As you’re sitting down to dinner or eating a snack, it can be tempting to sneak your dog a taste, especially when they look up at you with those big puppy eyes. You may be thinking, “What’s the harm? A little bit won’t hurt.” In some cases, this is true. There are many human foods that are safe for dogs to eat and can be a wonderful treat. However, there are also plenty of foods that can make your pet very sick if consumed and can be dangerous to their health.
Human Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog
When it comes to foods to avoid – whether giving your dog some scraps off of your plate or seeing that they snatched it themselves – here are some common ones you should be aware of:
- Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine and methylxanthines, which are dangerous to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, and more. This includes all types of chocolate from dark to white.
- Xylitol: This ingredient is commonly found in candies, gum, and baked goods because it is a sweetener. However, it can lead to hypoglycemia and liver failure in dogs.
- Grapes/Raisins: While scientists aren’t entirely sure what is in grapes (and raisins) that makes them toxic to dogs, there is definitely something. Feeding your dog these foods can lead to kidney failure.
- Onions/Garlic: Onions and garlic in any form (cooked, raw, powdered, dehydrated) can all be harmful to your pet. They can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia.
- Salt: You may not be giving your dog straight salt, but snacks like chips, pretzels, and popcorn can have the same effect. Too much salt can lead to excessive thirst and sodium ion poisoning.
- Fat Trimmings: A lot of people like to give their dogs leftover scraps of meat. If well-cooked and bone-free, this can be okay in limited quantities, but avoid feeding your dog the trimmings of fat that come off of food as it can cause pancreatitis.
- Macadamia Nuts: Not all nuts are bad for dogs, and peanut butter can actually be good for them. But macadamia nuts, on the other hand, are highly poisonous to dogs and should be avoided.
Human Foods that are Safe for Dogs
While sticking with dog food can be the best choice, there are some human foods that are okay to give your dog in small quantities every once in a while.
- Apple, orange, or banana slices
- Carrots, green beans, broccoli, cucumber, or zucchini
- Cooked white rice (can be good for an upset stomach when mixed with boiled chicken)
- Peanut butter (but read the label to see if it contains xylitol)
- Salmon (fully cooked, not raw)
- Plain bread (though it doesn’t have much nutritional value)
If you dog does eat something that it shouldn’t – or you’re not sure whether it’s safe – call your local veterinarian, emergency pet hospital, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. They can let you know what steps to take to keep your pet safe. If you notice symptoms such as high temperature, seizures, lethargy, severe vomiting or diarrhea, or weakness, seek help immediately.
Signing your dog up for doggie daycare or boarding can keep them from getting into foods and other items that could be dangerous to their health. Keep your dog safe and know that they are in good hands while you are away by taking them to Lake Wylie Pet Resort. Contact us today for more information.