Whilst celebrating all things baking, it may be tempting to share some of what you eat with your dog. However, it's important to remember that our dogs cannot eat everything we do and certain foods can be extremely dangerous. So what exactly do we need to be aware of?
Refresh your memory with this handy guide to the human foods our dogs should be keeping their paws off!
Chocolate contains a stimulating substance called 'theobromine' which is extremely poisonous to dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains and the greater the risk. Even small amounts of chocolate can be harmful. If your dog consumes chocolate it could cause vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, heart problems, hyperexcitability and fits. Signs of theobromine poisoning can occur 4 to 24 hours after consumption.
A product with caffeine in can result in a similar effect to that of chocolate and is therefore another no no for dogs.
3. Mouldy Foods
This may seem like an obvious one, however, mouldy food including bread, nuts and dairy products contain a high number of toxins that can make your dog ill. It's essential that dogs cannot get their paws on any leftovers or waste bins.
4. Milk & Dairy Products
Many dogs find it hard to digest the lactose in dairy products such as milk, butter and cheese. It’s important to watch out for tummy upsets, diarrhoea or irritating skin allergies.
Avocado contains a fungicidal toxin called persin which can give your dog a digestive upset. The large avocado stone can also be dangerous as it could block the gastrointestinal tract if eaten.
6. Grapes & Fruit Pips/Stones
Grapes can be fatally toxic and cause severe kidney damage. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, dehydration and abdominal pain.
The pips and stones of some fruits such as apples, plums, peaches and cherries contain a chemical called amygdalin, which can cause digestive upset. Large fruit stones are also a choking hazard.
7. Dried Fruit
Dried fruits, including currants, sultanas and raisins are all toxic to dogs. It’s thought that the dried forms of these fruits are more toxic than grapes. Symptoms can include diarrhoea, vomiting and at worst, kidney failure. This means that hot cross buns, or any foods containing dried fruit need to be avoided.
8. Onions, Garlic and Chives
Onions, garlic and chives can cause stomach and gut irritation. Onions (either raw or cooked) are particularly toxic for dogs and signs of poisoning can often take a few days to appear. If your dog seems sleepy or lethargic, it’s important to contact your vet.
9. Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob may seem like a healthy option for your dog, however, unlike most vegetables, it does not digest well. If your dog swallows large chunks of the cob, it could cause an intestinal blockage. Signs to look out for are vomiting, loss or reduced appetite, absence of feces or diarrhoea and abdominal discomfort.
Alcohol is significantly more toxic to dogs than humans. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhoea, decreased co-ordination, difficulty breathing and tremors. It's important to avoid any foods that may contain alcohol.
Bones can be a potential choking hazard, cause blockages in the gut, lead to intestinal damage and even break teeth. If you do give your dog bones, be sure to keep an eye on them and avoid bones that are too small or may splinter.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is used in sweets, cakes, toothpaste, chewing gum, diet foods and also some forms of peanut butter. Xylitol could prove fatal as it kickstarts a rapid release of the hormone insulin. The symptoms of poisoning include weakness, vomiting, a lack of co-ordination and even seizures. Even small amounts of this can be dangerous.
If you think your dog may have eaten something it shouldn’t have, it’s important to contact your vet immediately. If possible, try to provide your vet with as much information as possible.