You may slip a bite or two of human food to your pup as a treat, but it's important to keep in mind not everything we eat is safe for dogs. Some foods are fine, but some foods can be potentially fatal to dogs. Read on for several other foods that you should keep away from your pup.
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If you're a chocolate-lover, you've probably been happy to hear all of the research that's come out in the past decade about dark chocolate and its heart-healthy benefits. And while dark chocolate is good for humans (and the darker and more cocoa-rich the chocolate is, the more antioxidants it boasts), it can be one of the most toxic foods a dog can eat. Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that we can break down but dogs can't, causing them heart problems, seizures and sometimes death. Milk chocolate and white chocolate poses a lesser threat to dogs than dark chocolate, thanks to the greater amounts of theobromine fround in dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate, cocoa powder and baker's chocolate. Still, it's best to keep all kinds of chocolate away from your pet.
Onions—along with garlic, chives and leeks—contain a chemical that breaks down red blood cells in dogs and cats, causing anemia. It can also cause gastroenteritis (an infection of the GI tract that results in nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea). The toxic effect is the same whether the onion is cooked, raw or even in flakes or powder. The reaction may have a delayed onset, but if you suspect your pet has gotten into something containing garlic or onions recently, take him or her to the vet for treatment.
Lastly, too many grapes (or raisins) can also be deadly to dogs since grapes can cause kidney failure, though no one knows exactly why. If a dog eats one or two grapes, don't worry. It takes quite a few! Still, keep the trail mix away from your pup, and don't feed him grapes as a snack. While the natural sweetness in grapes and raisins makes them attractive to dogs, it's best to keep them out of reach.
If you suspect your pet has ingested dark chocolate, onions or grapes, call your vet immediately. Most cases of accidental poisoning can be treated with IV fluids and close monitoring, as long as you act quickly.