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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

12 Common Foods That Could Be Toxic for Dogs

Sadly, bacon is one of them.

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Foods dogs can’t eat: Grapes

Grapes are a simple healthy snack for humans, but they are toxic to dogs. Eating them can make your pooch vomit or lose his appetite. If your dog shows signs of diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression, or tremors, his kidneys could be failing. And yes, raisins are just as bad. Here’s what to do if your dog won’t eat!

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Foods dogs can’t eat: Onions

Cooked or raw, onions contain thiosulphate, a substance that causes your dog’s red blood cells to burst in a condition called hemolytic anemia. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, breathlessness, and lethargy; it could take two to four days for them to become noticeable. You also put your dog at risk if you give her certain foods that are made with onions, like pizza or tomato sauce, which could trigger the same reaction. Here are some other unbelievable facts you never knew about your pup.

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Foods dogs can’t eat: Coffee and tea

These drinks—and really any form of caffeine—can give animals hypertension, abnormal heart rhythms, hyperthermia (increased body temperature), and seizures. A few laps of spilled coffee won’t poison your dog, but ingesting moderate amounts of coffee grounds and tea bags can kill small dogs. Here are some things your pet wishes it could tell you.

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Foods dogs can’t eat: Candy

Keep the candy bowl far away from your dog. Eating significant amounts of sugary, high-fat sweets can give dogs pancreatitis, even though symptoms may not show for two to four days. Look out for decreased appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pain. Watch out for these silent signs your dog is sick.

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iStock/Janine Lamontagne

Foods dogs can’t eat: Any kind of chocolate

Chocolate is the worst kind of candy your dog can eat because it contains theobromine, a substance similar to caffeine. Baking and dark chocolates have the highest levels of theobromine, but milk and white chocolate are also harmful to dogs. As with caffeine, symptoms of chocolate poisoning include high blood pressure, tremors, and seizures. Did you know that dogs have these superpowers?

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Foods dogs can’t eat: Fat trimmings and cooked bones

Don’t scrape leftovers from your steak dinner into the dog bowl. Not only can fat trimmings lead to obesity—it doesn’t take many extra calories for small dogs to become obese—but they also contribute to pancreatitis. Severe cases can result in a blood infection and internal bleeding. Small bones, like those found in meat, are a choking hazard, and they can splinter and tear into a dog’s throat or intestines. If your dog wants a bone, make sure it’s a raw one. If you’re looking to adopt a new pup, check out these Italian dog breeds you’ll love.

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Foods dogs can’t eat: Peaches

The flesh of a peach is a great source of fiber and vitamin A, but the pit contains cyanide. Cyanide interferes with cellular oxygen transport, preventing your dog’s blood cells from getting the right amount of oxygen. Signs of cyanide poisoning include dilated pupils, red gums, and difficulty breathing. Other pitted fruits like cherries and plums pose the same problem. Be sure to cut the fruit into small pieces before feeding your dog.

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iStock/gordana jovanovic

Foods dogs can’t eat: Raw fish

Eating raw fish regularly can cause a vitamin B deficiency, which could be accompanied by seizures. The most toxic fish for dogs are salmon and trout. Raw salmon can host parasites infected with a bacteria called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which can be fatal if not treated properly. By the way, here’s what your dog knows about you.

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Foods dogs can’t eat: Raw meat

Raw meat is a controversial topic for pet owners. It’s a great source of protein, but it does carry the risk of microbes and parasites like E. coli or, in raw poultry, salmonella. If you do give raw meat to your dog, buy the highest quality possible and keep all ingredients fresh. Here’s what vets think about your dog’s diet.

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Foods dogs can’t eat: Salt

Your dog could experience vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst or urination, potential injury to the kidneys, and even death as a result of salt poisoning. Be on the lookout for sources of salt in places other than your kitchen, like rock salt for de-icing products, table salt, paint balls, and sea water. If you’re looking for a dog that always wants to be on the go, check out these Australian dog breeds.

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iStock/Emilie Duchesne

Foods dogs can’t eat: Dairy products

Just like their owners, some dogs can be lactose intolerant. They happily drink their mothers’ milk as pups, but most dogs can’t produce enough enzymes to digest the lactose in milk once they become adults. Too much milk can mean diarrhea and vomiting. Cheese contains less lactose than milk, so small nibbles are safe for many dogs to eat as long as the cheese is low in fat and sodium. Read on to find out if dogs can eat ice cream or not.

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Foods dogs can’t eat: Bacon

We’re as surprised as you are about this one. The high fat and sodium content put your dog at risk for pancreatitis, high blood pressure, obesity, and bowel cancer. But if you pet is begging for some of your breakfast, it’s safe to slip it small bits of low-fat, low-sodium bacon. This is the kind dog food manufacturers use in their products. If you’re curious, here is what the experts suggest when it comes to whether dogs can eat scrambled eggs.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest