Common Food that can be Toxic to our Pets.

Via on Aug 23, 2009

dog beg food bad

When I first got my mutt, Redford, from the pound, I was besieged by helpful advice—thank god. Some of that advice involved what not to feed my dog—coffee beans, avocadoes (even little bits), chocolate…not that I was particularly planning on giving any of that to my dog, but you never know what might be found, and devoured, on your floor or in the leftovers of an otherwise yummy, healthy burger.

I also rented the whole series of Dog Whisperer TV shows on the National Geographic channel, having read about his dog psychology/human training methods in The New Yorker (the thinking person’s weekly bible). Two years later, I still netflix the Whisperer, and enjoy and learn a great deal every time I do so. My next DVD arrives Friday!

dog whisperer cesar millan malcolm gladwell

Below, advice from The Dog Whisperer’s Vet-in-Residence:

People Food and Your Dog

Common Foods That Can Be Toxic to Our Pets
Written by Dr. Sherry Weaver

We all love our pets. For many of us, one way we show that love is through special treats such as human food. As long as we don’t overindulge our loved ones into obesity, these little treats can be fun for both pet and parent. However, it is important to realize that dogs and cats are very different from humans in some very important ways, which can result in tragedies for the uninformed parent.

One of the newest and easily available human foods toxic to dogs, is xylitol. Xylitol is present in products from gums to sugar free cookies. When ingested in relatively small amounts, this sweetener can result in low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure and death. These symptoms can show up as quickly as 30 minutes or as long as 12 hours after ingestion, and treatment must be quick and aggressive or they can be fatal.

Grapes and raisins have been found recently to induce kidney failure in some animals. This failure can be permanent and life threatening. It does not seem to relate to the volume ingested, and not all animals seem to be equally susceptible. Although some dogs have been eating grapes for years, the safe course is to avoid grapes and raisins completely.

Due to articles such as this, many people are now aware of chocolate’s toxicity in dogs and cats. With the recent popularity of chocolates that are 60 and 70 percent cocoa, this risk has become much more serious. Dark chocolates have always been more toxic than milk chocolates, and these newer chocolates are even more so. Toxic doses of chocolate can cause abnormal heartbeats, kidney failure and death. The toxic dose is dependant on weight, so little dogs are at higher risk, but with the higher levels of cocoa in chocolate products now even bigger dogs are at risk.

Onions are tasty for our pets as well as us, but too many onions can be dangerous. High levels of onion ingestion in dogs and cats can cause life-threatening anemia.

With any toxic exposure, minutes count so knowing what to do can save a life. Most importantly, you should have the phone number of poison control, your regular veterinary and an after-hours…

…read the rest at Cesar Millan’s site.

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13 Responses to “Common Food that can be Toxic to our Pets.”

  1. Here's the New Yorker article, by another idol, Malcolm Gladwell. Worth a read.

  2. sublimekesel says:

    I had to take my weiner dog to the ER vet after she ate a pack of xylitol-laden gum out of a friend's purse. I never would have known had I not called my vet tech sister and jokingly asked if gum could kill a dog. Apparently, it can cause severe liver failure and shut down their poor little kidneys. She survived after a tummy flush, thank goodness. After the experience, I stopped buying anything with xylitol in it. Here's a good tip: If your doggie ever eats something questionable, a few tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide work great for inducing vomiting.

  3. swati jr* says:

    what's with avo's???

  4. Non Screamer says:

    You should pass along the dog whisperer to Waylon so he can see there are other ways to discipline your dog other than screaming and jerking his dog around at public coffee shop as i witnessed awhile back.

    • Thanks, anonymous! My dog is very happy/vocal/excitable, especially when he hasn't had enough exercise. He's very social with other dogs, friends, and can lose his shiiiite a few times a day, in a harmless but excitable way. Not sure what you saw, but I do "jerk" the leash if he loses his temper, or is pulling and wanting to wrestle with another dog in a situation, like crowded Pearl St., that may not be appropriate…but not to hurt, I hope, good god, just to get him back under control. And I am a loud boy, especially when I holler noooo! Tell any loving parent not to holler and such in a crowded grocery store, it happens to the best of us, good luck with that. Doesn't mean we're hurting our loved one, or want to do so, or should do so.

      Please feel free to try talking to me in person, if you're concerned, and have the courage of your anonymous convictions.

  5. […] little bird with a great deal of concern. What should I do? Call a friend? Try to pick it up? Call Animal Care & […]

  6. yogiclarebear says:

    Thanks for sharing this. My pup's favorite treat is a carrot or cucumber slice!

  7. elephantjournal says:

    Thank you!!!! i have a dog crazy to share my (sugar free) gum and i had never thought of the dangers (xylitol)

  8. […] Louis, funny as always. More stuff dogs shouldn’t eat. Moooore stuff dogs shouldn’t eat. […]

  9. Tanya Lee Markul Tanya Lee Markul says:

    My cat loves to munch on carrots! :-)

  10. elephantjournal says:

    Via Reddit: If your dogs are fuzzy vacuum cleaners like mine is, then you should probably make sure you know what to keep them away from. And if you have a cats… well I'm not quite sure why you would have a cat instead of a dog, but you probably still shouldn't poison them.

    Here's the list of foods that can make your pets ill. Some of them can be fatal:

    Chocolate– fast heart rate, hallucinations, severe diarrhea, epileptic seizures, heart attacks, internal bleeding, and eventually death

    Ethanol (Alcohol)– animals are generally more susceptible to alcohol than humans are. The caveats here are similar to alcohol poisoning in humans.

    Raw yeast dough– intestinal obstruction and/or ethanol poisoning

    Hops (beer hops) Edit: the plant, not necessarily beer itself. — malignant hyperthermia in dogs, usually with fatal results

    Avocados– possible damage to the heart muscle cells, leading to heart failure

    Grapes/raisins– acute kidney failure

    Macadamia nuts– non-fatal stiffness, tremors, hyperthermia, and abdominal pain

    Onions, garlic, shallots, etc.– hemolytic anemia

    Xylitol (sweetner found in gum and other sugar-free things)– toxic or even fatal liver damage

    Moldy or rotten food– some molds produce toxins called tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause serious or even life-threatening problems if ingested by dogs.

    Raw meats and raw eggs– Salmonella and E. coli can be bad. Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems.

    Salt– Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets; vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.

    Milk– mammals are naturally lactose intolerant

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