Foods Dogs Should Not Eat – A Complete List
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Foods Dogs Should Not Eat – A Complete List

I get many requests asking to post a list of foods dogs should not eat (when preparing homemade dog food). Some foods commonly used may be harmful or even toxic to dogs and you should therefore, be very careful in everything that your dog instinctively eats. Many foods that we eat and are good for us, or at least do not harm us, but in some cases may be poisonous for dogs.

Grapes and raisins: can cause serious kidney problems but given the lack of knowledge on the harmful effects I strongly discourage dogs from eating them. According to some studies, quantities between 250 and 900 grams can be lethal.

Candies: sweeteners such as xylitol which is is used as a food additive in chewing gum is toxic for dogs. This substance, which is harmless to humans, is toxic for dogs because if eaten in large quantities may cause glucose levels in the blood to drop causing a depression of the central nervous system, with loss of coordination and spasms. Most candies instead often contain lactose, which is hard to digest for dogs.

Onions: are very appreciated by dogs, but they are very harmful for them, almost poisonous if eaten in large quantities. They contain a compound (n-propyl disulfide) which acts on red blood cells, causing them to become weak which may lead to their breakage. Dogs do not have the necessary enzymes for digesting this compound and eating onions can cause hemolytic anemia, which can sometimes be fatal. I would recommend not to feed onions to dogs who are anemic.

Foods dogs should not eat

Garlic: (raw, cooked, or powder) is more toxic than onion and it can affect your dog’s ability to carry oxygen to red blood cells. On the other hand garlic is very good from a holistic standpoint so I would suggest to give your dogs the following quantities which supply all healthy nutriments but are not harmful:

• up to 10 lbs – 1/2 a clover

• from 10 lbs to 40 lbs. – 1 clover

• from 40 lbs to 70 lbs. – 2 clovers

• over 70 lbs. – 3 clovers

Macadamia Nuts: even though their taste is appealing for dogs, they are harmful for them. Symptoms of poisoning include: weakness, especially in the rear limbs, depression, vomiting, tremors, fever, abdominal pain, and neurological problems (such as temporary paralysis and inability to stand). They an be toxic even at low doses (4-5 nuts for a 20 lbs. dog)

Chocolate is probably the most dangerous food for dogs because it contains theobromine, a substance which is not metabolized by dogs and accumulates in the blood causing serious systemic effects and may sometimes be lethal. The symptoms of intoxication, which occur within a few hours of ingestion are vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, tremors, loss of consciousness, coma and death in severe cases. 100 mg of theobromine, found in 1 ounce of dark chocolate are enough to kill a 10 lbs. poodle.

Sausages: (including ham, and salted and dried products) should not be fed to dogs because of the high levels of salt and fat. In some rare cases they can also be a source of toxoplasmosis infestation.

Caffeine can lead to serious problems in dogs , because it irritates the dog’s gastrointestinal tract can cause changes in heart beat and, in severe cases, can lead to strokes.

Expired or rotten food : These foods can cause problems to the dog’s gastrointestinal tract which could result in vomiting and diarrhea.

Salt: excess salt is not good for animals, just as it no not good for humans especially dog’s suffering from cardiovascular disease. In this case, lower salt consumption helps to decrease the blood’s volume, which strains the heart less. Very salty foods may pose a danger to the animal if it has no water available. Excessive amounts of salt can trigger epileptic attacks which may lead to coma and death.

Green tomatoes: the toxicity level of these plants depends mainly on the soil’s composition, the temperature and the humidity level in which they grew up. Tomatoes contain a toxin called solanine that dogs, unlike humans, do not metabolize . These substances can create problems in the digestive system, tachycardia, tremors, and anxiety.

Avocado: The leaves, the fruit and the seeds of this plant contain a toxic principle called Persin which is toxic for dogs.

Alcohol: contained in beverages can intoxicate dogs, since they do not have the right enzymes to metabolize it, causing vomit, diarrhea, loss of mobility, disorders of the central nervous system, tremors, breathing difficulties, coma and metabolic imbalances. Warning: large amounts of alcohol can cause respiratory collapse and eventually lead to death.

Sugar: intake is important as a readily available energy source, and as a regulator of the bacterial flora. Dogs, however, do not assimilate all the sugars with ease. Dogs have no problems assimilating glucose and sucrose (common sugar), but have difficulties digesting lactose (often present in snacks and cookies) . The excessive intake of sugars can cause the onset of certain diseases such as diabetes mellitus.

Fats: are essential to the body but in dogs should not exceed 10% of their diet; excesses fats only lead to obesity and predispose the animal to a number of diseases (eg, pancreatitis), and dog arthritis.


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