5 Surprising Foods that are Toxic to Dogs

Here at Eat Drink Better, we focus most on healthy food
for humans, but what about our companion animals? Not all foods
are safe for our dogs to eat. These are five foods that
are toxic to dogs that you might not know about.

Not all foods are safe for our dogs to eat. These are five foods that are toxic to dogs that you might not know about.

We just adopted a second dog. Our first dog, Jenna,
rarely tries to eat food we drop on the floor. She’s basically
a 45 pound cat. But Bandit, our new addition, really lives
up to his name. He’s a living vacuum cleaner and has even
stolen food right out of my four-year-old’s hand.

Related: Why do we eat cows and pigs, but not dogs and
chickens?

Suddenly, I’m having to learn about which foods it’s ok
to let slide and

which I need to chase him from
and clean
up right away. Some people foods that are toxic to dogs, like
chocolate, are pretty common knowledge, but a handful of
the ones that I learned about really surprised
me.

Here are the people foods that are toxic to
dogs that you may not already know about.

Surprising Foods that are Toxic to Dogs

Peanut Butter
Check your peanut butter ingredients for xylitol!

1. Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is in so. many. foods.
It’s in chewing gums, salad dressings, breads, and even some
brands of peanut butter. So many dog owners  –
myself included – use peanut butter to give our dogs medicine.
Check the ingredients for xylitol before you hide those meds!

Related: How Aspartame Affects Your Health

It’s relatively safe for humans to eat xylitol, but in dogs, the sweetener causes a dangerous drop in
blood sugar
and can cause liver damage at high doses. If
your dog ingests xylitol, call your vet right away to see what
you should do. According to Snopes, it takes eight to 10 pieces
of xylitol-sweetened chewing gum to kill a 65 pound dog. That
might seem like a lot, but I could absolutely see Bandit eating
a whole pack of gum, if he got his paws on one.

Grapes

2. Raisins & Grapes

Grapes and raisins are extremely toxic to dogs. Just a few of
either can cause serious illness or even death. The jury is
still out on why grapes and raisins are such toxic
foods for dogs, but we do know that they can cause kidney
failure, if your dog eats too many. And, like I said, just a
few can be too many, especially for smaller dogs.

If your dog has eaten grapes or raisins,
PetMD says that this is a medical emergency
. You should
induce vomiting as soon as possible, and get your dog to the
vet.

Leeks

3. Onions (any kind)

All varieties of onions are toxic to dogs, including scallions,
chives, and leeks. While onions are toxic to dogs, it’s
not
necessarily an emergency situation
like it would
be with raisins. Some dogs react more strongly than
others to onions, so if your dog eats onion, keep an eye on
her. It can take up to a few days for symptoms to arise,
unfortunately. If she exhibits any symptoms like vomiting,
rapid breathing, diarrhea, pale gums, drooling, or lethargy,
call your vet.

Garlic

4. Garlic

Garlic is in the same family as onions, but it is
considered five times more toxic
than other members of the
Allium family, so I’ve broken it out on its own in
this list.

Like with onions, watch your dog closely for a few days, if she
eats garlic, to make sure that she’s not having a reaction.
Some dogs will react, others won’t. The symptoms of a garlic
reaction are the same as the symptoms for onion
toxicity:vomiting, rapid breathing, diarrhea, pale gums,
drooling, or lethargy.

Macadamia Nuts

5. Macadamia Nuts

Like with raisins, the jury is out on why macadamia nuts are
toxic to dogs. And like xylitol, the amount a dog can eat
without serious issues varies a lot. Veterinarian Dr.
Scott Nimmo said in a blog post that, “The reported toxic dose
ranges from between 2.4 to 62.4 grams of nut per kilogram of
the dog’s body weight. This is a very large range and can mean
that some dogs will get ill with just a small amount of nuts
ingested, while other dogs need to eat a lot of nuts to show
signs of toxicity.”

If your dog does eat macadamia nuts, you’ll need to monitor her
for the next 12 hours. If possible, induce vomiting to get any
undigested nuts out of her symptoms. Common symptoms of
macadamia nut poisoning, according to Dr. Nimmo, are: a wobbly
walk, lethargy, vomiting, muscle tremors, fever, weakness, and
an elevated heart rate. When in doubt, get your dog to the vet.

Image Credits: Peanut butter, grapes, leeks, and
garlic images via Shutterstock. Macadamia nuts image by Forest and Kim Starr.


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