Some foods must never be fed to dogs because they may produce symptoms ranging from indisposition to illness to death. These include chocolate, onions, raw eggs and meats, liver, bones, pork, milk and mushrooms.
If your dog has a sweet tooth, you may have a problem. Theobromine, a substance found in chocolate and cocoa, is a poisonous to animals. It diminishes the blood flow to the brain and can cause heart attacks and a variety of other life-threatening problems. An important rule to remember is that the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains, and the more dangerous it is,
Onions, both raw and cooked, contain disulfide, a substance that, while harmless to humans, can cause oxidative damage to the red blood cells in cats, dogs, horses, sheep and cattle. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to the rest of an animal’s body. The condition caused by consumption of onions is called Heinz body hemolytic anemia.
Liver is a favorite food for dogs. Many of the treats and prepared foods you give them contain liver. In SMALL amounts, liver is great for your dog. If their liver intake is too high, however, it can cause nutritional problems because liver has a high content of Vitamin A. Consumption of this vitamin in large amounts can lead to vitamin A toxicity, or hypervitaminosis A.
Bones (dangerous to deadly)
The big, treated bones that you can buy your pet in a pet store are of an entirely different composition from the bones in the meat you buy at a grocery store. Store-bought bones are specially treated so they will not splinter. If splinters break off, they can becomes lodged in your dog’s throat or lacerate the insides of your dog’s mouth, esophagus, stomach or intestines. Cooked poultry bones are the worst culprits for splintering, but any cooked, dry bone can be deadly.
Seal off your garbage can to ensure that your dog doesn’t prowl for tidbits. Not only is this dangerous because of possible choking and suffocation, but also there may be other hazardous items inside, such as broken glass or discarded cleaning bottles.
Raw eggs (dangerous)
Although athletes seem constantly to be consuming raw eggs in one variety or another, think twice before giving your pet raw eggs. Although cooked eggs are high in protein and make an excellent treat, raw egg whites contain a protein called avidin, which can deplete your dog of biotin, one of the B vitamins. Biotin is essential to your dog’s growth and coat health.
Additionally, raw eggs are often contaminated with bacteria, such as salmonella, and you could end up giving your dog food poisoning in addition to biotin deficiency.
Raw meat and poultry (dangerous to deadly)
Although dogs in the wild hunt and eat animals, they rarely prey on cows or chickens raised under commercial conditions! Your dog’s immune system is not adapted to handle the bacteria that contaminate commercially raised and processed raw meats; as well as danger from food poisoning, raw meats often have traces of pesticides and other chemicals that break down or dissipate with heat.
The two major culprits in food poisoning are salmonella bacteria in poultry and clostridium bacteria in meat.
Once your dog is infected, they can transmit the disease to other dogs, children, and adults with impaired immune systems. Keep this in mind, and keep your pet in a secluded area for the duration of their illness.
The fat globules in pork are larger than the fat globules in other meats. Thus, they can clog the small blood vessels of a dog. Avoid pork products, ESPECIALLY BACON, which also contains sodium nitrate.
If your pet has been eating ice cream and yogurt and has never had any problems, you have a lucky pet! Many dogs are lactose intolerant–unable to process the enzyme lactase, so they cannot break down the lactose, or milk sugar, in dairy products.
If your dog drinks milk and you observe symptoms such as excess gas, diarrhea, dehydration or skin irritation, you should determine if they are lactose intolerant. Removing milk should solve all your problems!
To avoid or correct the problem, you can purchase lactose-free brands of milk products specially formulated for dogs. Lactose-free milk for humans can also work, although the nutritional balance is not quite as good. Canned milk or sweetened, condensed milk are usually tolerable, even to a lactose intolerant dog, and can make a good substitute for the occasional must have treat.
Mushrooms (disagreeable to deadly)
Although store-bought mushrooms are perfectly safe for a dog to eat, it isn’t a particularly good idea for your dog to develop a taste for them. If they have free run of the backyard or is an allowed to roam off leash in a field or park, a taste for mushrooms can be dangerous. Dogs with a mushroom fixation will be on the lookout for these as treats. If they sniff out some poisonous mushrooms and eat them, the effects can range from disagreeable to deadly.