After a long day of work what’s better than to sit down with your favorite snack and start munching away? Your dog may come wagging over with excitement because if lucky enough, he/she gets to snack on what you’re eating! Is it bad to feed your dog table food? The simple answer is no. The ramifications could be worse than you think, because dogs can’t eat everything that humans can. This article will discuss foods that are healthy for your dog. After that, we will provide a list of dangerous foods for dogs and foods that are considered safe for dogs.
Foods Dogs Should Never Eat
Chocolate/cocoa is most known among dog lovers as dangerous for a dog. Humans love chocolate! So, why is chocolate bad for dogs? Not only does chocolate contain caffeine, it also contains theobromine. Both caffeine and theobromine are stimulants. Stimulants in a dog will fire up the cardiovascular and central nervous system, which could lead to increased blood pressure in your dog.
Nuts are a dangerous food for dogs to consume. They are small and could become a choking hazard. Nuts are not easily digestible so they could cause digestive blockages and distress. They’re high in fat, which is bad in large amounts, especially or for tiny and non-active dogs. Lastly, they could contain a chemical like juglone, which is toxic to dogs. Nuts contain a high amount of phosphorous, which could cause bladder stones.
Grapes & Raisins
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Research has not been able to clearly understand why grapes and raisins are dangerous to dogs but it is most likely due to mycotoxins. A mycotoxin is a toxic metabolite that is produced secondarily by different types of mold and fungi. Mycotoxins can also be found in certain wheat products and wheat is found in many dog foods. If your dog is sick often, you should ask yourself, is my dog sensitive to wheat? Bowel and intestinal issues can arise with wheat and mycotoxin sensitivities.
Fruits with Pits and Bones
Fruits with pits, such as plums, peaches, and avocados, are dangerous foods for dogs because they are a choking hazard. They can also obstruct the digestive system. The pits contain cyanide, which is a poisonous chemical. Peaches without the pit, are generally a safe food for dogs. Avocados contain a fungicidal toxin called persin which is harmless to humans but deadly to dogs when consumed in large amounts.
Speaking of choking hazards, have you ever fed your dog meat with bones? Cooked meats with bones, including fish, chicken, and beef can be dangerous too. The bones can cause damage to your dog’s digestive tract and is a choking hazard. If you feed your dog a bone you want to make sure it is raw and large. Raw bones are moist and less likely to splinter causing intestinal damage. In addition, large bones allow your dog to gnaw away and not swallow it whole.
Are wild mushrooms poisonous to dogs? Yes! Make sure to remove any wild growing mushrooms that your dog may have access to in your yard, park, trails or woods. These mushrooms can be poisonous and deadly to dogs. If you don’t want to go crazy removing mushrooms, at least prevent your dog from eating them.
Onions & Garlic
Both onions and garlic can cause anemia in your dog. In these two common cooking ingredients you will find sulfurs, such as allyl propyl disulfide and thiosulphate. These sulfurs can damage the red blood cells in your dog when consumed. All types of onions and garlic are considered a dangerous food for dogs. It doesn’t matter whether they are raw, dried, or cooked. Avoid feeding them to your dog.
Milk & Dairy
Milk and dairy foods, such as cheese and ice cream, are not deadly but can cause digestive upset for some dogs. Not all dogs have enough lactase, which is an enzyme that helps break down lactose in milk. Ingestion could lead to diarrhea, uncomfortable gas pockets, and upset stomach.
Safe Foods for Dogs That are Healthy to Consume (Assuming no allergy)
- Peanut butter (go natural so your dog isn’t eating processed ingredients)
- Apples (without seeds/core)
- Bananas (small portions – large portions could cause stool problems)
- Watermelon (without seeds is a safe and health food for dogs)
- Green Beans
- Cooked Chicken, Beef (small portions, lean, without bones)
- Cooked Squash and Sweet Potato
- Popcorn (fully popped, no salt or butter)
The items in the above list are all considered safe food for dogs. If you are unsure about whether an ingredient is safe or dangerous be sure to research before feeding it to your dog or contact your vet.
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August 21, 2013
Latest Update: August 28th, 2020
Kim is the co-owner of DogLoverStore with her husband, John. She earned her BS in operations management at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She enjoys walking in nature, gardening in the sun, eating sour candy, going on drives, yoga, and reading.