The term puppy dog eyes is misleading because your dog knows how to work that look his or her entire life. Doesn’t matter if your dog is really still a pup or 9 years old, one soulful gaze and you can feel your heart trip as your body moves without thought to share your snack. It’s critical for your dog’s health that you remember who is in charge, especially when those puppy dog eyes are trained on your human food. Your dog trusts you, and they love food, so it’s up to you to be well educated on what human foods are dangerous for your dog.

It’s not just physical gastrointestinal obstruction that you have to worry about – there are several commonly used foods that will poison your dog. You know about chocolate, but what about sugar substitutes? Here is a list of the most dangerous foods.

Chocolate is likely the most well-known dangerous human food for dogs, so we’ll start here. You likely also know that the caffeine in chocolate is toxic to your pet. Dog’s bodies are so much smaller than ours that the effects of this stimulant are ramped up. Other foods with caffeine include the obvious coffee and black tea, but also green tea, energy drinks, and pop. Chocolate also contains theobromine, which is highly toxic for dogs.

Onions will wreak havoc on your dog’s system. Be wary of all allium family plants, including onion’s delicious and deadly relatives garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots. It could take a few days for symptoms to appear, but watch out for indications of gastrointestinal tract pain.

Grapes and raisins are well known to cause kidney failure in dogs. Related foods include currants and foods that contain grape or currant extracts like grape juice or raisin bread.

Add macadamia nuts to the list. Like grapes, this is a food that scientists aren’t exactly sure what component makes your dog sick, but the effects are very serious nonetheless.

Avoid all forms of alcohol. You may be surprised to hear that includes raw yeast dough, which ferments and can produce alcohol.

Finally, we have to talk about sugar substitute xylitol. Naturally occurring in a variety of plant life, xylitol is concentrated and used in foods as a sugar substitute. So if your dog gets a hold of a piece of gum or gets into the snacks cupboard, read labels carefully looking for xylitol even if the snack itself doesn’t contain any other known unsafe ingredient.

How much of any one of these foods does your dog have to eat in order for it to cause permanent damage or death? It depends on the dog, and it depends on the food, but minuscule amounts have been known to cause overwhelming effects in dogs of all sizes and breeds. When in doubt call the veterinarian and follow their directions. It won’t hurt to talk about symptoms to watch for the next time you’re in the clinic with your dog.

New Approach Canine provides training for dogs at all skill levels. Recall and impulse control can be very useful in all kinds of situations, especially when you discover your dog face-first in your lunch bag. Call (519) 208-5559 to book a spot in our next class.

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