What Are Bad Food for Dogs

December 6, 2023

We Eat Bad Food for Dogs Every Day

Did you know that sometimes, a small bite of certain foods we usually eat can send our dogs straight to a pet emergency hospital? However, it is not always the owner’s fault when that happens. Most people don’t even recognize some bad food for dogs. For example, you host a BBQ or a dinner party with many adults and children. One guest could feed your dog something from their plate with traces of garlic. Maybe you are too busy with other tasks and left a garbage bag with hints of wine within your dog’s reach. Next thing you know, your furry friend is vomiting and having diarrhea. Not something any owner wants to see.

Knowing some human foods that are harmful to dogs will allow you to take preventative actions to ensure your dog stays safe. The most asked questions are: “Is garlic bad for dogs?” and “why is grape bad for dogs?” We’ll answer both of those questions and go even further by compiling a short list of bad foods for dogs you should know.

How Is Garlic Bad for Dogs?

Garlic is the most common member of the Allium family of plants. When ingested in moderation, it is less toxic for dogs than other plants of the same family. However, remember that a small dog can get sick from the same amount of garlic ingested by a bigger dog. The Allium family also consists of onions, leeks, and chives, which are bad for your pooch. Toxic components in them may damage your dog’s red blood cells. The damage comes when your dog’s essential organs receive less oxygen from anemia (reduced red blood cells).  Here are the symptoms of Allium poisoning you should learn to recognize:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Panting
  • Pale gums
  • Increased heart and respiratory rate
  • Red or brown discolored urine
  • Decreased appetite

Remember that these clinical signs are known to develop after a lag of several days. So, when you notice them, your dog has likely already consumed a significant amount of the toxin. Is garlic bad for dogs? Yes, it can be at large volumes, but onions are worse. So, in the end, stay away from them to be safe; there are so many other delicious, dog-safe options to feed your furry friend.

Why Is Grape Bad for Dogs?

Grapes or raisins can cause acute renal failure (ARF) in severe cases if treatment is not administered immediately. According to a 2005 article by the ASPCA, there were over 200 calls made to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center involving potential exposures to grapes or raisins in dogs between 2001 and 2004. Also, in the same article, the lowest toxic dose documented at the time was between 0.15 to 0.29 oz. per pound of dog weight. Watch out for these signs if you think your dog has eaten a grape or more:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Polydipsia

Signs of ARF:

    • Lethargy
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Abdominal Pain
    • Tremors

So why are grapes bad for dogs? Unfortunately, that answer remains inconclusive today. The best way to deal with toxicity in dogs is to talk to your Vet about it BEFORE your dog eats something poisonous. Familiarize yourself with foods your Vet wouldn’t recommend feeding your furry friend. Never feed your dog human food because someone on the internet said their dog is eating it just fine.

Other Bad Food for Dogs

Macadamia Nuts – Most common symptoms are weakness in the back legs, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) say that in most cases, these symptoms are mild and can be managed at home with a bit of veterinary guidance. Although more severe cases can require veterinary care. Other symptoms may include depression and hypothermia.

Chocolate – Methylxanthines are found in cacao seeds, fruit, and nuts. When ingested by dogs, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and even death. Baking chocolate has the most concentration of Methylxanthines, followed by dark chocolate, and the least is found in white chocolate.

Xylitol – This compound is used as a sweetener in many human-safe products including (but not limited to) gum, candy, and baked goods. It can cause your dog’s pancreas to release insulin. The increase in insulin can also lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) within 10 to 60 minutes after ingestion. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and a decrease in activity. If you suspect your dog has eaten xylitol, immediately take your dog to your Vet or the closest emergency pet hospital.

Dairy – Dogs do not possess significant amounts of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk. That means milk and other dairy-based products cause them to experience diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Alcohol – Beverages, food, and products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, depression, breathing difficulties, tremors, and abnormal blood acidity. In severe cases, coma and even death are possible. Therefore, your dog should never ingest alcohol or alcohol products.

Final Thoughts on Bad Food for Dogs

To summarize;

  • Is garlic bad for dogs? Yes, though it is less toxic to dogs compared to onions so stay away from the Allium family of plants to be safe.
  • Why is grape bad for dogs? We don’t know exactly why, as conclusive studies on the mechanism involved have yet to be published. Tartaric acid could be the culprit but it is enough to know that dogs are better off not eating grapes and raisins.

Some food listed above would never be fed to dogs because of common knowledge. However, dogs will be dogs. They’ll take a bite whenever an opportunity is present. So dispose of your leftovers and kitchen waste properly so your pooch won’t have a chance to chow down on anything they’re not supposed to.

This ASPCA list of people’s foods that are bad for dogs is a great starting place. Their library of resources on things toxic to your dogs is one of the most comprehensive on the web.








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