Who can resist a Lab's puppy dawg eyes? Can a little reward from the table or getting into Mom or Dad’s stuff really hurt your dog? Well, that depends on what it is and what's in it. There’s a lot of human food your dog should never eat. And, it’s not just because of weight. Some foods are downright dangerous for dogs.Some you already probably know (like chocolate), but some of these common foods may surprise you.
We might as well start with a couple of "Momma's Little Helpers". While you are snuggled up with your Lab in a pile of blankets, watching "The Notebook" with a box of Kleenex or 10, or checking out Patrick Swayze's butt in "Dirty Dancing" for the 200th time, you may need to keep an eye and make sure that your Lab doesn't get into Momma's Little Helpers.
Momma's Little Helpers
Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. The problem in chocolate is theobromine. It's in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous types are dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate. Chocolate can cause your Lab to vomit and have diarrhea. It can also cause heart problems, tremors, seizures, and death.
Alcohol has the same effect on a dog’s liver and brain that it has on people. But it takes a lot less to hurt your dog. Just a little beer, liquor, wine, or food with alcohol can be bad. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, coordination problems, breathing problems, coma, even death.
3. Coffee, and Other Caffeine
Give your dog toys if you want him to be perky. Caffeine can be fatal. Watch out for coffee and tea, even the beans and the grounds. Keep your dog away from cocoa, chocolate, colas, and energy drinks. Caffeine is also in some cold medicines and pain killers. Think your dog had caffeine? Watch for restlessness, fast breathing, and muscle twitches. Now our Lab is partial to Starbucks Iced Latte, but her intake is controlled. A few licks and she is cut off. She amps up the Dog Guilt to 11, but I love her too much to give in when it could hurt her.
4. Milk and Other Dairy Products
On a hot day, it may be tempting to share your ice cream with your dog. Instead, give her an ice cube if there is no choking worry or cool water. Milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive problems for your pup. They can also trigger food allergies, which can cause her to itch.
5. Sugary Foods and Drinks
Too much sugar can do the same thing to dogs that it does to people. It can make your dog overweight and cause problems with her teeth. It can even lead to diabetes. We know the Jedi Mind Tricks Labs play, but if it ain't that good for Momma, it ain't that good for her Lab either.
6. Grapes and Raisins
Fruit is healthy right? For humans, sure, but not all are healthy for dogs. There are better treats to give your dog. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. And just a small amount can make a dog sick. Vomiting over and over is an early sign. Within a day, your dog will get sluggish and depressed. The danger to Labs from grapes is debatable with many believing they are safe. We are cautious and choose to agree with ASPCA Poison Control. I'd rather not find out first hand they were right and I was wrong.
Is a treat from the table OK for your dog? That depends on what it is. Avocados, for example, have something called persin. It’s fine for people who aren't allergic to it. But too much might be poisonous to dogs. If you grow avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as the fruit. Also although they are good fats, Avocados are very high in fat and can cause other issues for your Lab.
8. Pomegranates, Peaches, and Plums
The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. Whereas they contain tons of nutritious value in the pulp, the seeds from pomegranates can cause problems in a dog's small intestine. They can also block his intestines. That can also happen if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Peach and plum pits also have cyanide, which is poisonous to people and dogs. People know not to eat them. Dogs don't.
9. Macadamia Nuts and Walnuts
Keep your dog away from macadamia nuts, walnuts and foods that have macadamia nuts and walnuts in them. Just six raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog sick. Look for symptoms like muscle shakes, vomiting, high temperature, and weakness in his back legs. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, maybe even leading to death.
10. Onions and Garlic
Keep onions and garlic whether it is powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated away from your Lab. They can kill his red blood cells, causing anemia. That's even the onion powder in some baby food. A rare small dose is probably OK. But eating a lot just once or can cause poisoning. Look for signs like weakness, vomiting, and breathing problems.
It’s not a good idea to share salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog. Eating too much salt can make your dog seriously thirsty. That means a lot of trips to the fire hydrant and it could lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, high temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death. In addition many of those snacks are choking hazards. If you wouldn't give it to a baby because they could choke, don't give it to your fur baby.
12. Yeast Dough
Before it’s baked, bread dough needs to rise. And, that’s exactly what it would do in your dog’s stomach if he ate it. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch your dog’s abdomen and cause a lot of pain. Also, when the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it makes alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.
13. Fat Trimmings and Bones
Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. And, even though it seems natural to give a dog a bone, she can choke on it. Bones can also splinter and block or cause cuts in your dog's digestive system. Our Lab had to be rushed to the vet when she was younger because a large splinter from a bone sliced into her tongue. A ton of blood and the down payment on the vet's new 'vette later...she was thankfully okay. But it could have ended up far worse.
14. Raw Eggs
Some people feed their dogs a "raw diet" that includes uncooked eggs. But the major veterinary medical associations don't think that's a good idea. There's the chance of food poisoning from bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. Talk to your vet if you have questions.
15. Raw Meat and Fish
Like raw eggs, raw meat and fish can have bacteria that causes food poisoning. Some fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can also have a parasite that causes "fish disease" or "salmon poisoning disease." It's treatable, but get help right away. The first signs are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Fully cook the fish to kill the parasite. Our Lab did get into the parcel of Maki Rolls that Momma (may or may not have) snuck out of the sushi restaurant in her purse. She threw up most of it and kept Momma up half the night, but lived. Your Lab may not be so lucky, especially with all the avocado in most rolls as well.
Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. It can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure. Early symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and coordination problems. Eventually, your dog may have seizures. Liver failure can happen within just a few days.
If Your Lab Eats What She Shouldn’t
No matter how careful you are, your Lab might find and swallow something she shouldn't. Keep the number of your vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435 where you know you can find it. And, if you think your dog has eaten something toxic, call for emergency help right away.
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