|Photo Source: www.entirelypets.com/toxicfoods|
As the holidays get closer I thought it would be a good idea for all of us to brush up on what foods can be toxic to our beloved pets. Most of us seasoned pet owners are aware of some basic foods that are harmful to our pets. However, the lists are growing as more people are feeding their dogs homemade foods due to pet food contamination, pesticides, antibiotics in meats, etc. Some have decided to go organic or just use food from their kitchen so they know what their pooch is eating.
It is also very tempting to want to slip a "little of this" or "a little of that" to your pooch at Thanksgiving and Christmas time. You see those beautiful, sad eyes staring at you and your will power is gone. I know, I have done it before myself. You think..."oh, just this little bit won't hurt." Well, I am here to say it will. Below is a list of foods that are poisonous to your fur baby. The list is by no means complete but it will give you a good start on what you CAN'T give your pooch.
Apple (skin, seeds, stems and leaves) – flesh of ripe apples doesn’t pose a problem for pets. However, apple stems, leaves and seeds contain substances known as cyanogenic glycosides, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, a lack of oxygen in the blood, decreased heart rate, respiratory congestion, seizures, coma, and if large amounts are ingested, can lead to respiratory failure and death.
Avocado - the leaves, seeds, fruit, and bark contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources - can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.
Cat food - generally too high in protein and fats.
Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine - contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea and be toxic to the heart and nervous systems.
Citrus oil extracts - can cause vomiting.
Fat trimmings - can cause pancreatitis.
Fish (raw, canned or cooked) - if fed exclusively or in high amounts can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death.
Grapes, raisins and currants - contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys.
Hops (found in beer as well) - unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.
Human vitamin supplements containing iron - can damage the lining of the digestive system and are toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
Macadamia nuts – contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.
Milk and other dairy products - some adult dogs and cats may develop diarrhea if given large amounts of dairy products.
Moldy or spoiled food, garbage - can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.
Mushrooms - can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
Onions and Garlic (raw, cooked or powder) - contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.
Persimmons Seeds - can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
Pits from peaches and plums - can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.
Raw eggs - contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.
Raw meat - may contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Rhubarb leaves - contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
Salt - if eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
String – (Although this is not a food it is used often to wrap meats while cooking and when discarded after cooking can be in reach of your pets.) String can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body" and can be deadly.
Sugary foods - can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
Table scraps (in large amounts) - table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet.
Fat - should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.
Yeast dough - can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
Xylitol (artificial sweetener) - can cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can result in vomiting, weakness and collapse. In high doses can cause liver failure.
Don't forget to keep in mind that some food you make may have certain ingredients that are harmful to your pet (i.e. - mashed potatoes that have garlic and onion powder/salt in them). When in doubt - leave it out! :-)
The best thing to do is to have healthy doggie snacks available for your pooch so when he/she begs then you can give them a yummy dog biscuit, carrot stick, fresh green bean or favorite dog treat.
With Christmas around the corner, we must think about toxic plants too. The Poinsettia plant is toxic to dogs. For an expanded list of toxic plants then click here.
For a few sites that go into further detail of toxic foods click here, here and here too. Hopefully this information will help ensure that we all have a fun, safe and yummy holiday season.