You have just finished preparing a delicious home-cooked dinner complete with a dessert chilling in the fridge. If your dogs are anything like mine, they will sometimes listen when you say, “out of the kitchen!,” but even if they do exit the area, it’s all over if a piece of food drops to the ground from the chopping board. To dogs, the sound of the dropped food is like a piñata busting open that is filled with crunchy doggie treats! Thought bubble: is that piece of vegetable that just dropped and gobbled up by your dog safe for him to eat?
Here’s another scenario involving dogs and human food. It’s not unusual to have little bits of food and plate scraps left behind after dinner, or maybe there’s only a bite or two left sitting on the platter. In keeping with teaching your dog good manners, you did not feed him from the table as you were eating, nor did you just simply set the plate down on the ground for him to clean off. You hate to let any little food go to waste, so instead of discarding the scraps in the garbage, you let your dog have it. Thought bubble: are all of these table scraps okay for my dog to eat?
While there are a number of fruits and vegetables that dogs can safely eat, there are some that can be toxic, even life threatening when ingested. Our focus in the following list will be on fruits, vegetables, and fruit seeds that are toxic to your dog. Some of these foods can be deadly and must not be ingested by dogs, others can be poisonous causing severe sickly reactions. So while it is okay to treat your dog to table scraps every now and then, make sure you do your research on what foods are toxic to dogs to avoid accidental poisoning or worse.
1. Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure and irreversible kidney damage within 24 hours of being eaten.
Symptoms: Vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, noticeable abdominal pain, little urination, and wobbly and almost weakened movement
Parts of tomato plants, like the vines, stems, and leaves, contain a harmful alkaloid called atropine (tomatine poisoning), which can cause serious problems if eaten. Green or unripened fruit has less of the toxin but can still cause stomach upset. Although ripened red tomatoes are not as likely to make your dog sick, they should not be a part of a regular dog food diet.
Causes: Tremors, seizures, and heart arrhythmia
Symptoms: Unusual drooling, overall weakness, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, dilated pupils, and even paralysis
3. Garlic and Onions
There are mixed thoughts about feeding dogs garlic. When fed in small amounts, garlic is said to be beneficial for your dog because it’s considered one of nature’s antibiotics. On the other hand, when ingested in larger amounts, both garlic and onions (in fresh, dried, or powered form) can cause anemia and stomach upset due to the destruction of red blood cells.
Symptoms: Rapid heart rate, weakness, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the urine, pale and thin gums
All parts of the plant and seed-pit should not be eaten by dogs. If they do, dogs could experience painful oxygen deprivation leading to possible death and pancreatitis. It is still being debated by the scientific community if the actual avocado meat and oils are poisonous, so it may be best to avoid feeding any part of the avocado to dogs.
Symptoms: Trouble breathing or loss of breath, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, congestion, fluid build up in the chest area
5. Fruit Seeds/Fruit Pits
This includes apple seeds and pits from cherries, plums, peaches, and nectarines. Apart from the obvious chocking hazard, fruits pits and seeds should not be ingested by dogs because they can cause bowel and intestinal obstruction. They also contain the poison cyanide. Death or cardiac arrest are possible after ingestion within two to four days without treatment.
Symptoms of cyanide poisoning: dilated pupils, hyperventilation (rapid breathing or panting), shock, vomiting, cardiac arrhythmia, and skin irritations. Persimmon and its seeds in particular can cause diarrhea, then intestinal inflammation.
If you suspect that your dog may have ingested any of these toxic foods, contact your veterinarian immediately. Also, keep in mind this list is only some of the fruits and veggies that are toxic to dogs; there are also poisonous foods from the other food groups. For your dog’s health and well-being, get on the internet and do your research before feeding him or her those seemingly harmless table scraps!
Looking for healthy foods to feed your pooch? Check out our post, “8 Fruits and Vegetables to Keep Your Dog Happy n’ Healthy” for suggestions.
Image Source: Andrés Moreira / Flickr