Foods That Are Toxic to Dogs
This article is a quick guide to foods you should keep away from your dog. Our intention is to list items that may not normally raise a red flag, so could easily be fed to a dog by an owner who is unaware of the danger. We don’t claim to cover everything here, so it would be a good idea to check with your vet for any other items to be aware of. Because this article deals with food, it is beyond our scope to get into non-food hazards. But commonsense dictates that poisons, medicines, and household cleaners – all these kinds of things – should be kept away from your dog, much as you would with a child.
Contains persin, which in large quantities can be toxic to a dog.
Toxic to dogs and there in no antidote. In addition to coffee and tea, caffeine is in chocolate and in many sodas and energy drinks.
Contains an ingredient called Theobromine which is toxic to dogs. Dark chocolate and bakers’ chocolate are the most dangerous. A few ounces of these can cause vomiting and diarrhea, often accompanied by agitation and tremors. If larger quantities are ingested, seizures can result.
Compost and Moldy Foods
Keep these away from your German Shepherd – from all dogs. They can contain dangerous mycotoxins which result in severe neurologic signs such as “drunk” walking, tremors and possibly, seizures.
Probably one of the less-recognized problem areas. Ever shared an ice cream cone with your dog? Unfortunately, any kind of dairy product can lead to diarrhea in a dog, and can set up a pattern of allergies.
While not actually poisonous, bacon and other fatty morsels must be avoided, because they can cause pancreatitis in dogs which, without treatment, can cause death. Vomiting and diarrhea are the milder symptoms of inflammation of the pancreas or pancreatitis; but untreated, organ failure can result.
They have an unknown toxin which affects dogs, and upsets the transmission between nerves and muscles, resulting in a “drunken” walk and varying levels of paralysis. Even a half-dozen Macadamias can prove fatal according to some sources. Others reassure us that symptoms wear off after 24 to 48 hours! It is good policy to keep Macadamia nuts out of reach of our dogs.
Onion, Garlic and Chives
These can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, causing anemia. Weakness, pale gums, an elevated heart rate and exercise intolerance are other symptoms.
Persimmons, Peaches and Plum
The seeds or pits of these fruits contain cyanide. Dogs should not be given these fruits, since they’ll likely end up chewing on the seeds and pits.
Raisins and Currents
More dangerous than grapes, since whatever the harmful ingredient may be, it becomes concentrated in the dehydrated versions of the grape. Early signs of grape poisoning are lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. This is the time to take swift action. Increased or decreased thirst and urination which may follow 2 to 3 days later are indicators of actual kidney damage, which is hard to reverse at this stage.
Salt and Sugar
They should be avoided in all but the smallest quantities.
This is a sweetener used in some candy, gum, diet foods, sodas and toothpaste which increases the level of insulin circulating in a dog’s body, causing low blood-sugar levels with the potential for liver failure.
Dangerous because once ingested it will expand, causing severe pain. In addition there is the problem of the alcohol produced by the yeast’s fermentation.
Although alcohol is not actually defined as a food (something that “nourishes and promotes growth”), because of its presence in many homes, we’ve included it. Alcohol has the same effect on dogs as on humans, but more so because of their size. Excessive alcohol poisons, and the danger threshold is reached much quicker the smaller the animal.
Being aware of foods to avoid feeding your dog will enable you to keep a safe environment for all dogs including your German Shepherd. If, in spite of your best efforts, your dog eats something dangerous, your quick actions can make the difference! Draw on the expertise of your vet before giving your dog any foods that you have questions about.
In Case of Emergency
CALL (888) 426-4435, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Here you can get quick help. Then of course, be sure to take your dog to the vet.
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