Most dog owners have done it – slipped their furry friend something small from their own plate or pantry. A bite of meat, perhaps, or a bit of cheese.
But it’s important to be aware that some seemingly harmless human-friendly ingredients can, in fact, make your dog incredibly ill.
Australian Veterinary Association president, Dr Paula Parker, said, “Unfortunately, there are a number of foods that are toxic for pets and if they access these foods, either directly from being fed by someone or indirectly from picking it up off the floor, it can cause serious health issues, or in some cases even be fatal.”
Below are some of the foods dogs can’t eat:
Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, even in small quantities.
Nutmeg is one of the lesser known poisonous foods. Dogs can suffer from issues with the nervous system including tremors, seizures, and even death.
Avocados contains a dangerous toxin which can damage the heart, lungs and tissue of many different animals, dogs included.
Fatty meats, pork crackling, sausages and turkey skin.
These can all lead to inflammation of the pancreas due to high fat content. This can be extremely serious and even fatal to pets.
Onions and garlic.
Onions and garlic can cause gastric irritation and anaemia if they are consumed in large quantities.
Grapes and raisins.
Grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney failure, even in small amounts. They should be avoided altogether.
Macadamias can be toxic to dogs. Symptoms will likely occur within 12 hours and can include vomiting, increased temperature and elevated heart rate.
Because dogs don't posses significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), dairy products - including cheese - can cause digestive problems including gas, diarrhoea and vomiting.
Raw eggs come with the chance of food poisoning from bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli.
Raw fish can carry harmful bacteria like salmonella and listeria. Plus certain varieties, including salmon and trout, can also contain a parasite that causes "fish disease" or "salmon poisoning disease"; the first signs are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. This can be avoided by fully cooking the fish.
Raw or green potatoes.
'Potato poisoning' is caused by the consumption of too much Solanine - a glycoalkaloid naturally produced in green or raw potatoes, potato skins, and the foliage from the potato plant. Solanine toxicity can cause heart problems, difficulty breathing, and gastrointestinal upset.
Large quantities of tomato or salt.
Too much salt can lead to sodium ion poisoning in dogs, which can be fatal. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, tremors, high temperature, and seizures.
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The signs of pet food poisoning can vary from case to case, but common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, fever and loss of appetite.
For owners who wish to provide the occasional treat, Dr Parker advises pet owners to offer quality pet treats that contain the right nutrients.
“Speak to your veterinarian about treats that will be suitable for your pet," she said, "and if you suspect your pet has eaten something toxic, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.”