Food, Glorious Food; Glorious To Us - But Not To Your Pet! by Samford Valley Vets
The foods we love to eat that are actually very good for us can sometimes be very dangerous to our dogs. Some items on the following list you may be familiar with but others will surprise you.So are there any other foods to avoid; There sure is. Here’s a quick hit list! caffeine, potato peelings, rhubarb leaves, tomato leaves & stems, broccoli, kernels/pips of apples, plums, pears, peaches & apricots, yeast dough, lollies with the artificial sweetener Xylitol.
AVOCADO Avocado skin, flesh & the seed is toxic to our pets. The offending nasty in the avocado is persin & it can cause some terrible problems. Everything from gastric upset to deadly fluid build-ups in the abdomen, chest & around the heart.
CHOCOLATE For people, chocolate, especially dark chocolate has more health benefits. Alas once again NOT FOR DOGS! The offending ingredient in chocolate is theobromine & it is found in higher concentrations in dark chocolate & cocoa powder.( i.e cooking chocolate, dark chocolate pieces, chocolate cakes, cookies & chocolate icing!) And the darker the chocolate the worse the effects. Milk chocolate is the least toxic (most dogs need to eat more than a 250g block of milk chocolate to be effected ) but the smaller the dog the smaller amount needed to cause toxic effects. These effects do not necessarily show straight away & a few hours later can cause anything from vomiting & diarrhoea, to death due to effects on the heart. So best to stick with dog chocs which are carob based. Carob is a chocolate substitute which has no caffeine or no theobromine.
GARLIC Because it is in the same family as the onion, garlic will still cause the same problems given a big enough dose. Yes, that’s right, rupturing red blood cells within the vessels. You can use small amounts of garlic, unlike onion but BE CAREFUL.
GRAPES & RAISINS Another NO NO! Grapes are deadly to dogs causing kidneys to fail. It’s not really known what causes the problem but it has been suggested that a mycotoxin in the grape is responsible. And dogs can get a taste for this sweet nasty. It will initially cause vomiting & or diarrhoea, followed by lethargy, increased thirst & gut pain and ultimately death from damaged kidneys. Remember raisins are even more toxic being a dried but concentrated form of the fresh grape. The most common method of toxicity is the family dog catching the fruit cake or biscuit crumbs from the kids; beware!
MACADAMIA NUTS Macadamia nut oil is touted as having even more benefits to us humans than olive oil. All that wonderful omega this & omega that. But unfortunately again, not for our pets. In fact macadamia nuts are nasty in 2 ways. Firstly the nut itself without the shell seems to cause mobility issues. This was discovered by a Qld Vet toxic specialist no less. The ingredient that causes the problems in the nut hasn’t been isolated but it will cause everything from limb weakness to leg swelling & stiffness & pain. Secondly the nut with the shell intact causes gut obstruction that always requires surgical removal from the small intestine. And how many dogs swallow a macadamia nut whole? You would be surprised! We regularly retrieve macadamia nuts from the intestine. That hard outer shell is not affected by digestive enzymes at all & will completely block the gut & will cause death unless removed.
ONIONS Onion is a big NO NO for your pets. Onions contain thiosulphate & this causes rupturing of the red blood cells within the vessels. Now it’s unlikely that anyone would feed their pet an onion on its own & even more unlikely that they would eat it that way (although never say never). But onions are often fed to pets unwittingly in leftovers; all those yummy things we love like left over spag bog sauce, risottos, chicken stuffing, pizza etc. They can vomit & get diarrhoea soon after eating a large amount of onion but they will then get quiet & lethargic, followed by breathing difficulties. Sometimes blood will pass in the urine reflecting the rupture of the red blood cells. The effect of onion toxicity is also cumulative; that means if you they only get small doses of onion but get it consistently they will still have toxic effects. So what about that relative of the onion that has so many health benefits for us humans, garlic?
So are there any other foods to avoid; There sure is. Here’s a quick hit list!
caffeine, potato peelings, rhubarb leaves, tomato leaves & stems, broccoli, kernels/pips of apples, plums, pears, peaches & apricots, yeast dough, lollies with the artificial sweetener Xylitol.
So you can see that just because something is good for us, it does not necessarily hold true for your pet. In fact they can kill or at the very least, make your pet feel very sick. Always stick to treats specifically made for dogs or cats & even then the one rule that holds true for both humans & pets stands firm.