Foods that are perfectly suitable for human consumption may be toxic or even fatally poisonous to your dog. Animals have different rates of metabolism, which is the process of breaking down food and turning it into energy. Understanding which foods are unsuitable for your dog is essential to ensuring their health and well-being is protected.

Below are five human foods you shouldn’t give to your dog. Keep in mind that there are many more foods that are harmful besides the ones listed below. You should always check before feeding your dog something you’re not sure about.

  1. Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in foods like chewing gum, sugar-free candy and baked goods as well as mouthwash, toothpaste, chewable vitamins and cough drops. Ingesting xylitol can cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop to a dangerously low level as well as potentially causing liver damage. Symptoms include vomiting, seizures and loss of coordination, which occur anywhere from minutes to several hours after ingestion.

  1. Chocolate

The amount and type of chocolate your dog eats determines how toxic it is and the symptoms that can be experienced. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is as they contain a higher concentration of theobromine and caffeine. Symptoms can include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, abdominal discomfort, irregular heartbeat, seizures and death.

  1. Avocado

While a staple of the Australian diet today, avocados are harmful for our dogs. as they contain persin, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting and heart congestion. If your dog ate a small piece of avocado, it will probably be okay, but ensure you monitor your dog for any symptoms. The most dangerous part of an avocado is the pit, both because it is a choking hazard and because it’s full of persin.

  1. Onions and Garlic

Anything in the onion family, from garlic to shallots to scallions to chives, is toxic to dogs. They contain disulfides and sulfoxides (thiosulphate), both of which can cause anemia and damage red blood cells. Symptoms of onion or garlic poisoning often don’t appear for days after ingestion, but include weakness, lethargy and dark urine that has an orange or red tinge.

  1. Nuts

Nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, contain high amounts of oils and fats. The fats can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis in dogs. The most dangerous nut however, is the macadamia. Ingesting even a small amount of macadamia nuts can be lethal to your dog. Symptoms include muscle shakes, vomiting, increased temperature and weak back hind legs.

Specialist Veterinary Services in Sydney

If your dog has ingested something that is toxic, it’s vital to ensure it receives adequate care as soon as possible. Call us on (02) 9197 5800.