Anyone with a dog has received those classic puppy-dog eyes when they’re eating, just begging for a piece of your food. But before you give them a taste, be sure to ask yourself, “What can dogs not eat?”. Some foods can be very bad for dogs to eat, so make sure the food you’re giving them isn’t going to harm them but is instead just a tasty treat for them to enjoy.
Caffeine and Chocolate
Everyone has heard not to give chocolate to dogs, but most don’t know why. Chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine, which are bad for dogs to have. Theobromine and caffeine are both stimulants that are harmful toxins for your dog to consume. Beverages like soda and coffee should also be kept away from them for the same reasons.
Cartoons regularly depict dogs gnawing away at a bone and wild dogs have been observed eating bones, so what’s so bad about them? When it comes to uncooked bones, there isn’t much real danger in giving them to your dog, and can even be part of their regular diet. When bones are cooked, however, they become brittle and splinter very easily. In a worst-case scenario, your dog could end up with a punctured organ from the bone shard, so it’s best to avoid cooked bones altogether.
Dogs love fruit, and most of it is okay to give them. You can give them most citrus fruits, like oranges (though not the peel) and your dog will probably enjoy it. However, citrus fruits high in acid, such as lemons and grapefruit, are to be avoided because they have too much acid and can give your dog a stomach ache. You should also avoid giving your dog grapes and raisins, as they have a chance of causing kidney failure in some dogs. Not all dogs will suffer effects from eating grapes or raisins, but there is no way to know beforehand, so it’s best to avoid them.
While some nuts are okay for your dog, you should avoid nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts. These nuts are high in fat or have toxins in them. High-fat nuts aren’t easy for your dog to digest and hard on their pancreas and toxins can be very hard on their nervous system.
Artificial Sweetener (Xylitol)
This artificial sweetener is found in many low-sugar foods and drinks and should be avoided at all costs when it comes to your dog. While it’s fine for humans, it can cause a deadly drop in blood sugar for our canine friends, so be sure to steer clear of it altogether.
Alcohol causes intoxication in dogs, just as it does in humans, but it can also make them very sick and could potentially lead to damage to their nervous system. As raw bread dough also contains alcohol (from the yeast) this is something you should also avoid as a treat, no matter how much they beg.
Avacado has a toxin that’s poisonous to dogs in it called Persin that can leave your dog feeling sick and leave you to clean up the mess afterwards, as it can induce vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
Corn itself is perfectly fine to give your dog, and even corn on the cob is a great treat. Don’t let them eat the corn cob itself though, as it can be a choking hazard. If you give your dog corn on the cob, monitor them while they eat it, or cut the corn off of the cob first.
The Onion Family
Anything in the onion family is to be avoided, meaning things like onions, shallots, and even garlic. They can have very bad effects on your dog that may not be noticeable for a few days, causing serious red blood-cell damage, anemia, and gastric irritation. If you notice any indigestion, lethargy, weakness, or discolored urine that’s orange or red, be sure to take your dog to the vet right away.
When you go to give your dog a bite or three of your food, make sure you know the answer to “What can dogs not eat?” or your dog may be in for some serious trouble as they get sick.