15 Dangerous foods for dogs: What to avoid

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When running a pet business, managing the health and safety of the dogs in your care is paramount. Often you will be asked to help with the feeding of your canine clients so having a knowledge of dangerous foods for dogs is important.

Many of us already know that dogs should not have chocolate, but there are actually many other foods that should not be given to dogs. Follow the list of 15 foods to avoid below before giving your client’s best friend a treat.

1. Onions
Anything from the onion family can cause gastrointestinal damage to dogs. So, the foods to avoid here are onions, chives and garlic

2. Grapes and Raisins
It is thought that grapes and raisins when ingested can cause liver damage and kidney failure. It is worth remembering that raisins can be in cereal bars, cakes and biscuits so these are to be avoided for dogs too.

3. Chocolate
Probably the most well-known food for dogs to avoid, cocoa contains a compound that dogs are not able to digest. It can build up in their system leading to lots of health problems, even cardiac arrest.

4. Cooked Bones
These are to be avoided due to the risk of the bones splintering which can cause many problems and in the worst cases could perforate their stomach.

5. Xylitol
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener and can be found in lots of everyday foods such as toothpaste, sweets, chewing gum and some drinks. Giving xylitol to a dog can cause hypoglycaemia which in turn can cause liver failure and blood disorders.

6. Alcohol
Dogs are unable to tolerate alcohol even in small amounts, it can cause sickness, diarrhoea and even damage to their central nervous system.

7. Avocado
Avocado plants contain a substance called persin which is found throughout the plant in it’s leaves, seeds and fruit. It can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs. So, don’t feed avocado to dogs and avoid the plant itself.

8. Caffeine
Caffeine can be fatal for dogs so avoid tea, coffee, chocolate and energy drinks. It can also be found in cold and flu medication so make sure that these are locked away safely.

9. Milk and Dairy Products
Milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhoea and other digestive problems in dogs so best to avoid them. So, you should avoid giving dogs ice cream on a hot day and opt for cold water instead.

10. Macadamia Nuts
Ingesting macadamia nuts or any foods containing them can make a dog sick. Eating these nuts can cause muscle shakes, vomiting, high temperature, and weakness in a dog’s back legs.

11. Stone Fruits
Fruits such as plums, peaches and nectarines contain a stone in the centre which contains cyanide, poisonous to both humans and dogs. As you can’t stop a dog eating the whole fruit, including the stone, it is best to avoid giving them these fruits.

12. Raw Meat, Fish and Eggs
These can all contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning in both humans and dogs. Symptoms include vomiting and fever. It is best to give dogs cooked food to be sure to avoid the bacteria.

13. Salt & Sugar
We all know that humans should try and limit their salt and sugar intake, but the same is true for dogs. Too much salt can make dogs very thirsty and dehydrated causing lots of medical problems such as vomiting and diarrhoea. Too much sugar can lead to a dog becoming overweight which can cause lots of medical issues too.

14. Medicine
Just as with children, it is best to keep medicines intended for adults away from dogs. Ingesting medicine intended for humans can make a dog sick.

15. Baking Ingredients
Lots of common baking ingredients such as baking powder and some spices can be toxic for dogs. So, keep dogs away from the store cupboard.

If you are worried that a dog in your care has consumed any of these or other items that they should not have then it is best to seek advice from a vet. Even small amounts of some of these foods can be fatal to dogs so best to get medical help immediately.