Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Foods That Can Harm Your Dog

Our sweet husky-lab, Zoe, who passed five years ago

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What is Nutritious for Us, could be Deadly for our Dog
This morning I read an article by Chris Bjorklund, a well known consumer advocate, that named some foods that could be deadly for dogs. I was quite surprised by several of them, so I wanted to blog this right away to warn my dog-loving followers. Her information is from Dr. Kristina Hansson who is a veterinarian at Northbay Animal Hospital. I also added some conditions and symptoms from other web-related research.

Foods to Avoid Feeding your Dog
It's been said that dark chocolate has powerful antioxidants, nuts are good for our heart, garlic and onions have antibacterial and antiviral properties and red grapes contain the plant chemical, resveratrol, which some say may even extend our lives! But although we may be tempted to share these healthful foods with our furry family, they could do extensive harm. It is highly recommended by the experts that we avoid feeding our dogs the following foods:

* Chocolate (especially ones with high cocoa content) - Treobromine in chocolate is toxic to dogs and could lead to elevated heart rate, seizures or death.
* Macadamia nuts - can cause a toxic reaction called macadamia nut toxicosis. Symptoms include walking wobbly or inability to stand, muscle tremors and weakness, swollen limbs and joint pain.
* Rising bread dough - the yeast can continue to expand in your dog's stomach which could be fatal.
* Onions and Garlic - can cause haemolytic anaemia which can cause your dog's blood cells to burst.
* Fatty turkey and chicken skins - Eating these can give your dog gastro-intestinal distress or pancreatitis.
* Grapes and raisins - a big warning to my fellow wine grape growers as most have doggies who love to munch the grapes right off the vines!! Eating these can cause your dog to have kidney failure which can be fatal.

Feeding table scraps to dogs is never a good idea but please be aware that it can have severe and sometimes fatal consequences!


Lori said...

Great article. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. As a rule I don't feed my dog any people food but sometimes my hubby will do it behind my back. And he wonders why the dog sits right by him if he is eating anything.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

It is hard to resist giving them what we think are "treats". But at least he now knows which foods can really hurt them. I'm grateful to those who did the research to figure this out!

Diane said...

Thanks for all the great work you do !
I actually have learned that onions should be avoided, but garlic is excellent to feed our four legged friends and has many benefits like repelling fleas and tapeworms.
I give it to my dogs daily, in small doses.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Yes, that one was confusing as I had always heard that garlic was good to rid your dog of worms and parasites.
Here's a link I found on dogs and garlic which may shed more light on this confusing issue:

woodwarddc said...

Hi Joanne,

Can you comment on foods that are dangerous for cats?

Thank you!


Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

A few people have asked about cats so I did a little research.
According to an article on, the following foods can be bad for cats:
- Chocolate is also poisonous to cats.
- Small bones, especially from poultry, can splinter and be dangerous.
- Raw eggs contain avidin which can deplete your cat's biotin (a B vitamin). Cooked eggs are OK.
- Raw fish contains thiaminase which destroys vitamin B1.
- Liver can result in vitamin A toxicity if eaten in excess.
- Onions (same effect as in dogs)
- Tuna in excess can lead to mercury poisoning and yellow fat disease.
- Milk and pork can sometimes be disagreeable.
To read the entire article, go to
Sorry I left out our other favorite furry friends!

Debra said...

Great information!