Most people know that chocolate can make their dog very sick, and would never intentionally feed it to them. But how about other foods that you eat or have in your house? Dogs are notorious beggars – they love people food. And it's easy for a loving dog owner to give in and share a little of their snack with their furry friend. However, chocolate isn't the only human food that's dangerous for dogs. Take a look at a few of the foods that you should make sure not to share with your canine companion.
Onions and Garlic
Onions add flavor to your food, and for a human, they're actually pretty good for your health. However, for pets, onions are poisonous. This is because the onion contains thiosulphate, a compound that damages your dog's red blood cells and causes a condition called hemolytic anemia. This results in dangerous symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, disinterest in food, lethargy, and shortness of breath. The symptoms may not occur until two to four days after eating the onion, so don't make the mistake of assuming your dog is fine if they accidentally eat something containing onions.
It's important to note that onions in any form can cause this reaction in your dog. It doesn't matter if the onions are cooked, raw, or even powdered – they're all dangerous for your dog. Garlic has a similar effect on pets. Onions and garlic are both commonly used to season many prepared foods, from pizza or spaghetti sauce to many soups to certain baby foods. Be very careful about sharing any food that you didn't cook yourself with your dog, because it's hard to be certain that that food is free of onions or garlic.
Macadamia nuts are a great treat, whether you're eating them by themselves or baked into a delicious cookie. Chances are, if you're enjoying them, your dog is going to want a taste too. However, you should resist the urge to share. Dogs have an unpleasant reaction to macadamia nuts that seems to be unique to them – the symptoms have not been observed in any other animals.
Within 12 hours of eating even a small amount of macadamia nuts, dogs can develop symptoms like hyperthermia, weakness, vomiting, ataxia, and depression. The condition is usually nonfatal, and most dogs recover within two days. However, if your dog is vomiting, there is a risk of dehydration, which can be dangerous, and they may need to be treated with fluids. And of course, you don't want your dog to have to experience any of those symptoms for two days, so keep them away from your macadamia nuts.
For many people, coffee is a necessity to get up and moving in the morning, and some people even drink it throughout the day for extra energy. However, you should resist the temptation to share with your furry friend, even if they seem a little sleepy today. The same caffeine in the coffee that gives you your get-up-and-go in the morning can be very dangerous for your pet.
Caffeine is a powerful stimulant – that's why it wakes you up. If you drink a lot of it, or if you drink a particularly strong cup of coffee, you may notice your pulse racing, and you might feel a little short of breath. The same thing happens to dogs – but your dog is much smaller than you, and your dog doesn't have a tolerance to caffeine built up from years of consuming it. Therefore, the effects can be much more powerful in your dog's body. They can experience tremors, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and respiratory distress. In very high doses, caffeine can be fatal, and there is no antidote, so be sure to keep your dog out of the pantry or cabinet where you store your coffee grounds.
If your pet ingests one of these dangerous foods, contact your veterinarian of a 24-hour emergency care facility like Gwynedd Veterinary Hospital right away. Your dog may need emergency treatment to help them recover from the exposure.