5 Toxic Foods and Drinks You Should Never Let Your Dog Ingest
The next time you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, keep your treat far away from your pup, says Ericka Carroll, VMD, a veterinarian working with Hello Ralphie, a virtual vet care service. "Chocolate has not only caffeine but also a compound called theobromine," Carroll explains. "When ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, an abnormal heartbeat, and seizures." And though dark chocolate might be slightly healthier for humans, it isn’t for your furry friend. "The darker the chocolate, the higher the amount of theobromine present and potentially the greater the risk for toxicity," she adds.
Even if your sweet doesn’t have actual sugar in it, it’s still dangerous for your pet. "Many sugar-free gums and candies contain a compound called xylitol that can be poisonous to dogs," Carroll explains. "Xylitol can cause your dog’s blood sugar to rapidly decrease to a dangerous level, causing liver failure, seizures, and sometimes death." The artificial sweetener is also found in some peanut butter brands, so make sure you double-check the label before giving your dog a nutty snack.
Don't let your dog get near the bowl of fruit. "The exact cause remains unknown, but grapes (and raisins) can be toxic to dogs," Carroll warns. "They can cause some dogs to have vomiting, lethargy, and go into sudden kidney failure."
Onions and Garlic
Ensure the only drink your dog has is water, as alcohol can negatively affect your pet's brain and liver, Carroll says. "Even in small amounts, dogs may experience vomiting, depression, incoordination, difficulty breathing, and even death," she warns.