9 Types of Food You Should Never Feed Your Dog
Macadamia nuts, onions and grapes make the list.
By Joan Salge Blake | Contributor Aug. 15, 2016, at 6:00 a.m.
Molly always enjoys her annual birthday celebration with her favorite treats, and Henry dons his designer raincoat and boots when he walks outside in the rain. Both Molly and Henry have one thing in common: They have four legs and a tail. While we often treat our dogs not merely as pets, but rather as an important family member, there are times when we have to remember – for their safety’s sake – that these family members aren’t human.
The Food and Drug Administration recently released consumer health information reminding dog owners that there are numerous human foods that your pooch cannot tolerate, and if consumed, may cause serious medical issues for your pet.
While many dog owners know that giving Fido chocolate can causing poisoning, there other less known but equally important edibles that need to be kept away from your dog. Here are some foods that you should avoid giving to your four-legged friends:
Grapes, Raisins and Currents
While these naturally sweet gems from Mother Nature can be a tasty way to add good nutrition to your diet, they can cause kidney failure in certain breeds of dogs, according to the FDA. While the mechanism for the kidney failure is not known, it can occur if the grapes, raisins and currents are consumed raw or even in cooked products, such as cookies, fruit cake and snack bars.
Forget sharing your white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies with your canine buddy. While these nuts are healthy for humans to enjoy, they can be toxic if consumed by your dog. Similar to grapes, the mechanism for the toxicity is unknown.
Onions, Garlic and Chives
While these foods add flavor to any dish, they shouldn’t be in your dog’s dinner dish. Onions, garlic and chives, even the dried powdered forms, contain compounds called organosulfides, which are converted to toxic sulfur compounds in dogs. Cooking or processing these foods will not eliminate the toxins – so forget about spooning salsa, chili or dips containing these foods into your dog’s dinner.
This lower calorie sugar substitute, which can be found in sugarless gum, candies, some peanut butters and diet cookies, can also be deadly to your dog. While xylitol is safe for human consumption, it can stimulate the release of insulin, which causes a rapid drop in blood glucose levels in your dog. Xylitol has also been associated with liver failure in dogs – so keep the sugarless candies out of your dog’s reach.
To avoid foodborne illness, better known as food poisoning, you should not eat uncooked or undercooked poultry and meat, and the same goes for your dog. Bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella in raw meat and poultry, can sicken both of you. Also make sure you don’t accidentally cross-contaminate your dog’s foods with these raw foods. For example, if you create hamburgers from raw ground beef or bread raw chicken, don’t dip into the treat jar without first washing your hands, warns the FDA. The pathogens on your dirty hands can contaminate the treat being gobbled by your dog. It’s a good habit to always wash your hands after touching raw meat and poultry.
Joan Salge Blake CONTRIBUTOR
Joan Salge Blake is a Clinical Associate Professor at Boston University and the author of “Nutrition & You,” 3rd Edition, Pearson/Benjamin Cummings (2014), “Nutrition & You: Core Concepts to Good Health,” Pearson/Benjamin Cummings (2010), and “Eat Right The E.A.S.Y. Way,” Prentice Hall Press (1991). She is the co-author of “Nutrition: From Science to You,” Pearson/Benjamin Cummings (2016). Joan has conducted more than 1,000 media interviews and has been quoted in or written for various media outlets, such as the New York Times, Food Network, Newsweek, Washington Post, Forbes, Prevention, WebMD, Consumer Reports, Boston Globe, Newsday, Time, The Atlanta Journal Constitution Readers Digest, and Cosmopolitan, People, Parade, Cooking Light, Parents, Shape, Self, More, Sports Illustrated, Woman’s Day, More, All You and O magazines. She has appeared on CBS, The Early Show, CNN, CBS News Boston, NBC News, Boston, NPR and Fox TV, Boston. In 2012, Joan was named by Good Housekeeping Magazine as the expert to follow on Twitter for healthy eating. She is currently working towards her doctorate. Follow her on Twitter at: @JoanSalgeBlake.