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By Sarah Taylor

Foods and symptoms to watch for around your dog

We’ve all been there, sitting down to eat dinner when you look over and see those big, puppy dog eyes looking at you. You want to give in and spoil them, but you hold yourself back. Good! You might have just saved your dog’s life. We all want to spoil our dogs with tasty treats and snacks, but there are some things that a dog just shouldn’t eat. It’s a good idea to research what foods your dog can and can’t have, for both of your sakes.

Foods you should never feed your dog

Chocolate is many humans’ favorite treat, but it’s one of the deadliest for dogs. Large amounts are very harmful to them, and dark chocolate is worse that milk chocolate. It can cause abnormal heart beats as well as kidney failure. Grapes are toxic to dogs, too, and though the reason is not clear, eating grapes can lead to kidney failure. Just because a food is healthy for us, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy for dogs. Our bodies work differently.

Some foods are bad for your dog if eaten in high volume, including sweeteners, onion, avocado and coconut. Alcohol, coffee, caffeine and citrus drinks are just as bad. Alcohol does the same thing to dogs as it does to us, meaning it affects the brain and the liver.

Excessive salt will dehydrate your dog, so if they start drinking more than normal, look at what you’re feeding them. Medicine is one of the biggest things that can end up poisoning a dog; their bodies can’t process as much as we can so it’s easy for them to overdose. Keep medications well out of reach.

If you like to cook/bake a lot and your dog is in the kitchen, be careful because they may try to eat something that you’ve dropped. Eating raw egg can lead to salmonella; yeast, if swallowed, can rise in their stomach just as it would on the counter. Yes, there raw-meat diets out there for dogs, but unless it’s done correctly, your dog could get sick and contract salmonella or E. coli. Walnuts, pecans, pistachios, almonds and macadamias can give your dog pancreatitis, so make sure there aren’t any in the treats you give your dog.

Symptoms from eating poisonous food

There are all sorts of symptoms to look for if your dog has eaten something that is toxic to them. That doesn’t always mean rush them to the vet; but if the symptoms are constant and you know that they have gotten into something, call the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (888-426-4435) and they will help you and give you instructions. Some symptoms are worse than others and are serious, some may just be an overnight thing and nothing to worry about. Better safe than sorry. Also keep your vet’s number handy in case of an emergency.

Any toxic food can cause one or more symptoms, including:

  • Ear inflammation
  • Itching (be careful as the itching may cause sores)
  • Paw biting
  • Poor coat quality (softness, shine, patches, etc.)
  • Skin rashes
  • Vomiting (heaving)
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Bad gas (constant)
  • Tremors
  • Hives


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