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The Whippeteer: Whippet Dog News, Issue #0038 - Toxic Food for Dogs
January 08, 2013

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An here is this month's featured article

Toxic Foods for Dogs

What we eat on a regular basis could be toxic foods for our dogs. This article will name common toxic foods for dogs and explain why they are dangerous for them.

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Fanny Moody
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Toxic Foods For Dogs - What NOT to Feed Your Dog

Toxic Foods For Dogs - What NOT to Feed Your Dog
By Carrie Lollar

Did you know that foods that are healthy for us, could actually be toxic foods for dogs? People don't think about a dog's digestive tract as being different than ours, but it is and they process things differently than we do.

Are you one of those looking to feed your dog whole foods as a healthier option than dry kibble or to avoid the scare of a dog food recall? Is your dog one of those spoiled dogs that gets table scraps? If you do feed your dog "people" food, here is a list of toxic foods for dogs that you should absolutely stay away from.

  • Avocados: Persin is a fungicidal toxin found in avocados. In dogs, it can damage the heart and lungs and cause vomiting and diarrhea. Although persin is found throughout the tree and fruit, the highest concentrations are in the seeds.

  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a stimulant that can affect the nervous system and the heart, causing hyperactivity, seizures, rapid or irregular heart beat, and even death. It can also cause vomiting and diarrhea. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are the most toxic with white chocolate being the least.

  • Nuts: It is not completely known if all nuts are toxic or what causes the problems in dogs. Macadamias, almonds, and walnuts seem to be the leading culprits, but I wouldn't take my chances, I would avoid nuts all together. Nuts are high in fat content and are hard for dogs to digest. When ingested symptoms usually manifest themselves in about 12 hours and include weakness, vomiting, hyperthermia, and an elevated heart rate.

  • Grapes and Raisins: These might seem like a convenient food to toss to your dog, for a treat, but avoid doing that. As with nuts, it is not known what causes the ill effects. However, it is very serious as it can lead to kidney failure and possibly death. Also, the effects are cumulative, meaning that if you feed them a couple on a regular basis, the toxins build up in the body.

  • Onions and Garlic: Onions and Garlic can cause damage to red blood cells in large enough quantities. Like the grapes and raisins, it is cumulative, so the toxins build up. So, if you are a dog owner that prepares your dog's food, do not use these items for seasoning.

  • Caffeine: Caffeine can cause problems to a dog's heart and nervous system

  • Alcohol: Think about your worst hangover, would you want to do that to your dog? Alcohol has the same effect on dogs as it does on humans. However, dogs are much smaller than humans, so the effects are brought on much quicker, and alcohol poisoning can be a lot more prevalent. Alcohol, even in small doses, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. Leave your dogs out of the party games.

  • Xylitol: Xylitol is common sweetener found in products like candy and gum. For dogs, it causes lower blood sugar. Symptoms of toxicity from Xylitol include vomiting, lethargy, seizures, and even liver failure. A common way dogs get ahold of this is to pull gum out of a purse. So, ladies, if you carry gum in your purse, make sure it is out of your dog's grasp or zip it up.

This covers the most common toxic foods for dogs. If your dog does get a lot of people food, do some extensive research on what other foods could adversly affect them. Also keep in mind that dogs can have food allergies just like humans can. When feeding something new to your dog, introduce it in small quantities so you can see if there will be any negative affects.

To learn more come visit us at

Carrie Lollar is an owner of Your Healthy Dogs, a website dedicated to dog owners who want the best out of life with their fur kid(s).

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