Dogs are like babies. They explore with their mouths.
My puppy, Ringo, took it to the next level when he decided to explore the treasures beyond his reach on top of the dining room table.
One day, when all human supervision was gone, Ringo had the nerve to jump on top of the table and – with the help of Ozzy – polished off a new, unopened box of chocolate chip cookies and a container of chocolate covered almonds.
We had no choice but to clean up the mess and hope for the best after they ate a ton of chocolate.
There is a toxic agent in chocolate called Theobromine that is dangerous and can be deadly to dogs. I thought for sure they would get sick and was hoping to see them alive and kickin’ in the morning.
That night was eventful to say the least. Both dogs ended up vomiting and having diarrhea, common signs of sickness from chocolate. We weren’t surprised, but knew it could have been worse. Finally, the madness died down and the house went to sleep, including the dogs – or so we thought.
At three in the morning, Ringo hurdled over the child safety gate we set up for him at the bottom of the stair case, and ran upstairs to cause havoc.
He woke my parents by running around under their bed and woke my sisters and I by running around in the hallway, crashing into cabinets, knocking over the trashcan and slapping everything with his tail.
It took Ringo over an hour to finally settle down and knock out. It was a rough night and the dogs survived their chocolate binge.
It is important to know what kind of foods dogs shouldn’t be devouring so they don’t unnecessarily keel over on you one day.
To help out, here are 10 dangerous foods to keep away from your dog:
- Chocolate: Theobromine is the stuff that will really mess your dog up. There are high quantities of it in dark chocolate, chocolate mulch and unsweetened baking chocolate, so watch out for those. It’s smart to keep your pups away from all chocolates in general. Go here for more information about types of chocolates and the amounts that are dangerous for your pooch.
- Candy & Gum: There’s an artificial sweetener called Xylitol in some candy and gum that can jack a dog up. They have a sort of diabetes reaction to the substance. Xylitol can pump up a dog’s insulin levels, which will quickly drop their blood sugar level and can cause liver failure.
- Grapes & Raisins: They may be small, but grapes and raisins pack a big punch. They can cause kidney failure if too many are eaten.
- Tea, Coffee & Caffeine: Humans crave caffeine to keep them awake and alert. The same effect happens when dogs consume it, but we have to remember they are a lot smaller than us. It can raise their heart rate, leading to heart attack, seizures or more.
- Onions & Garlic: Whether it’s crushed, powder, chopped, sliced, diced, mashed, put in baby food or anywhere in between, onions and garlic are a bad idea for dogs. These foods can destroy their blood cells and lead to anemia.
- Alcohol: This should be a no-brainer, but I know there’s going to be someone out there thinking it would be funny to get his or her dog drunk. No. Dogs are tiny compared to humans, so it takes a lot less alcohol to get them drunk. You know what happens when you’re drunk? The same thing happens with dogs, except small amounts can lead to severe intoxication, coma or even death.
- Avocado: Dogs and avocado trees are a horrible combination. If you own both, be warned. There’s a substance called persin in the leaves, bark and fruit of the tree that can be deadly in large amounts. It would be a good idea to keep the dogs away from the guacamole party dip too.
- Raw meat, fish and eggs: Raw meat and fish may contain bacteria that can cause doggy food poisoning. Some reactions are vomiting, fever and big lymph nodes. There are actually some diseases dogs can catch because of parasites in fish including salmon, trout, shad and sturgeon. Similar to raw meat and fish, raw eggs may contain Salmonella or E. coli, which can also cause disease.
- Peach, Plum & Persimmon seeds: The more obvious reason why dogs shouldn’t mess with these fruits is because their pits can get stuck in their intestines and cause a very painful and dangerous obstruction. The pits of these fruits also contain a harmful chemical to both humans and animals – cyanide. Dogs don’t know not to eat pits of fruit, so they are more succeptable to poisoning.
- Macadamia Nuts: They may be small, but as few as six nuts can make your pooch sick. A variety of symptoms include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, fever and rapid heart rate.
If your dog ever gets into foods or substances that may be harmful to his or her health, the best thing to do is contact your local vet, so keep the number somewhere you can find it. You can also contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for assistance 24 hours a day.