Be careful what your dog eats!

Be careful what they eat!

It’s always important not to go overboard with treats no matter how tempting it seems! Some foods though are downright dangerous to dogs – we’ve listed some of the worst ones below.

1. Chocolate

Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine which is poisonous to dogs.  This affects the central nervous system, guts, kidneys and heart and signs of poisoning can occur between 24-48 hours after consumption of chocolate.  Signs of poisoning include diarrhoea, vomiting and restlessness.

2. Caffeine

Because caffeine is similar to chocolate in that it is a stimulant, dogs can be poisoned by tea and coffee.  In small amounts, it is unlikely to have any effect, however it would be dangerous if your dog swallowed a handful of coffee beans or numerous tea bags.  Signs of poisoning are similar to those above for chocolate.

3. Alcohol

Even small amounts of alcohol consumed by your dog can lead to diarrhoea, vomiting, difficulty breaking and blood changes.

4. Onions, leaks, garlic, and chives

Eating any of these can irritate the gut and potentially result in red blood cell damage and anaemia.

The effects may not be immediate and signs of poisoning can occur a few days later.  Also look out for onions found in left over pizza, takeaways and gravy.

5. Macadamia nuts

Dogs can experience depression, tremor, vomiting and increased body temperature within 12 hours of ingestion.

6. Xylitol

This is an artificial sweetener found in foods such as sugar free gums and diet foods.   It leads to insulin release which in turn can result in potentially fatal hypoglycaemia (lowered sugar levels).

Even small quantities can cause toxicity and symptoms include vomiting, loss of coordination and possible seizures and urgent veterinary advice should be sought if you think your dog has ingested xylitol.

7. Mouldy foods

Because mouldy food contains lots of toxins, be careful to dispose of leftover food carefully and ensure your dog cannot access the dustbin.

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8. Yeast dough

As the dough rises, gas accumulates in the digestive system which as well as being painful, can also cause a blockage in the stomach or intestines.  Small amounts of bread can be given as a treat but you must never give your dog yeast dough.

9. Bones

Dogs can choke on bones, damage teeth while chewing them or bone splinters can puncture the digestive tract.  If you do wish to give your dog bones, avoid cooked bones which splinter more easily and chicken bones should definitely be avoided.

10. Corn on the cob

Corn on the cob does not digest wel and can therefore cause intestinal blockages.  Warning signs are vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal discomfort.

11. Grapes & raisins

Toxins in grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure and dogs who already have health problems are at greater risk.  Also be aware of foods which contains grapes and raisins such as mince pies and hot cross buns.

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12. Milk

Dogs do not have adequate amounts of the enzyme lactase that breaks down lactose in milk and therefore ingesting milk or milk based products can upset the digestive system.

13. Blue cheese

Again, dogs find it difficult to break down the lactose in cheese and eating large amounts of higher fat varieties can cause sickness and diarrhoea.

Blue cheeses, such as stilton and roquefort, are particularly dangerous and many contain a substance called roquefortine C which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.  Signs of poisoning include twitching, seizures and a high temperature if eaten in large doses.

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