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Harmful Human Foods Your Pooch Should Avoid
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Harmful Human Foods Your Pooch Should Avoid

Critter Culture Staff
Updated Jun 28, 2022

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It's no secret: dogs like to eat. Professional beggars, they give you those puppy-dog eyes at the dinner table, and you can't help but sneak them a nibble or two. Before doing so, think about what you're giving your pooch.

Some human food can be toxic or deadly to your pet, so it's important to know what's harmful. These foods should be kept away from your buddy at all costs.

1

Chocolate

Dog giving paw asking for chocolate rfranca / Getty Images

Naturally, chocolate takes the top spot. Chocolate is one of the most well-known toxic foods to canines, and it's thanks to theobromine. This chemical is a stimulant that halts a pup's metabolic process. It causes agitation, upset stomach, increased thirst, pain, fever, muscle tremors, irregular heartbeat, and seizures. If the concentration is powerful enough, it could kill a dog if not treated.

The darker the chocolate or cocoa powder, the higher chance of poisoning. Yes, a dog can still get ill from eating a nibble of milk chocolate, but dark chocolate will have far worse effects.

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2

Yeast

dog licking dough in the kitchen Aleksandr Zotov / Getty Images

In small doses, bread isn't bad for a dog. It has no nutritional value to them, but it's not a hazard. Bread dough, however, is a different story. Yeast is the culprit, causing dire complications when it multiplies. It can block the pup's airway, distend their stomach, or get them drunk. Signs of yeast ingestion include confusion, vomiting, and eating grass. If a dog is inebriated, it should be put under medical observation until symptoms subside.

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3

The garlic family

dog looking at garlic Barbara Rich / Getty Images

Part of the allium family, garlic is highly toxic to dogs; other members include onions, chives, shallots, and leeks. This dangerous clan affects red blood cells, causing anemia. The problem is that symptoms may take days to manifest. Overall though, the larger the dose, the sooner signs of toxicity appear.

If your dog gets into the trash, sneaks a bite from your plate, or is accidentally fed any of these foods, you'll have to monitor them for almost a week. Look for pale gums, weakness, increased heartbeat, and falling.

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4

Cooked bones

dog eating bone from owner

Except for small bones, raw bones are fine for a dog to consume. Cooking them is when things become problematic. Poultry bones, in particular, tend to splinter when digested, causing internal blockages or tears. Feeding your pooch the meat is okay, but clean it off the bone first. And while you're at it, skip the cooked fat and skin, as they aren't healthy for your pup.

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5

Macadamia nuts

chihuahua with a nut

A lot of pet owners are surprised to learn that macadamia nuts are one of the most fatal foods for dogs. They affect the nervous system, which might cause death. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, lethargy, elevated body temperature, and the inability to walk.

In general, nuts and legumes aren't nearly as harmful as macadamia nuts but can still cause problems. Intestinal blockages are a common issue, just as weight gain due to overindulgence. And just like any other food, nuts may cause an allergic reaction.

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6

Xylitol

dog in front of candy

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener. Found in candy, soft drinks, and other sugar-free products, it's quite popular. Unfortunately, even a tiny amount of xylitol can make a dog deathly ill. Symptoms show themselves only a few minutes after ingestion. A rapid drop in blood pressure and seizures are the most common indicators of poisoning.

Quite frequently, chewing gum contains xylitol. Aside from this toxicity, gum is difficult for dogs to digest. Even if it doesn't have an artificial sweetener, gum can cause severe harm to a pup by blocking their intestines.

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7

Rotten or moldy food

dog rummaging in a home bin Ирина Мещерякова / Getty Images

Mycotoxins are found in moldy food. Anything that's spoiled or rotten should be kept out of your dog's reach. Pay particular attention to trash cans and make sure they're properly protected from a potential pooch invasion. Always be attentive to your pup's canned food too, as it can develop mold once opened. Even fallen fruit from trees could be dangerous.

Mold can be deadly for dogs. Mycotoxin poisoning, if treated, may run its course. But it also has the potential for long-term fatal effects such as cancer and immune deficiency. Symptoms show up fairly quickly and include tremors and convulsions.

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8

Caffeine

Four jack russell terriers sitting in front of cups in cafe Ksenia Raykova / Getty Images

In dogs, caffeine causes restlessness, upset stomach, tremors, and excessive internal bleeding. If this bleeding isn't treated, it could kill your pet.

Caffeine naturally occurs in cocoa and coffee beans, kola nuts, assorted tea leaves, and guarana. Plus, it's an additive in processed energy bars and drinks. Watch your pooch around foods or beverages containing caffeine or caffeine-related products.

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9

Grapes

dog in front of grapes

Grapes are extremely dangerous for dogs to consume, but the verdict is still out as to why. This mysterious fruit can initially cause diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy, but symptoms might take a sudden turn into full-blown kidney failure.

Any edible counterparts of grapes have the same effect. Keep your dog away from currants, raisins, and sultanas. Beware of any foods that use these dehydrated fruits as ingredients.

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10

Beer

Young couple toasting on picnic with a dog on a lap eclipse_images / Getty Images

You already know that alcohol is bad for a dog. Beer adds another element of toxicity thanks to hops. An integral part of beer hops are flower cones that influence flavor, bitterness, and aroma. However, they also dramatically increase a canine's body temperature. This can lead to organ failure, seizures, and death.

Call your vet immediately if your dog shows signs of illness due to consuming beer or other toxic substances. Some problems will be more serious than others, so play it safe and make an emergency appointment. This could be the difference between life and death.

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