We previously discussed main course foods you should not feed your dog. In this second part, we will focus on things enjoyed by humans in parties that dogs would also love but could be dangerous to them: drinks, sweets & snacks.
Do Not Give Your Dog Alcohol, Caffeine, Milk or Chocolate
See the entire info-graphic in our 21 Foods That Harm Your Dog Summary.
Here are the list of drinks, sweets & snacks that are toxic to dogs:
When it is the time to be merry, humans love to drink. It is recommended though to drink only moderately.
For dogs however, even moderate amount is not safe. Keep your dogs away from your beer mug or wine glass. Small amounts of alcohol can cause organ damage and can lead to possible coma or death.
Alcohol affects the dog’s liver and brain the way it affects humans. Dogs are more sensitive to intoxication and the smaller dogs are more vulnerable.
It only takes about 30 minutes for alcohol to be absorbed in their bodies whether via ingestion or through the skin. The dog’s kidneys were not meant to process alcohol. Just a small amount of booze or food with alcohol can lead to poisoning.
- Coordination problems
- Breathing problems
- Coma in severe cases
If ingested under 40 minutes before going to the vet, vomiting may be induced. The dog’s condition needs to be stabilized. Readjustment of body temperature and adequate ventilation are needed. Intravenous fluids consisting of electrolytes will work to get your dog’s kidneys and urine outflow back to normal. (Wag Walking)
The caffeine found in coffees, teas, cola or energy drinks and cocoas could be highly addicting to humans. Although they have health benefits, too much of coffee is not good.
Caffeine’s lethal dose is considered to be around 70 mg per 1 lb. body weight. Meaning, a dog weighing 10 kilos can die if he consumes only .05 ounces of caffeine.
Caffeine, Theobromine and Theophylline which are present in chocolates (even in white chocolates), coffee and tea are all toxic to dogs and can cause heart or nervous failure in large amounts, and can damage the lungs and kidney as well.
Symptoms can start as soon as 30 minutes after ingestion and last for 12 or more miserable hours.
Caffeine poisoning warning signs:
- Caffeine poisoning warning signs:
- Elevated heart rate/Hypertension (elevated blood pressure)
- Hyperthermia (elevated body temperature)
- Seizures, tremors or muscle twitching
- Fast breathing
As soon as you realize your dog has ingested caffeinated products, bring him to your vet immediately. They may induce vomiting to remove the toxins from the body and give IV support to avoid dehydration.
Avoid giving caffeine to your dogs at all times.
When you think about super foods, milk is always counted. It is almost complete with vitamins and minerals needed by the body. Harm Although milk is a good source of nutrients, most dogs are lactose intolerant. Some dogs are also allergic to milk. Some dogs do not have problems digesting milk while others may experience intestinal pain or digestive problems.
- Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems
The higher the dose the greater, the risk of digestive problems or poisoning in dogs. When your dog reacts badly with milk, stop feeding them with it. If they have loose stools, give them pumpkin or squash.
For vomiting, it is best to bring your dog to the vet.
Snacks & Sweets
Obesity is the most common preventable disease in dogs. Our dogs could gain weight from munching on treats and snacks.
Chocolates are human’s comfort food due to the happy hormones serotonin that the tryptophan in chocolates releases.
It could be eaten as snacks or added to dishes and desserts and it could even be drunk. There are different varieties chocolates and added even flavors to enhance its taste.
Chocolates are considered as one of the most common causes of dog poisoning.
Methylxanthines in chocolates can cause vomiting in small doses and death when taken in large amount.
Most dog owners already know that chocolates although enjoyed by humans are not safe for dogs. Sometimes though, it’s inevitable that they get access to our stash whether we drop a few pieces on the floor or they just find our hiding place.
This is critical as only a few ounces of chocolates are enough to kill a small dog. Dark chocolates are more harmful than white or milk chocolates, but even an ounce of milk chocolates can already be fatal to small dogs.
It may take 6-12 hours before the symptoms of chocolate poisoning become visible. So it is not wise to wait for them to exhibit the symptoms before going to the vet or inducing vomiting.
Chocolate poisoning signs include:
- Extreme thirst
- Too much energy and Pacing
- Shaking or Seizures
Sometimes dogs would vomit when they have ingested chocolates or caffeine.
If they don’t your vet might give him or advice you to administer 1tbsp of hydrogen peroxide for every 20 pounds of your dog’s weight to make him vomit.
According to PetMD vets use drugs called apomorphine to force vomiting, gastric lavage, and activated charcoal to prevent the chocolate from getting into your dog’s blood along with fluid therapy and medications.
If you act fast, the chances of your dog surviving is higher. Recovery will also depend on the amount of poison ingested. Water is the safest beverage you can give your dog.
Xylitol can be found in candies, gums, toothpaste, baked goods, nasal sprays, and some diet foods. It can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure in a few days’ time.
Depending on the brand or kind of product, xylitol content may vary. It may take up to 9 pieces of gum to result in severe hypoglycemia in a 45 pound (20 kg) dog.
- Depression or lethargy
In severe cases your dog may experience seizures.
When your dog has ingested xylitol, bring him to your vet as soon as you can. An IV fluid or dextrose supplementation may be given in order to reverse hypoglycemia.
For snacks, there are homemade dog treats which ingredients are not only safe for dogs to munch on but are also easy to make. You may also give them dog treats from the store provided you read the label carefully.
Our dogs may want to share all the food we have but it is our responsibility to choose the food we give them. We should also make sure that they have no access to toxic foods by keeping them in storage places beyond their reach and throwing our trash properly. What snacks does your dog enjoy?