Toxins to Keep Away From Your Pets

Here is a list of toxins to keep away from your pets.

1. Onions – Both onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient Thiosulphate. But onions are more dangerous. Many dog biscuits contain *small* amounts of garlic – garlic contains less of this toxin so huge quantities would need to be consumed to be toxic. And, by the way, this poison builds up the system – it can be toxic in one large dose – or with repeated consumption of small amounts.
2. Chocolate – Chocolate contains Theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. It can be fatal to dogs.
3. Grapes – Grapes are dangerous because of an unknown substance which is toxic to dogs – affects canine’s kidneys.
4. Raisins – See above.
5. Most Fruit Pits and Seeds – Contain Cyanogenic Glycosides resulting in cyanide poisoning – though the fruit itself is OK.
6. Macadamia Nuts – Contain an unknown substance that is toxic to dogs.
7. Bones – Most bones should not be given (especially chicken bones) because they can splinter and cause laceration of the digestive system and become lodged in your pet’s throat – so they also pose a choking hazard.
8. Potato Peelings and Green Potatoes – Contain Oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
9. Rhubarb leaves – See above.
10. Broccoli – Broccoli is only toxic in large quantities.
11. Green parts of Tomatoes or Green Potatoes – Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
12. Yeast Dough – Can produce gas and swell in your pet’s stomach – leading to rupture of the digestive system.
13. Coffee, Coffee Grounds, Tea, Soft Drinks – Coffee, tea, and most soft drinks are dangerous due to the caffeine.
14. Beer/Wine/Alcohol of any kind – Alcohol of any kind could lead to coma or even death.
15. Human Vitamins – Human vitamins, especially those containing iron, can cause damage to the lining of the digestive system as well as cause kidney and liver damage.
16. Moldy or Spoiled Food – I think this goes without saying.
17. Persimmons – Persimmons can cause intestinal blockage.
18. Raw Eggs and Raw Fish – Raw eggs and some raw fish can cause Salmonella poisoning.
19. Salt, Baking Soda, Baking Powder – In large amounts these can cause an electrolyte imbalance – and severe electrolyte imbalances can lead to muscle spasm or even congestive heart failure.
20. Mushrooms – May contain toxins which could cause liver and kidney damage.
21. Sugar-Free Foods – Sugar-free foods containing Xylitol have been found to cause liver failure in some dogs.
22. Nutmeg – Can cause tremors, seizures, and central nervous system damage.
23. Excessive Fatty Foods – Can cause Pancreatitis.
24. Avocado – All parts of the avocado and avocado tree are toxic to dogs.
25. Dairy Products – Dairy products don’t usually pose a significant danger, but many dairy products have high-fat content (see number 23) – and many pets are lactose intolerant – some pets more than others. Lactose intolerance leads to gas and diarrhea; though small amounts of yogurt and cheese are usually reasonably well tolerated.

Keep these 25 toxic foods in mind when cooking for your dog. There may be other foods that your dog cannot consume; so always ask your vet when you are unsure about anything concerning your pets.

Poisonous Foods for Dogs – How Much is a Toxic Dose?

Notably, just like any toxin, there are variables, like the size of the dog, the quantity of toxic food that the dog has ingested, the dog’s overall health conditions and underlying food allergies or sensitivities.

For these reasons, it’s impossible to say how much of a particular food constitutes a toxic dose. If a large dog eats one grape or one M&M, it’s unlikely he’ll suffer any ill effects. On the other hand, a relatively small dose of xylitol from a few pieces of sugar-free gum can be deadly to a large dog. The same goes for foods like peanuts; if a dog who’s allergic to peanuts smells a peanut, he could suffer a deadly allergic reaction. The dog’s health condition also plays a role in what constitutes a toxic dose; a dog who has experienced a bout of pancreatitis in recent months could have a deadly relapse, triggered by eating a small amount of cat food, nuts or another fatty food.

In short, many dog owners may say, ‘Hey, my dog has eaten that before, and he lived.” That does not mean a particular food is safe! It means the dog was lucky; he ingested a less than- lethal dose of the toxin. Further, many of the effects of toxic foods — like organ damage — are not visible to the untrained eye, but that does not mean the dog is unscathed.

Chocolate is toxic to dogs, though a toxic dose will vary depending on a few factors. Whether the dog ate the chocolate on an empty stomach, if the dog is particularly sensitive to chocolate, and the type of chocolate since dark chocolate is more toxic, whereas milk chocolate less so, and white chocolate must be consumed in enormous quantities to cause a severe problem.

Theobromine is the toxic ingredient in chocolate. Theobromine serves to stimulate the central nervous system, resulting in rapid heart rate, seizures, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, panting and rapid pulse.

Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs. Grapes and raisins (which are dried grapes) will trigger acute renal (kidney) failure. The kidneys act as filters for toxins in the dog’s body, therefore, when the kidneys are not functioning correctly, toxins accumulate in the body and lead to death due to toxins. Urine production will also slow significantly or cease in cases of grape or raisin toxicity in dogs, so this can suggest a severe problem if observed in an animal who may have accessed grapes or raisins.

Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic can trigger a form of anemia where the body’s red blood cells burst. This results in reduced oxygen supply to the vital organs and tissues. When fed regularly in small doses, severe and potentially deadly nutritional deficiencies can also occur. So dog owners should always check ingredients of prepared foods before offering these foods to pets. Baby food very often contains onion powder. So French onion soup and other food items that contain onions and garlic should be crossed off the list of dog-safe foods.

Avocado fruit, pits, leaves and the actual plant are all potentially poisonous to dogs, along with other pets like cats, mice, rats, birds, rabbits, horses, cattle and goats, among others. Avocados will trigger fluid accumulation in the lungs and chest, leading to difficulty breathing and death due to oxygen deprivation. Fluid accumulation can also occur in the heart, pancreas and abdomen.

Tomatoes, Potatoes and Rhubarb
Tomatoes, potatoes and rhubarb contain oxalates, which trigger abnormalities in the nervous system, kidneys and digestive tract. Especially toxic are green tomatoes and green potatoes. Potato skins, tomato leaves and plants, can trigger tremors, seizure and heart arrhythmia, so tomatoes should never be given to dogs.

Cat Food
Cat food is very high in fats and protein, and when ingested by a dog, particularly in large amounts or on a regular basis, the cat food can cause a bout of potentially deadly pancreatitis. It should be noted that all high-fat foods – particularly ham and bacon – can trigger pancreatitis; therefore pet owners should also use caution
when offering table scraps that are high in fats.

Dogs cannot tolerate alcohol, even in small amounts. And the hops in beer are also potentially toxic to dogs. Alcohol ingestion by dogs can result in intoxication, liver failure, coma, seizures and death.

Macadamia nuts and walnuts are toxic to dogs, and these foods can also trigger pancreatitis because they’re high in fats.

Peanuts can trigger a deadly allergic reaction in dogs who are allergic (just like humans, some dogs are allergic to peanuts; others are not.) And like humans, a dog who is acutely allergic to peanuts could suffer a reaction by just smelling the peanuts or peanut butter.

Mushrooms contain toxins that will trigger numerous organ systems, including the kidneys, liver and brain. Nervous system abnormalities, seizure, coma, vomiting, and death can all result when a dog ingests mushrooms.

Other miscellaneous foods that are toxic to dogs include raw eggs and egg whites, raw fish, nutmeg, salt tobacco, trash items, persimmons, yeast and dough containing yeast, liver, marijuana, hops, human iron supplements and xylitol, which is contained in chewing gum and candies.

In the event of an emergency involving a pet who may have ingested a toxic food or other potentially deadly substance, pet owners should contact a veterinarian and an animal poison control hotline, such as the ASPCA Poison Control Center, which can be reached by calling 888-426- 4435.

Written by Anne Huard, Hospital Manager