to your dog. They’re not as fatal as the other foods on this list, but they are toxic for dogs and can cause extreme illness. Like grapes, it’s unclear what about them is so harmful for dogs. However, if your dog eats too many, you will soon notice symptoms like vomiting, increased heart rate, weakness, depression, muscle stiffness, or tremors.
#8 – Avocado
While avocados have been known to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy, they also have some toxic properties in them. They contain persin, which could cause severe vomiting and diarrhea, along with cardiovascular damage for some animals. Persin is primarily found in the leaves, seeds, and skin of the fruits, but the inside still contains small amounts. Your dog likely won’t be harmed by eating only the fleshy part of the fruit, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Plus, if you don’t remove the seed, it could cause a deadly blockage for your dog, which is true for many fruit seeds, pits, and stems.
#9 – Salt
Salt is one of the toxic foods that humans mistakenly give their dogs the most. There’s some salt on most of the foods we eat, so if you want to give human foods to your dog, you’ll need to make sure that they’re plain without salt or seasoning. Even small amounts of salty foods can cause excessive thirst or dehydration for your dog. If they eat too much salt at once, they could even experience tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, elevated body temperatures, and seizures. In extreme cases, it could lead to death if not treated early on.
These nine foods are just some of the most poisonous human foods to dogs. However, there are still many other foods that you should avoid. For example, dairy is difficult for some dogs to tolerate and items like bones and peach pits could cause choking hazards. So, instead of handing over a whole plate of table scraps, make sure you do your research first. The last thing you’d want is for your dog to get extremely ill because you accidentally fed them something bad. It can be difficult to resist adorable begging, but sometimes it’s for the best.