The Most Poisonous Foods for Dogs

BY | May 17 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
The Most Poisonous Foods for Dogs
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What you enjoy as a tasty snack could actually be quite harmful to your dog. Learn what foods are dangerous to dogs and how they can be treated.

Dogs will eat just about anything they can get their paws on, which is a problem because there are several common household foods that are actually poisonous for dogs. Some of these foods will cause vomiting, dehydration, and liver failure, and some can even prove to be fatal.

Depending on what type of poisonous food your pet eats, you may have to take them to see your vet immediately. If you need to know about a food quickly, use the FIND function in your web browser to skip to the food you have questions about.

Chocolate

What You Need to Know

  • Chocolate is poisonous for dogs because it contains theobromine.
  • Unlike cats, who cannot taste the sweetness of chocolate, dogs can develop a taste for this potentially toxic treat.
  • The amount of chocolate ingested is related to how strong the poisoning is. For instance, a 44 lb dog will begin to have digestive troubles after eating just a chocolate bar, but will only experience the more serious symptoms after ingesting over a pound of the sweet.

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

  • Seizures
  • Heart attacks
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Death

Symptoms of this disease can last as long as 72 hours.

Treatment of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

Call your veterinarian and poison control immediately. A vet may attempt to induce vomiting if it is still within two hours of the dog eating the chocolate. If too much time has passed, the vet will treat the symptoms your dog shows, such as seizures and heart troubles, with specialized medicines.

Caffeine


What You Need to Know

  • Whether it’s in tea, coffee, or chocolate, caffeine can cause heart problems for your dog.
  • A few sips of a caffeinated beverage may not poison your pet, but eating coffee grounds or tea bags can have grave consequences.

Symptoms of Caffeine Poisoning in Dogs

  • Hyperactivity
  • Vomiting
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Seizures
  • Collapse

Treatment of Caffeine Poisoning in Dogs

Call your veterinarian and poison control immediately. A vet may induce vomiting, as well as give your pet a dose of activated charcoal. Other options depending on the symptoms include sedatives, heart medication to lower the heart rate, and giving your dog IV fluids.

Garlic and Onions


What You Need to Know

  • Garlic and Onions both contain sulfoxides and disulfides that are poisonous for dogs in all forms, be it raw, cooked, or in a powder.
  • Sulfoxides and disulfides damage your dog’s red blood cells and can cause anemia
  • Onions have larger quantities of sulfoxides and disulfides than garlic, but both should be avoided by your pet.

Symptoms of Garlic and Onion Poisoning in Dogs

  • Anemia
  • Lack of energy
  • Pale gums

Treatment of Garlic and Onion Poisoning in Dogs

Call your veterinarian and poison control immediately. A vet may treat your dog’s anemia by using corticosteroids and immunosuppressants.

Gum


What You Need to Know

  • Gum, as well as types of pudding and toothpaste, contain a sugar-free sweetener called xylitol that can be toxic for your dog.  
  • Ingestion of more than .1 grams of xylitol can cause a very serious and life-threatening type of low blood sugar for your dog within 10 minutes of them eating it.
  • Large ingestion of xylitol can cause liver failure.
  • If your dog has ingested xylitol, you need to act quickly and call your veterinarian.

Symptoms of Gum Poisoning in Dogs

  • Lack of energy
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Jaundice
  • Coma
  • Death

Treatment of Gum Poisoning in Dogs

Call your veterinarian and poison control immediately. A vet may treat your dog by inducing vomiting, as well as monitoring their blood sugar levels. Other treatment options include providing sugar to your pet through IV Fluids and prescribing drugs to protect your dog’s liver from failing.

Alcohol


What You Need to Know

  • Your pet can ingest alcohol in other ways than just through drinking it. Eating rum cake or unbaked dough that has yeast in it can also end up in your dog suffering from alcohol poisoning.
  • Unbaked bread dough can also result in a bloated and twisted stomach, which in turn leads to Gastric Dilatation and volvulus syndrome, known as GDV. GDV is a life-threatening surgical emergency that needs immediate medical attention.
  • Alcohol from yeast in your dog’s belly is absorbed into your dog’s bloodstream quickly, meaning the effects of alcohol poisoning happen quickly.

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Dry Heaving
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Coma
  • Death

Treatment of Alcohol Poisoning in Dogs

Call your veterinarian and poison control immediately. A vet may induce vomiting in your pet to deal with alcohol poisoning. For GDV, there will have to be a surgical procedure and then treatment with IV fluids and antibiotics.

Raisins and Grapes

What You Need to Know

  • Raisins and grapes can be poisonous for your dog in all the products they come in, from trail mix to juices.
  • It is not currently understood what grapes and raisins are toxic for dogs, but even a small mouthful of grapes or raisins could cause your dog much discomfort.

Symptoms of Raisin and Grape Poisoning in Dogs

  • Lack of energy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration

Treatment of Raisin and Grape Poisoning in Dogs

Call your veterinarian and poison control immediately. A vet may treat your dog by inducing vomiting and giving doses of activated charcoal. A vet may also monitor your dog’s kidney and then supply IV fluid to your pet.

Salt


What You Need to Know

  • Salt can be very poisonous for your dog and can lead to dehydration and sodium ion poisoning.
  • In the past, salt was even used by some pet owners and veterinarians to induce vomiting in pets. However, this is no longer an accepted practice.

Symptoms of Salt Poisoning in Dogs

  • Vomiting
  • Lack of energy
  • Large amounts of thirst
  • Damaged kidneys
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Treatment of Salt Poisoning in Dogs

Call your veterinarian and poison control immediately. A vet may treat salt poisoning by giving your dog a dose of IV fluids while monitoring their dehydration levels.

Apricots


What You Need to Know

  • It isn’t the fruit of the apricot that’s the problem. It’s the pit, which contains cyanide. The pits of cherries and peaches also contain this poison.
  • While humans know not to try to chew the pit of this fruit, dogs may try to swallow it.
  • Cyanide inhibits the enzyme in dogs that allows their cells to transport oxygen through their body.

Symptoms of Apricot Poisoning in Dogs

  • Dilated pupils
  • Hard time breathing
  • Bright red coloring in the gums
  • Death

Treatment of Apricot Poisoning in Dogs

Call your veterinarian and poison control immediately. A vet may treat your dog for cyanide poisoning by administering an IV.

Poisonous Foods for Cats - Chocolate, Yeast, Alcohol, Onions

Cats are curious by nature so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when you leave some food out on the counter, they often come and take a nibble. However, this could be dangerous for your pet. There are several foods found in a pet parent’s home on a regular basis that are actually poisonous for cats. Some of these foods will cause vomiting, seizures, and liver failure, and some can even result in the death of your pet.

In the most urgent cases, you may have to take your cat to see your vet immediately. If you need to know if a food is poisonous quickly, use the FIND function in your web browser to locate the food you have questions about.

Chocolate

What You Need to Know

  • While chocolate is a larger problem for dogs than cats, it still contains theobromine, which can be poisonous for our feline friends.
  • Part of the reason cats are less likely to eat chocolate is that they cannot taste the sweetness of the treat while dogs can.
  • The amount of chocolate a cat eats is related to how strong the poisoning is. For instance, just a small little nibble will most likely not have dire consequences.

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Cats

  • Seizures
  • Heart attacks
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Death

Treatment of Chocolate Poisoning in Cats

Contact your veterinarian and poison control as soon as possible. A vet may attempt to induce vomiting if your cat ate the chocolate in the last two hours. The vet will also treat the symptoms your cat shows, such as seizures and heart troubles, with specialized medicines.

Caffeine

What You Need to Know

  • If a cat drinks tea, coffee, or soda, the caffeine in those beverages can cause heart problems and troubles for your pet.
  • While a few sips of a caffeinated beverage will not hurt your cat, if they eat coffee grounds or tea bags, there could be serious health effects.

Symptoms of Caffeine Poisoning in Cats

  • Vomiting
  • Hyperactivity
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Seizures
  • Collapse

Treatment of Caffeine Poisoning in Cats

Contact your veterinarian and poison control as soon as possible. A vet may induce your cat to vomit, as well as give your pet a dose of activated charcoal. Other options include sedatives, heart medication to lower your cat’s heart rate, and starting your cat on an IV.

Garlic and Onions

What You Need to Know

  • The sulfoxides and disulfides in garlic and onions are poisonous to cats
  • Sulfoxides and disulfides, which are in all forms of garlic and onions, including in raw, cooked, or powdered, damage your dog’s red blood cells and can cause anemia
  • Onions have larger quantities of sulfoxides and disulfides than garlic so are more toxic for your cat. But both should be avoided by your pet

Symptoms of Garlic and Onion Poisoning in Cats

  • Anemia
  • Lack of energy
  • Pale gums

Treatment of Garlic and Onion Poisoning in Cats

Contact your veterinarian and poison control as soon as possible. A vet may treat your cat’s anemia with corticosteroids and immunosuppressants.

Alcohol

What You Need to Know

  • Your cat can ingest alcohol into their bloodstream through other ways than just drinking it. If your cat eats rum cake or unbaked dough that has yeast in it, they can also get alcohol poisoning.
  • If your cat eats yeast, then the alcohol from the yeast is absorbed into your cat’s bloodstream from their stomach quickly, meaning the effects of alcohol poisoning happen fast.

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning in Cats

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Dry Heaving
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Coma
  • Death

Treatment of Alcohol Poisoning in Cats

Contact your veterinarian and poison control as soon as possible. A vet may induce your cat to vomit to help your pet with alcohol poisoning. 

Salt

What You Need to Know

  • If your cat eats too much salt, it can lead to dehydration and sodium ion poisoning.
  • Salt used to be used by some pet owners and veterinarians to induce vomiting in cats for medical reasons. However, this is no longer an accepted practice.

Symptoms of Salt Poisoning in Cats

  • Vomiting
  • Lack of energy
  • Large amounts of thirst
  • Damaged kidneys
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Treatment of Salt Poisoning in Cats

Contact your veterinarian and poison control as soon as possible. If your cat has salt poisoning, a vet may treat them with a dose of IV fluids while monitoring their dehydration levels.

Apricots

What You Need to Know

  • While the fruit of the apricot isn't toxic, the pit contains cyanide.
  • Cats may try to swallow the pit, which is toxic for them. This may also happen with cherry and peach pits, which both contain cyanide.
  • Cyanide inhibits the enzyme in cats that allows their cells to transport oxygen through their body efficiently.

Symptoms of Apricot Poisoning in Cats

  • Dilated pupils
  • Hard time breathing
  • Bright red coloring in the gums
  • Death

Treatment of Apricot Poisoning in Cats

Contact your veterinarian and poison control as soon as possible. A vet may treat your cat for cyanide poisoning by administering an IV.

Related Articles

The Most Poisonous Foods for Cats
Pet Food and Product Recalls
Grain Free Dog Food: Cut Down on Carbs

Safe Food Options

Bil-Jac Select Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild Canned High Prairie for Dogs
Wellness Grain-Free Dry Food for Adult Dogs, Core Original

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by,your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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