It’s tempting to feed that furry little face staring at you from under the dining table, we know. Just a little bite of human food won’t hurt. Or will it?
The answer is...it depends!
There are some foods that most people know to keep away from dogs (like chocolate), but did you know that even avocados and raisins can be harmful? Here’s the thing to remember: a dog’s digestive system differs from ours in many ways, so don’t assume anything. Before you feed your dog food from your own plate, make sure you know which foods can be harmful.
We’ve made a list from A to Z (well, technically Y) to help keep your dog safer, happier and healthier.
HUMAN FOODS THAT ARE SAFE OR TOXIC FOR DOGS
A drunk dog is not funny. In addition to becoming intoxicated, giving a dog alcohol such as beer, liquor, or wine can cause respiratory problems, gastrointestinal upset and can even send your fur baby into a coma. Just a sip of your drink may seem harmless, but it doesn’t take much alcohol to cause the death of a household pet and the risks are even greater for small breeds.
Because this fruit contains a toxin called persin, every part of an avocado is considered poisonous to dogs. Consumption can cause a build up of fluid in the tissue surrounding the heart, can lead to respiratory congestion, and can cause gastrointestinal upset including diarrhea, and vomiting. It can even be fatal.
Sure, dogs technically can eat bread in small amounts but it won’t offer any nutritional value or health benefits. Just like in humans, bread expands in the stomach, filling up space with empty calories, so it’s not a great way to keep your dog healthy. But if your dog steals a slice off the countertop, there is no need to call poison control - whew.
Hooray! Dogs can eat this delicious treat (in moderation) as long as lactose intolerance isn’t an issue (this is rare but possible). If your dog is overweight, stick to low-fat varieties to help keep your pup trim and fit. Otherwise, a nibble here and there is a surefire way to make your dog’s day.
Have you ever met a dog who doesn’t love peanut butter? We challenge you to find one. Peanut butter is a great vehicle for helping dogs eat medications, keeping them occupied with a treat-toy like a Kong, and sneaking in some extra protein and hearth-healthy fats. Just make sure you pick a brand that doesn’t have added sugar, and you’re good to go. And, let’s be honest - it’s hilarious to watch dogs eat peanut butter, the licking lasts for hours and is a great source of entertainment!
Most dogs L-O-V-E chicken and will do any number of tricks to get some! Since this ingredient is found in many dog foods, you can rest assured it is safe for dogs as long as it’s cooked thoroughly and deboned. While some dogs are allergic to chicken, it won’t kill them. The biggest risk to a dog eating chicken, is choking on a bone.
Chocolate contains two different ingredients that are toxic to dogs: caffeine and theobromine. Both of these ingredients are stimulants called methylxanthines
which can stop a dog’s metabolic process. Small amounts can cause gastric upset (diarrhea and vomiting) and large amounts can have an adverse effect on a dog’s cardiovascular and central nervous systems - think seizures, irregular heartbeat, even death. Unsweetened baking chocolate contains the highest concentration of these stimulants, but you should avoid feeding your pet any kind of chocolate to be safe.
Just like chicken, eggs are safe for your dog as long as they are cooked through. In fact, they are more than just safe, they are a great source of protein and can help soothe an upset stomach. Slice a few into your pet’s bowl every now and then for a healthy, nutritious, and safe meal boost.
Grapes and Raisins
While the exact source of the toxin is yet to be identified, veterinarians advise against feeding grapes to both dogs and cats. There has been enough correlative data linking animals that consume this food to serious kidney problems like renal failure , to convince vets that this food is dangerous for most domestic animals. Since raisins are simply dried grapes, avoid giving your dog these fruits as well.
Not sure exactly how you’d feed honey to your dog, but it is safe for dogs to eat! It’s full of nutrients and vitamins and can even help alleviate allergies in your dog. By introducing small amounts of pollen into their system, honey can help dogs build immunity to local environmental allergens. Cool, right?
Macadamia nuts are highly toxic to dogs (who knew!?) and you should never feed them to your pet. In fact, all it takes is six nuts to sicken your pet and consuming more than that can be deadly . Signs that your pet has ingested this dangerous food include a fever, muscle tremors, an inability to move hindquarters, an increased heart rate, vomiting and weakness.
Onions and Garlic
Onions, leeks, chives, scallions, shallots and garlic are all part of the Allium family and they are all bad for dogs. Garlic is five times more toxic than the rest of the Allium plants, causing anemia, heart rate irregularities and muscle weakness. Onions cause a dangerous blood condition in dogs called hemolytic anemia, and in all cases, cooking or drying these foods does not rid them of their damaging properties. So, never give your dog any food unless you are certain that it contains none of these ingredients. Be careful, because onion and garlic powder are commonly used in countless dishes, mixes and prepackaged foods.
While many cooked proteins can be a delicious and nutritious treat for dogs, raw eggs, meat and fish can contain dangerous bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella. ven foods that are free of these microorganisms can harm your dog. For example, avoiding the protein in raw egg whites, limits a dog’s ability to absorb biotin, an important b-vitamin for the maintenance of coat and skin, so avoiding raw proteins is a good idea across the board.
A common sweetener found in candy and gum, xylitol is extremely dangerous to dogs. Because it causes blood sugar to drop, it can lead to coordination problems, lethargy, seizures and vomiting. In severe cases, liver damage can occur just days after consumption.
The best type of food to give dogs is a high quality formula designed to support their particular breed, age and ability .
Yes to yogurt as long as it’s unsweetened. Yogurt contains valuable probiotics that can help strengthen your dog’s digestive system, so a dollop with a meal is a great support to their overall health.
At Bow Wow Labs, we genuinely care about keeping your dog safer, happier and healthier. Check back often for more helpful tips for giving your best friend its best life.