Some dogs are the canine equivalent of a trash can. They happily eat anything and everything, from a rotting rabbit corpse to a packet of chocolate biscuits. Unfortunately, while’s chowing down on a plate of sausages won’t hurt your dog – even if it’s annoying – there are some things that could kill him if he gets the munchies.
In this article, we are going to look at the top four things your dog must not, in any circumstances, eat.
Ah, chocolate. That deliciously sweet, creamy treat we all love. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Well, your dog likes it too, but unfortunately for him, it’s deadly. Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, with more of it found in dark chocolate. This doesn’t hurt us, but it is lethal for a dog. If your dog snacks on human chocolate, he is effectively eating a powerful stimulant that will kill him.
A large dog can eat more than a small dog without showing ill effects. In small amounts, chocolate causes vomiting and/or diarrhea. Unpleasant, but not too serious. If your dog manages to eat a lot of chocolate, for example, an Easter egg, he will become dangerously hyperactive as the theobromine speeds up his metabolism. If left untreated, he will suffer from internal bleeding, seizures, and probably a heart attack.
Avoid this from happening to your pet by keeping chocolate well out of reach of a greedy dog. If you want your dog to enjoy the same treats as you, buy some specialist dog-friendly chocolate.
If your dog has a sweet tooth, don’t let him near your sugar-free candy or gum. Many types of low-sugar candy contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener. Xylitol is great if you are trying to lose weight, but it is extremely toxic to dogs.
Even very small amounts of xylitol are deadly. If ingested by your dog, it will rapidly make him hypoglycemic due to the rapid release of insulin from the pancreas. If left untreated, your dog will suffer from seizures, liver failure and, eventually, death. Dogs that have consumed anything containing xylitol will show symptoms very quickly, sometimes within 10 minutes.
Onions are rather pungent. Your dog probably won’t want to eat them, but if he’s a canine hoover, keep anything containing onions well out of reach. Onions contain a substance called thiosulphate.
Thiosulphate causes hemolytic anemia in dogs – and cats. This is where the red blood cells sustain damage and burst, leading to anemia, lethargy, internal organ damage, and if left untreated, death.
Note that garlic is part of the onion family, so it is just as lethal.
Whilst giving your pet a dog supplement could help him in many ways, feeling him human medication might actually kill him. If your dog is in pain, you might think it is OK to give him an aspirin. After all, aspirins help you if you are suffering from a headache. But this is a mistake!
Human medication should never be given to dogs unless your vet prescribes it. Many human drugs are extremely toxic, so don’t leave medication where a dog could reach it.
Other dangerous things for dogs include avocados, grapes, and macadamia nuts.