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Plants and Foods that Could Kill Your Dog

Although many of us think of Fido as a part of the family, our beloved pooches cannot eat the same things we do. Our bodies are affected differently by various foods. In addition, curious dogs can ingest potentially harmful plants. Learn about what foods and plants are poisonous to your dog.

Dangerous foods
Although many humans love chocolate, it is not recommended that we share our favorite dessert with our dogs. Chocolate is one of the most toxic foods for dogs. It contains theobromide, which can cause breathing problems, heart palpitations, stomach pains, tremors, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and coma.

Chocolate does not always affect a dog immediately. The symptoms may not appear for several hours. After 24 hours have passed without medical attention, the end result can be death. Baking chocolate and cocoa powder are the most dangerous forms of chocolate. Even a small amount can be deadly, especially smaller dogs.

Garlic and onions are also dangerous to dogs. They contain a deadly ingredient called thiosulfate. Onions are the more dangerous food, causing anemia, diarrhea, vomiting, breathing problems, liver damage and change in color of the urine. These symptoms may occur as late as two days after eating the onion.

All types of onions can cause problems, whether they be cooked or raw, or in leftover pizza or Chinese food. Even human baby food can cause health problems in dogs. Garlic can also cause problems, but only if eaten in large amounts.

Mushrooms are also highly toxic and can be fatal, especially if certain types are eaten. In the United States, amanita phalloides is the most poisonous mushroom species. It can cause excessive drooling, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and kidney and liver damage. In severe cases, it can even cause coma or death.

Grapes and raisins can also be harmful to dogs. Although it is possible that just a few grapes or raisins could cause poisoning in dogs, the amounts in recent cases were fairly large, ranging from 9 ounces to two pounds. They can cause stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

Nuts, especially macadamia nuts, can also be poisonous to dogs. They contain a high amount of phosphorous, which can lead to bladder stones, weakness, paralysis and excessive panting. Their limbs can also become swollen, making them unable to move.
Some other foods to avoid feeding your dog include:

  • Fish – Eating raw fish can result in vitamin deficiencies, seizures and even death. The bones from fish can become lodged in the dog’s throat, causing breathing problems. They can also cause obstructions in the digestive system.
  • Cat food – Cat food does not contain the right amounts of nutrition for dogs. It is too high in fats and protein.
  • Raw eggs – Although many dog owners like to mix in eggs with their dog’s dry food, they are advised against it. Raw eggs can decrease the absorption of certain vitamins, which can lead to problems with a dog’s skin or coat. In addition, raw eggs may contain salmonella.
  • Dairy products – Milk and other dairy products contain lactose, which is difficult for a dog’s body to digest properly. This can lead to diarrhea.

Dangerous plants
Dogs are naturally curious and they are not finicky, which can lead them to taste household plants that may not be so good for them. Here are some plants your dog should avoid.

  • dangerous foods for dogsLilies – Certain types of lilies, such as peace lilies, palm lilies, Easter lilies and calla lilies, are toxic to dogs and can cause an upset stomach, anorexia and tremors.
  • Aloe vera – Aloe vera is often used by people for skin problems. However, it is not effective as medicine for dogs. In fact, it can cause health problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, tremors and discoloration of urine.
  • Ivy – Although ivy is not one of the most poisonous plants for dogs, the various varieties of ivy can cause stomach discomfort and vomiting.
  • Sago palm – Often used as a houseplant or around the outside of the house as landscaping, sago palm produces seed pods that dogs seem to enjoy. However, these seeds and the entire plant contain a potent toxin that can be fatal. Even the smallest amount can be deadly, so emergency medical treatment is required if eaten.
  • Azalea – Azaleas are found all over the United States. They are flowery plants that are often used in landscaping. They are also highly toxic, causing loss of appetite, upset stomach, excessive drooling and paralysis if ingested. In severe cases, coma or death can result.
  • Milkweed – Although milkweed is a great plant for attracting butterflies, it is highly toxic to dogs. It can cause a variety of symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, anorexia, seizures, breathing problems, liver and kidney failure and even death.
  • Castor bean – This is a highly toxic tropical plant. It can burn a dog’s throat, causing excessive thirst and vomiting. Eating the seeds can be fatal for a dog.
  • Daffodils – These flowers contain poisonous properties that can cause many health issues, especially if the bulbs are eaten. Symptoms of daffodil poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, tremors and heart problems.
  • Poinsettias – These beautiful plants are popular during the holiday season, but they can cause vomiting and depression in dogs if ingested. Luckily, they are not highly toxic and medical treatment is rarely needed unless a large amount is eaten.
  • Tomato plants – These won’t kill your dog, but ingesting them can make your dog a bit uncomfortable. They can cause many negative health effects, including an upset stomach, drowsiness, diarrhea, dilated pupils, confusion, changes in behavior and changes in heart rate.
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