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Foods that are Dangerous to Dogs

Please share this information with other dog owners. While harmless to humans, these common foods can be very harmful to man's best friend:

Chocolate and Cocoa
Never share your chocolate bar with your dog. The cocoa in chocolate contains theobromine which can be extremely dangerous to dogs and cats, sometimes resulting in death. 125 grams of cooking chocolate can be a lethal dose for a 10kg dog, with smaller doses potentially causing vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac failure and seizures. Symptoms may not appear for several hours after ingestion, so contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your dog has eaten chocolate. It's better to be safe than sorry.

The methylated xanthine in caffeine is similar to the theobromine in chocolate and causes similar symptoms including vomiting and heart palpitations. Keep coffee and coffee grounds safely away from your pet.

Both cooked and raw onions and garlic contain thiosulphate which is toxic to dogs and most other pets. Poisoning can occur from single ingestion or repeated ingestion of small amounts. Initial symptoms are usually vomiting and diarrhea, with breathlessness developing later. Garlic is less toxic but should be used with caution, and always read the labels of commercial baby food before allowing your pet to eat any as it often contains onion powder.

Ham and Fat Trimmings
As much as your dog may love them, fatty and salty meats such as ham and bacon can cause serious stomach aches and often causes pancreatitis. You're being kind by saying 'No'.

Milk and Other Dairy Products
Dogs are lactose intolerant which means they have trouble digesting the lactose in milk, cheese and other dairy products. Yes, they love cheese, but they won't love the stomach ache and diarrhea that happens later on.

You may think your dog enjoys egg nog or beer, but even small amounts of alcohol can cause serious respiratory and cardiac symptoms, sometimes leading to coma. Never give a pet alcohol.

Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins contain a compound that is toxic to dogs causing tremors, stomach ache, lameness and potential kidney failure. Small dogs can also choke on grapes, so always keep them stored safely out of reach.

Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are extremely toxic to dogs. 1 gram per pound of body weight can be a lethal dose, and signs of poisoning include muscle tremors, panting and paralysis. If ingestion occurs contact your vet immediately.

Avocado Pits and Fruit Pips and Kernels
Avocado pits can get stuck in a dog's throat or digestive tract and contain a toxin called persin that can make a dog seriously ill if he chews on it. Apple and pear pips, as well as the kernels of stone fruit contain cyanide which can be lethal.

Raw eggs
As well as being a salmonella risk, raw eggs contain an enzyme that decreases the absorption of biotin, causing skin and coat problems. Raw fish can also cause a similar illness.

Yes, bones. Bones are responsible for countless trips to the vet by dogs with serious injuries. Bones often splinter causing lacerations to the digestive system, and can also get lodged in the throat or gut. Consider giving your dog a nylabone or ask your veterinarian about other treats that are safer for your dog to chew on.

String is another common cause of emergency trips to the vet when it gets stuck in a dog's digestive system. Ensure all meats are free of string, and keep tied pieces of meat out of your dog's reach as the temptation is often too much for them to resist.

Of course there are many more potentially dangerous foods, so use common sense and ask your veterinarian about any foods you are considering giving your dog as a treat. Keep any harmful foods out of reach including scraps in wastebaskets and compost bins, and reward your pet with affection, exercise and the healthy treats he deserves. Your pooch will be grateful for it in the long run.