5 Foods That Are Harmful to Your Dog
03/10/2011

You know that I'm a big believer in nutrition as one of the keys to having your dog live a healthy long life.  Not just a long life, but one full of energy and vitality.


Just as important as what you feed your dog are the things you should NOT feed you dog.


Following is a list of 5 foods that you should NOT feed your dog.


1. Alcoholic Beverages. Ethanol is the component in alcoholic beverages that can be toxic when an excessive amount is ingested. Pets are much smaller than us and can be highly affected by small amounts of alcohol. Exercise caution when drinks and pets are together. Toxicity can cause a wide variety of signs and symptoms, and may result in death. Signs may include odor of alcohol on the animal's breath, staggering, behavioral changes, excitement, depression, increased urination, slowed respiratory rate or cardiac arrest and death.


2. Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches and Plums. Ingestion of large amounts of stems, seeds and leaves of these fruits can be toxic. They contain a cyanide type compound and signs of toxicity include apprehension, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, hyperventilation and shock.



3. Avocados . The leaves, fruit, bark and seeds of avocados have all been reported to be toxic. The toxic component in the avocado is "persin," which is a fatty acid derivative. Symptoms of toxicity include difficulty breathing, abdominal enlargement and abnormal fluid accumulations in the chest, abdomen and sac around the heart. The amount that needs to be ingested to cause symptoms is unknown. Do not feed your pet any component of the avocado.



4. Baking Powder and Baking Soda . Baking soda and baking powder are both leavening agents. A leavening agent is a common ingredient in baked goods that produces a gas causing batter and dough to rise. Baking soda is simply sodium bicarbonate. Baking powder consists of baking soda and an acid, usually cream of tartar, calcium acid phosphate, sodium aluminum sulfate or a mixture of the three. Ingestion of large amounts of baking soda or baking powder can lead to electrolyte abnormalities (low potassium, low calcium and/or high sodium), congestive heart failure or muscle spasms.



5. Chocolate . Chocolate, in addition to having a high fat content, contains caffeine and theobromine. These two compounds are nervous system stimulants and can be toxic to your dog in high amounts. The levels of caffeine and theobromine vary between different types of chocolate. For example, white chocolate has the lowest concentration of stimulants and baking chocolate or cacao beans have the highest concentration. Depending on the type of chocolate ingested and the amount eaten, various problems can occur.


If your dog should happen to eat any of these foods and show symptoms of a problem, seek treatment immediately.

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