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Everyday Items Your Dog Should Avoid

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Does your dog give you the puppy face when you sit down to dinner? Are you tempted to share just a bite with him, so he can sample your steak or dessert? If you’re like most pet owners, chances are you’ve given your dog the occasional taste of your meal. Certain foods, however, are dangerous for your dog — and they may not be the foods you expect. The bottom line is that your dog can live quite happily without ever once trying what’s on your plate, but if you decide to share, avoid these foods to create the safest possible environment for him.

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and all members of the onion family, such as scallions and shallots damage red blood cells when consumed in sufficient quantity. This includes dehydrated onions, garlic powder and onion soup mix. Keep in mind that evidence of physiological damage may not appear until about three to five days after consumption. If your dog consumes any of these items and becomes weak, tires easily and expels orange or red-tinted urine, contact your vet immediately.

Raisins and Grapes

Even eating just a few grapes or raisins can cause serious toxicity resulting in kidney failure in your dog. Oddly, many dogs can eat grapes and raisins without problem, while some develop a reaction immediately or over time. As a result, it’s best to simply avoid toxicity from these popular foods altogether. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy, followed by changes in urination patterns. Because death can result after only three days, bringing your dog to the vet immediately after exposure is essential.

Alcohol and Bread Dough

Chances are, you’ve heard a friend say, “But my dog loves beer!” Unfortunately, both hops and drinking alcohol are dangerous for your dog. Not only is your dog much more sensitive to alcohol than you are, but seizures and overdose are likely, especially in cases of extreme inebriation. If your dog accidentally lapped up spilled alcohol and loses coordination, let your vet monitor him until he sobers up.

Similarly, consuming raw dough produces severe reactions in dogs. Because of the warm environment in the stomach, raw dough expands, causing tissue death, breathing difficulty and alcohol intoxication. In the event your dog eats raw bread dough, contact your vet immediately.


Chocolate, especially dark chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder produces extreme reactions in dogs after consumption. Your dog will likely demonstrate increased restlessness and thirst in mild cases, and severe agitation, fever, seizures and heartbeat problems can occur in acute cases. If your dog eats chocolate, monitor him carefully and contact your vet immediately for more advice.

Tips and More Foods to Avoid

Avocado, macadamia nuts, moldy foods and processed products containing the chemical sweetener xylitol are all dangerous for dogs. The key to food safety is simply paying attention and limiting consumption to mostly foods created specifically for dogs. Avoid processed foods, limit sharing to sampling only, and keep all human food out of your pet’s reach to create the safest possible environment.

Learn More on ASPCA.org


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