Top 3 Toxic Household Foods for Your Dog

by Connie on April 5, 2012

You will be surprised to learn what foods in your home can be toxic to your dog. So what are the foods that can potentially be life-threatening to your loving companion?

1. Avocado

This tasty, rich-in-natural-oils fruit is tempting to eat, and especially tempting to give to your pet…as most pet owners will think they are feeding them a healthy food. Just about every part of an avocado is toxic to mammals and birds; inside, stem, seed, and the leaf being the most dangerous. Avocado toxicity can cause damage to the heart muscle, and infection of the mammary glands (mastitis) in lactating animals. Symptoms of toxicity take over the heart one to two days after ingestion. Symptoms include; lethargy, coughing, trouble breathing, and swelling of the head and tongue. For those animals that are lactating, symptoms start after 24 hours of ingestion, and include the following; redness, swelling, firmness,decrease of milk output, and water-like milk.

2. Bread Dough

Most tempting to dogs, bread dough is a great potential food hazard. It is a food item commonly found in homes, especially in households with people who love to bake. The yeast in the bread dough is the main hazard factor. Because the stomach is humid and warm, it serves as a growing environment for the yeast, and causes severe distention of the stomach. Also, yeast naturally produces a toxic substance called ethanol. Ethanol is absorbed through the blood and causes excessive acidity in the body, then resulting in many serious health issues. Symptoms of bread dough toxicity include; vomiting, distended abdomen, lethargy, weakness, seizures, and balance incoordination.

3. Chocolate

Who doesn’t like chocolate? Yes, even our pets tend to not be able to resist chocolate; for this reason, you should be careful to keep this sweet temptation away from your pet. Many different species are affected by the toxicity of chocolate, but again…dogs are more likely to get a hold of it. Theo-bromine and caffeine are the two active substances in chocolate that can be toxic to your pet. Because the exact doses of these substances vary from different brands and flavors of chocolate, it is impossible to know which type of chocolate is most likely to cause your pet more harm. Chocolate toxicity mainly affects the heart and the central nervous system, and symptoms will begin to show within 12 hours of ingestion. Symptoms you may see in your pet are; excessive urination, diarrhea, vomiting, painful/bloated abdomen, hyper-activeness, high blood pressure, fever, tachycardia, and heart arrhythmia.

** Raisins/grapes, Macadamia nuts, and Salt are also potential food hazards for your pet.

What should you do if your pet eats a toxic food?

Treatment for toxicity widely varies for all these foods, and it depends on each situation individually. Ingestion of any of these potentially toxic substances should always be considered a medical emergency for your pet. If you witnessed your pet eating the toxic food and you act within minutes, you can call your regular vet. and ask about possibly inducing vomiting. In some cases, your vet. can recommend a dosage for a household emetic such as peroxide to make your dog vomit. Remember that every case is different, and you should seek advice from a veterinary professional.

** You can contact the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 1-888-426-4435.

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