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Toxic food for dogs

Besides being our best friends, dogs play an important role in many households, serving as garbage disposals for uneaten foods, vacuum cleaners when spills occur and partners in crime for children who don’t want to eat their vegetables.  However, there are some toxic food for dogs which should be highly avoided, the most toxic of substances are listed below.

Garlic/onions
Garlic and onion are both members of the Allium family, which contain sulfoxides that are one of the more toxic food for dogs.  Garlic contains sulfoxides in more concentrated amounts, so a single garlic bulb may be more detrimental to your pet than a few slices of raw onion.  When dogs consume sulfoxides they experience red blood cell lysis, meaning that cells in the body rupture.  This condition can lead to weakness, lethargy, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Alcohol
Due to their smaller size and differing metabolism, dogs and alcohol do not mix.  Although everyone has a story of a dog getting drunk at a party, the truth is that dogs can experience alcohol poisoning very quickly if too much ethanol is consumed.  Symptoms of alcohol toxicity vary, and include hyperactivity or depression, involuntarily bowel elimination, hypothermia and decreased breathing and heart rate.

Chocolate
Perhaps the most well-known toxic food for dogs is chocolate, which can cause symptoms such as seizures, collapse, vomiting, diarrhea, heart palpitations and excessive thirst.  Owners should beware that chocolate has varying levels of toxicity, with baker’s chocolate and cocoa powder being most toxic, followed by dark chocolate and milk chocolate, respectively.

Grapes/raisins
A recent addition to the list of toxic food for dogs – some veterinarians believe that grape and raisin toxicity may actually be caused by pesticides that are used during the grape growing process and not by the fruit itself.  Ingestion of either grapes or raisins can lead to fatal kidney failure, with the major symptom being anuria, which is the inability to urinate.  Other symptoms that owners should watch for include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

Xylitol
A sugar alcohol found in sugar-free products, xylitol is one of the most toxic food for dogs.  Even small amounts of xylitol-containing foods, such as a few sticks of chewing gum, can quickly lead to death in pets.  Symptoms of xylitol toxicity include weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty walking, seizures, tremors and coma.  Xylitol is found in an increasing number of products, ranging from toothpaste to certain peanut butter brands and is sometimes disguised as “sugar alcohols” on ingredient lists.

Cooked bones
Although it is tempting to give a dog a bone, pet owners should never give their pet a cooked bone as a treat.  When bones are cooked they become brittle, which increases the chance of splintering.  Bone splinters can cause cuts in the mouth, esophagus, stomach, or in the intestinal wall.  In addition, raw poultry or pork bones should never be given to pets, as poultry bones are hollow and can splinter easily, and raw pork bones may spread food-borne illness to both dogs and humans within the household.

If you need help because your dog has ingested toxic foods, take them to the hospital https://www.pdsa.org.uk/near-me/pdsa-pet-hospital/pdsa-pet-hospital-edinburgh

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