9 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog

9 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog

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Although even top-quality dog food might not seem that appealing to the human palate, it’s important to remember that it’s always the best thing to feed your dog. Many dog owners have adopted the habit of feeding their dogs “people food” as a special treat, but this can actually do much more harm than good, as many foods contain ingredients or substances that, while fine for humans, are harmful or toxic to dogs. Read on for a list of nine things you should never feed your dog.

 

  1. Alcohol

The ASPCA puts it absolutely clearly: “Under no circumstances should your pet be given any alcohol.” Dogs are much more sensitive to the intoxicating effects of alcohol than humans are. This means that even small amounts can do damage, particularly to smaller breeds of dog, while larger amounts can be enough to bring on alcohol poisoning, which can require medical treatment and/or hospitalization.

 

  1. Bacon

Harden your heart if your pooch is begging for just one piece of delicious-smelling bacon from the frying pan. Bacon, and other foods that are extremely high in fat, can ultimately cause dogs to develop a disease called pancreatitis, in which the pancreas becomes inflamed and stops functioning correctly. Given that the pancreas is involved in digestion and blood sugar regulation, this can lead to serious health problems, including poor nutrient absorption.

 

bacon

 

  1. Chocolate

If you’re like many dog owners, you’ll probably have heard that dogs can actually die from eating chocolate. Don’t dismiss this as an urban legend! While death by chocolate seems like hyperbole, it’s absolutely true that chocolate is very bad for your four-legged friend. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which belong to a category of substances known as methylxanthines. These chemicals can wreak havoc on your pet’s physiology, causing vomiting and diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, excessive thirst and urination, and seizures. (The same things can happen if your dog consumes coffee, sodas, or other beverages containing caffeine.) Remember that the darker the chocolate, the more methylxanthines it contains, and, therefore, the more dangerous it is.

 

  1. Cooked bones

The sight of a dog chewing on a bone might not seem like cause for concern, but cooked bones are more brittle than raw ones and as such, are more likely to splinter when chewed. This can lead to a host of issues including broken teeth and mouth injuries, constipation, or a blockage or perforation in the intestines. Intestinal issues caused by bone fragments and splinters can also result in peritonitis, or inflamed stomach tissue.

 

  1. Dairy

Think twice before letting your dog finish off your ice cream cone or sneak a tidbit from your cheese plate. Most dogs are lactose intolerant and, as with humans who have this same condition, can experience a variety of stomach issues such as vomiting and diarrhea if they consume dairy products.

 

  1. Grapes and raisins

Experts haven’t yet figured out what substance grapes and raisins (and some cranberries and currants) contain that makes them so dangerous, but whatever it is, it causes rapid kidney failure in dogs. This is a serious condition that requires hospitalization and can be fatal if not treated quickly and correctly. And while you might not necessarily be inclined to feed your dog fresh grapes, remember that raisins find their way into all kinds of other foods that you might be tempted to give your dog as a treat, like trail mix or cookies.

 

grapes

 

  1. Nuts

Like bacon, nuts are extremely high in oils and fats, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even pancreatitis. Almonds, pecans, and walnuts can all cause problems, while macadamia nuts are the worst culprits of all; in addition to being high in fat, they contain an unknown substance that is toxic for dogs, leading to weakness, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia.

 

  1. Salty snacks

Yes, salty foods taste good, but too much sodium is just as bad for dogs as it is for humans. While eating a few chips might only bring on mild side effects like excessive thirst or urination, an overdose of salty snacks can lead to sodium ion poisoning, with clinical signs including tremors and seizures.

 

  1. Sugar-free gum or candy

Most low-calorie or sugar-free foods contain xylitol as a sweetener. The problem with xylitol is that it causes dogs’ insulin levels to spike, which can lead to hypoglycemia (low sugar levels) and eventually liver failure. If you usually have things like sugar-free gum in the house, make sure they’re stored well out of reach; don’t leave your sugar-free gum in a purse on a table or another easily accessible spot.