If you’ve got a furry friend at home, you know how tempting it can be to share your favorite foods with them. It’s a real test of willpower sometimes — especially when your dog is giving you the “puppy eyes.” Who wouldn’t want to share something delicious with their best friend, right? Well, while there certainly some “people foods” you can share with your beloved pup, there are also quite a few foods dogs should never eat due to the potential health consequences. Many foods that are totally safe for humans to consume can actually be quite toxic to dogs. Here are 12 foods that humans should never share with their four-legged companions:
1. Chocolate: Most people know dogs shouldn’t have chocolate, but have you ever wondered why? Theobromine is a compound in chocolate that’s similar to caffeine and acts as a stimulant. In dogs, it can have detrimental effects on the heart, nervous system and kidneys.
2. Caffeine: Whether its coffee, soda, tea or some other concoction, keep your dog away from caffeine. Similar to the effects of theobromine, caffeine is very toxic to dogs. Some symptoms of caffeine poisoning include rapid breathing, heart palpitations and muscle tremors.
3. Onions: While onions and garlic may be good for humans, they can be toxic to dogs. In addition to causing dehydration and gastrointestinal upset, members of the onion family can actually induce a form of anemia in dogs — by destroying their red blood cells.
4. Grapes: Grapes and raisins may seem like a healthy treat for your pup, but they can be extremely dangerous to your pet. Consuming them can lead to kidney failure. If you think your dog has eaten grapes or raisins, you should contact your vet immediately.
5. Avocados: While healthy for people, avocados contain persin — a compound known to cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs.
6. Alcohol: This one should be fairly obvious: Alcohol is toxic to dogs, and it is more dangerous for them than it is for humans. It can cause a host of symptoms from diarrhea and vomiting, to difficulty breathing, coma and even death.
7. Corn on the cob: Feeding corn on the cob to your dog can lead to an intestinal blockage, which can make your pup very sick.
8. Cooked Bones: Cooked bones are more brittle and prone to splintering into sharp shards that can be harmful to your dog. The hazards of cooked bones include choking and puncture wounds to the dog’s digestive tract, which can be fatal.
9. Dairy products: Most dogs love cheese and enjoy things like ice cream on a hot summer day, but many of them struggle with the lactose in milk-based treats. Gas and diarrhea make dairy not the best choice for your pup.
10. Xylitol: A common ingredient in chewing gum, xylitol is an artificial sweetener that can be lethal to dogs. In dogs, it can cause severe hypoglycemia, along with symptoms like vomiting and seizures. Always check your dogs’ treats for this hazardous ingredient. Peanut butter, which is usually safe for dogs, sometimes contains this additive, and it can be toxic for your pet.
11. Macadamia Nuts: These nuts may be a tasty treat for people, but they can wreak havoc on your furry friends. Dogs that have eaten macadamia nuts may experience vomiting, weakness, tremors, depression and a reduced ability to maintain their body temperature — which may cause them to overheat.
12. Salty Foods: While one pretzel may not pose an imminent threat, salty foods can be detrimental to your dog’s health. A hefty dose of salt can cause tremors, a spike in body temperature, seizures and even death. Dogs with heart conditions should never be given salty snacks in any amount.
As you can see, there are many foods that you might want to enjoy independently. Some of these foods, like avocados, may be healthy for humans but can be quite dangerous to your pet. Fortunately, there are some treats you and your pal can enjoy together, such as raw peanut butter and coconut. Carrots are also a great choice as a healthy snack for your pup.