Discover 5 Surprising Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog

Written by Emmanuel Kingsley
Published: November 30, 2022
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Let’s admit it: when it comes to our health, we are open to occasional cheat days and diet deviation. However, we can never be more careful when it comes to our fur baby’s guts. Pets, especially dogs, have fairly sensitive stomachs and digestive systems, and while there are foods that humans can safely enjoy, there is a long list of foods you should never feed your dog.

Some of these foods may include obvious ones such as alcohol – we all know that beer and other forms of liquor are unsafe for dogs, even when taken in small amounts. However, there are also some types of treats that you would never think are dangerous to dogs. But what are those? If you are wondering what food you can and cannot give to your pooch, below is a list of five surprising foods you should never feed your dog.

5 Surprising Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog

1. Chocolate

Different types of chocolate
Theobromine and caffeine are not metabolized by dogs as well as they are by humans.

©ivan_kislitsin/Shutterstock.com

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Yes, no matter how sweet and tempting luscious chocolates might sound, never try to feed them to your dog. One of the “renowned” hazardous foods for dogs is chocolate. Every dog owner should know that giving their dog chocolate will have negative effects. The reality of chocolate poisoning in dogs, however, is much more nuanced.

Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not generally react negatively to chocolate. Although it varies on the dog’s size and the type of chocolate, most dogs can tolerate a small amount of chocolate without any issues. Additionally, some canines are naturally more sensitive than others. 

Dogs seldom die from eating chocolate. However, it might make them very sick. But why are chocolates toxic to dogs? Theobromine and caffeine, two substances found in chocolate, make it poisonous to canines. These two compounds have similar effects, so the consequences for your dog are doubled.

Dogs react to caffeine like humans do, which may increase your dog’s heart rate, widen its blood vessels, and relax muscles. It could also make them thirsty and result in excessive urination. 

2. Grapes

Are Grapes Dangerous - Red Grapes
The inability of dogs to digest a number of the chemical components contained in grapes to contribute to the toxicity.

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When thinking about foods you can feed your dog, you’ll surely think fruits are generally safe. I mean, they’re healthy and all, are they not? However, feeding them grapes is a different story. Grapes are toxic to dogs, and in fact, even a single berry can even be fatal. Toxic effects may occur if a dog consumes even a third of an ounce of grapes. The particular chemical in grapes that causes harm to dogs is unknown, but ingesting a grape can cause abrupt kidney failure in dogs, a dangerous and occasionally fatal ailment. The inability of dogs to digest a number of the chemical components contained in grapes, such as tannins, flavonoids, and monosaccharides, is thought by experts to contribute to the toxicity.

Grape poisoning symptoms could appear 24 hours after eating a grape. However, it may take up to 48 hours before renal failure brought on by grape consumption manifests its symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

In the event of renal failure, the veterinarian may induce vomiting in your dog, use activated charcoal to absorb toxins, or place your dog under surveillance.

3. Onions

Be sure not to give your dog any seasoned food, especially any foods with garlic or onions.

©Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Most kitchens have onions, which are a popular element in many cuisines. They are one of the most commonly used veggies. However, as a pet owner, you may be shocked to learn that allium family herbs, like onions and garlic, can harm your dog. All forms of onions, including shallots, leeks, cooked onions, and even onion powder, are toxic to dogs. Sulfoxides and disulfides found in onions and garlic can harm red blood cells and result in anemia in cats and dogs. 

Through a process known as oxidative hemolysis, these substances deplete the red blood cell population. They are transformed into extremely reactive oxidants in the dog’s intestines before entering the bloodstream.

Your dog should not consume any sauces or foods that contain any form of onion or garlic, as both cooked and uncooked onions are poisonous to dogs. All onion parts, including the leaves, flesh, and juice, are also poisonous.

4. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts
Dogs that consume macadamia nuts may display various uncomfortable symptoms, such as fatigue, hyperthermia, and vomiting.

©Ozgur Coskun/Shutterstock.com

If you’re planning on making handmade Christmas Eve cookies or doing some winter baking, you should know this first: macadamia nuts are poisonous to dogs. Dogs that consume macadamia nuts may display various uncomfortable symptoms, such as fatigue, hyperthermia, and vomiting. These famous Hawaiian exports are regarded as harmful to dogs, although the precise mechanism of poisoning is still somewhat mysterious. Vomiting, ataxia (loss of coordination), weakness, and hyperthermia (overheating) are some side effects of consumption.

Since macadamia nuts are entirely safe for people and have not shown effects on cats, researchers and veterinarians have not been able to determine what causes them to be particularly poisonous among dogs. The precise toxin or biological mechanism resulting in poisoning symptoms isn’t yet clear, but we do know that even a tiny intake of these nuts might result in serious symptoms. 

5. Milk 

Almond non-dairy milk
Moderate consumption of milk by dogs is fine.

©iStock.com/naito8

Yes, you have probably seen dogs drinking milk from bowls in animated movies, but in real life, you should keep milk feeding in moderation. 

When consumed in moderation, milk is a safe indulgence. Your dog might occasionally like a few tablespoons of cow milk or goat milk. However, it’s usually best to refrain from giving your dog an entire bowl at once because doing so can result in unpleasant side effects, including diarrhea, vomiting, and loose feces. Adult dogs may have a harder time digesting milk if there isn’t enough enzyme lactase to accomplish the job. Their gastrointestinal tracts will allow the lactose in milk to pass through undigested into their colons, where it will pull in water and cause diarrhea. The fermentation of bacteria in their colons may also cause flatulence and discomfort.

Up Next:

Dogs Eating Onions Is Dangerous! Here’s Why

Can Dogs Eat Grapes or Not? What Science Says

Can Dogs Safely Eat Chocolate: The Myths, And True Dangers

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Sources
  1. Chris Roth, Available here: https://www.petsbest.com/blog/20-foods-dogs-shouldnt-eat/
  2. Shallowford Animal Hospital, Available here: https://shallowfordvet.com/10-foods-dog-never-eat/
  3. Jan Reisen, Available here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-macadamia-nuts/
  4. PetMD Editorial, Available here: https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/can-dogs-drink-milk