Parties are never complete without food. For the main course served, there are many foods that pose potential risk to your dog’s health.
Here are some commonly used main and additional ingredients to dishes that are served not only in parties but even during a simple meal at home which are toxic to dogs.
Main Course Foods You Should Not Feed Your Dog
See the entire infographic in our 21 Foods That Harm Your Dog Summary.
Onions and garlic make food tastier. Chives and leeks are sometimes added to different dishes and make them more interesting or appealing to the palate. Some dog food contains a small amount of garlic. The quantity is not enough to harm them.
However, if dogs ingest as little as 15 to 30 g/kg of these allium plants, it can injure their red blood cells. To put it simply, one fourth of a cup of onion can make a 20-pound dog sick.
Allium family contains N-propyl disulphide that is toxic to dogs. They release components that can cause anemia and blood damage wherein red cells rupture.
In some severe cases, haemolytic anemia can lead to damage or failure of internal organs that eventually leads to death.
How do you know that your dog must have taken more than enough?
- Weakness or Ataxia (lack of coordination)
- Pale gums
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Increased heart and/or respiratory rate
- Red or brown discolored urine
If you see these signs or if you think they ingested a toxic amount, bring them to the vet immediately. The treatment includes:
- IV fluid administration to flush the bloodstream and kidney from the toxins stimulated vomiting if it was ingested within the last 2 hours administering activated charcoal to absorb the toxins catharsis
- Keep the pan you had sautéed garlic and onions with away from your dog as they may lick it.
- Throw your trash properly so they will not reach it.
Remember when you were watching cartoons as a kid and you see dogs eating bones? In the real world, bones of any kind are actually dangerous to give to your dog.
Dogs may love to eat the extra meat or soft tissue attached to the bones. These are also where the nutrients come from and not on the bone itself.
Bones can chip or be swallowed that can cause obstruction or choking as well as intestinal blockage.
Contrary to what some believe that allowing their dog to play with bones can clean their teeth, too much biting of the bones will actually crack or damage the dog’s teeth.
Some of our dogs lost some of their teeth after scavenging in the trash for bones. It’s better to let them crunch on some carrots or dental sticks than give them bones.
In some cases, dogs may have loose stools because of the bone marrow or constipation if they have consumed a large amount.
It is better not to give your dogs raw or cooked bones. The amount of nutrients they will get from the tissues, marrows, and meat in the bones is not enough anyway. If your dog is a chewer, give them either carrots to munch on or a chew toy.
Citrus Oil Extracts
Citrus oil extracts are usually found in insect repellents, shampoos, and fragrances. It is also added to food for flavouring. Most humans who also practice aromatherapy benefit from citrus essential oil diffusion or topical application. However, you need to be extra careful in choosing essential oils to use around your pets.
When ingested by a dog, it metabolizes in the dog’s liver and causes liver failure or liver damage.
When dogs are exposed to citrus oil, they show these signs:
- Weakness and Trembling or Ataxia (lack of coordination)
- Low blood pressure
- Dermatitis especially in the scrotal and perineal area Vomiting
- In severe cases, death is probable.
If your dog has been exposed to citrus oil, it’s advised that you bathe him with liquid dish soap and warm water repeatedly until the smell of the oil is gone.
In case your dog ingested it, a gastric lavage may be performed or activated charcoal be administered. Do not induce vomiting as aspiration is at risk.
Like milk, dairy products are good sources of nutrients. Humans may consider them as super food. But can dogs also benefit from them? Yes and no. In small amount, dairy products could be given to dogs. As their ‘guardian’ you must know if your dog is lactose intolerant or allergic to them.
Most cheeses have less lactose, less sodium and low fat so are safe for dogs in small quantities.
Vomiting, diarrhea, other gastrointestinal problems could occur when dogs consume too much dairy.
When giving dairy products like butter, ice cream and the like, remember that moderation is the key.
Bacon is a favorite Christmas morning breakfast for many. Barbecue, pork chop, and other meat and greasy dishes are often served during occasions.But you cannot be sure that a meat is 100% lean. Meat filled with fats can be bad for the health even for us humans. So it’s not surprising that it can also do harm to dogs.
Eating fats can lead to different complications and diseases. Although a small piece may not cause permanent damage to your dog, be careful not to give them pure fat cooked or uncooked as it can cause pancreatitis.
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Chronic pancreatitis
When you know that your dog has eaten a large amount of fatty food or lard, bring him to the vet immediately. They may induce vomiting to remove the food from your dog’s body before it can cause more harm.
Liver may be rich in nutrients and can be given to dogs. They will enjoy it as it is tasty. However, if they eat liver often, health problems may arise.
Do not feed your dog raw liver. Do not also let them consume three servings of cooked liver a week. Liver has high Vitamin A content if your dogs are on vitamin A supplements; there is no need to give them liver as it may cause hypervitaminosis A.
- Deformed bones or excessive bone growth on the elbows and spine
If you think that your dog had too much liver, take him to the vet immediately so they can perform the needed lab tests to detect the problem and perform any procedure that will remove the toxin from your dog’s body.
Pasta and other foods are cooked with mushroom. Although not all mushrooms are toxic to dogs, it is better to avoid giving them this food as a precaution.
Some mushrooms are toxic, causing system failure, shock and death in severe cases.
The severity depends on what kind of mushroom and on the amount ingested. Amanita phalloides (Death Cap Mushroom), Amanita ocreata (Angel of Death), Lepiota (False Parasol), Galerina, Amanita pantherina (Panther Cap) and Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric) are some of the few mushrooms toxic to dogs.
- Abdominal pain and Diarrhea
- Uncoordinated movements and weakness
- Jaundice or yellowing of the skin
- Excessive drooling (ptyalism)
Activated charcoal is given by mouth to bind the toxins present in the stomach and intestines. They may also be given fluid therapy to help eliminate the toxins from their body and stabilize fluid levels.
Raw eggs are great source of protein, vitamin A, folate, iron and selenium. It can be good for dogs when given in moderation. They may even help dogs with upset stomachs.
However avoid giving your dogs raw eggs in large quantities. Major veterinary medical associations don't think that it’s a good idea to add raw eggs to dog’s raw diet.
The Avidin Enzyme in raw eggs can reduce absorption of biotin or Vitamin B7. This can lead to hair and skin problems. But this is a rare case and a large amount of egg consumption is needed before such deficiency could occur.
There is also the risk of Salmonella or E. coli with raw eggs although this is also rare. Some dogs are also allergic from eggs.
Toxicity from eggs is not common and when not given in large amount, it is not considered toxic for dogs. For rare cases of biotin deficiency, watch out for these warning signs:
For biotin deficiency, your vet will most likely prescribe B complex or vitamin B rich foods. Remember though that you can still give your dogs egg, provided you don’t give more than one egg a day unless otherwise advised.
Raw fish may be good for dogs especially because of omega-3 that helps decrease inflammation and is good for the heart.
However, raw fish can have bacteria or may have a risk in parasites like tapeworms, flukes and roundworms.
Some fish such as salmon, trout, and shad has these parasites which can lead to "fish disease" or "salmon poisoning disease" with the following symptoms:
- Swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)
- Discharge from the nose and eyes
Intravenous fluid therapy, antibiotic therapy, and therapy to control diarrhea are given to dogs with salmon poisoning. In some cases, they may need electrolyte replacement therapy and/or blood transfusions. Prevention Fully cook the fish to kill the parasite.
To feed raw fish without the risk of parasites, freeze it for 24 hours.
Giving bread as a treat every now and then is not dangerous.
Bread itself when given in moderation does not cause poisoning in dogs. But bread is only a filler food and does not contain nutrients that can already be found in other dog foods.
The danger is with the ingredients. Onion or garlic bread and raisin breads can be dangerous for reasons to be discussed in their respective categories. Some bread contain high amount of oil and sugar.
Also be careful not to feed dogs with bread with molds as this also causes poisoning.
Raw yeast however which is an ingredient used in making bread should be kept away from dogs as it is highly poisonous.
It will ferment in the stomach causing swelling and pain with the potential for rupture. When yeast ferments in the dog’s stomach, it results in ethanol toxicosis which causes:
- Excessive gas passing
- Vomiting (sometimes wanting to vomit but being unable to)
- Loss of coordination
- Unusual bladder issues
- Sudden behavioral changes
- Cardiac arrest
Bring your dog to the vet immediately after you suspect that they ate yeast. Force vomiting or emesis may be performed to get the yeast out of the digestive system.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove yeast in the stomach to avoid rupture inside.
Dogs are curious animals that are always hungry. Unlike their feline friends who are picky eaters, dogs will eat almost anything. They wouldn’t know which ones are toxic or which are treats. Keep a watchful eye to what they put in their mouths. Know the signs and symptoms of poisoning and how to treat or manage it when the situation arises.