By Anja van den Berg
You might think that sharing your treats with your pets show them how much you love them. After all, who can resist those puppy-dog eyes begging for a morsel?
But hold off on spoiling them with human indulgence. Some foods that you enjoy are just out-and-out bad for your dog and can cause health problems.
Even if your dog has eaten these foods in the past with no problems, they could be causing serious issues you might not realise.
Here are the five worst foodstuffs you should never feed dogs, no matter how adorably they beg.
Save this sweet treat for your human children! At the top of the list of bad foods for dogs is chocolate, which contains theobromine. This ingredient isn’t harmful to humans, but it’s the toxic part of chocolate for dogs. Theobromine is especially prevalent in dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate. It can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhoea, and become overly thirsty. On the more dangerous side, it can cause abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, tremors, and even death.
Bacon is high in both salt and fat. High-fat foods can cause pancreatitis in dogs, while salt can cause a condition called sodium ion poisoning. Moreover, symptoms of too much salt consumption include vomiting, diarrhoea, high body temperature and seizures.
- Garlic and onions
The combination of garlic and onions can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anaemia if consumed in high quantities. A small dose might not do much harm, but a large dose (or regular small doses) can lead to poisoning. Symptoms might include weakness, vomiting, breathlessness, and a loss of appetite.
- Dairy products
Dogs lack the enzyme to break down cow milk sugar, and, while some dogs are more able to handle dairy than others, many dogs are lactose intolerant. Dairy can cause dogs to vomit, have diarrhoea, or develop gastrointestinal diseases. The high-fat content may lead to pancreatitis, as is the case with fatty meats.
- Candy and gum
The real culprit when it comes to candy and gum is an ingredient called xylitol. Xylitol causes an insulin surge through your dog’s body, leading to a drop in blood sugar and liver failure. Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and eventually, death.
Other products that your dog should stay away from are uncooked yeast dough, seeds and pits from fruit, raw potato, cooked bones, apple cores, alcohol, caffeine, and human medicine. Stick to a diet approved by your vet or research some healthy foods that you can share with your dog. Resist that cute face and keep most of your human food to yourself. Then again, maybe you could also benefit by staying away from bacon.