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Why your Dog can’t Eat Chocolate + 7 other Dangerous Foods

dog food dogs and chocolate food and dogs food dogs can't eat human food for dogs

Source: Pets World

One of life’s greatest joys is snacking on a block of your favourite chocolate on a Saturday night – or every night. Of course we don’t want our fluffy friends to get FOMO, but chocolate is bad for your dog’s health. A lot of people know this already, but we bet you don’t know why.

Here’s the crux of it: chocolate contains cocoa, and about 1.2 per cent of cocoa contains a compound called theobromine (RSPCA). To put that into perspective, an ounce of raw cocoa would contain approximately 0.3 grams of theobromine. Theobromine levels are lower in refined chocolate because of the addition of milk, sugar and other ingredients, but in darker chocolate it’s more prominent because more raw cacao is present (Plos Blogs).

Humans are able to eat chocolate safely because we can metabolise sugar and fat content faster (elements that are mixed in with theobromine). Domestic animals have a slower metabolis. Theobromine poisons dogs and can induce vomiting, diarrhoea, rapid breathing and seizures. If left untreated, the pup can even go into cardiac arrest. Besides, the fat and sugar content in chocolate alone can trigger life-threatening pancreatitis. The amount of chocolate your dog has to eat before it falls ill depends on its size, weight and breed (PetMD) – the best way to prevent your beloved family pet becoming sick is by never giving them any at all.

FACT: Theobromine is more toxic for cats than dogs, but cats are less likely to eat chocolate because they can’t taste sweetness.

Before you frantically run around the house locking up any chocolate that’s been lying around, here are another seven human foods that are dangerous for dogs.

 1. Macadamia nuts

They may be small, but they’re treacherous little blighters, causing weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs that can last up to 48 hours.

 2. Yeast dough

Once ingested, yeast dough can rise and cause gas. The bloating can be extremely painful for your pooch and can twist the stomach (ever seen Marley & Me?), which is life-threatening. Ethanol is a by-product of yeast, so by consuming raw dough, your dog can become drunk.

3. Avocado

Your dog may be your favourite amigo, but hold off sharing your guac. Avocados contain a toxin called persin that causes stomach upset, breathing difficulties and fluid build up in the chest.

4. Grapes and raisins

While these sweet nibbles can seem like the perfect healthy dog treat, feeding your dog grapes and raisins can be fatal. It’s unclear why, but this fruit can cause rapid kidney failure in dogs, and it only takes a small amount to make them ill. Repeated vomiting is the first sign of consumption, followed by a day of lethargy and eventually kidney failure.

5. Peaches and plums

It’s the pits that are the pits with these fruits. Not only do they pose a passage obstruction hazard, but they contain a small amount of cyanide, which may effect more sensitive, doggy systems.

6. Raw fish

The emphasis here is on the raw: fish is fine for dogs so long as it’s been thoroughly cooked, which kills a bacterial parasite that can causes food poisoning or ‘fish disease‘. Symptoms include vomiting, fever and enlarged lymph nodes. If left untreated, it can be fatal within a fortnight.

7. Cheese

And basically all dairy, full stop. Dogs do not possess the required amount of lactase – the enzyme that breaks down the lactose in milk – to properly digest dairy products. It may not be fatal but it can cause itchiness and extreme diarrhoea, so before you share your ice cream with your pup, think about who’s going to be cleaning up after them.

Source: Dog Food Advisor

Food information sources: ASPCA & Pets Web MD

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