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Foods That Are Toxic to Dogs

April 15, 2014

Your Labrador retriever Jake could make it big as a canine vacuum cleaner. He waits until you turn your back, snatches food from the table or the counter, and runs away before you can corner him. Though some of Jake’s snacks might only mean an upset stomach, other foods are toxic to dogs, potentially causing serious injury or death. While Jake’s Black Hills veterinarian is equipped to handle a toxic food emergency, you’d rather avoid that scary situation.


Raisins and Grapes

Raisins and grapes can potentially cause Jake to experience kidney failure. If Jake ingests these tasty fruits, he’ll begin to vomit, have diarrhea, and be lethargic within 12 hours of scarfing down the foods. While Jake might initially urinate more often, he’ll eventually stop peeing as his kidneys start to fail. Affected dogs often die within 3 to 4 days, and those who survive might have lasting kidney disease.



Jake probably loves chocolate as much as you do. Unfortunately, he can make himself very sick by gobbling down brownies, cookies, chocolate candy, cocoa powder, and cocoa shell mulches. Darker chocolate carries more danger than white chocolate, but Jake shouldn’t eat any of it. Common chocolate toxicosis symptoms include vomiting, excessive thirst, stomach discomfort, irregular heart rhythms, muscle tremors, and agitation. A severe chocolate ingestion can cause Jake’s body temperature to go sky high, and he can experience seizures or even die from his chocolate binge. If you suspect Jake has snarfed down some chocolate, have your vet evaluate him immediately.


Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions can do more than give Jake some killer breath. All onion family vegetables, such as garlic, onions, shallots, and scallions, have compounds that harm dogs’ red blood cells if consumed in large quantities. Generally, the stronger or more concentrated the substance, the greater the degree of toxicity. Garlic is more toxic than onions; dehydrated onions, garlic powder, and onion soup mix are really dangerous. Jake might not exhibit any toxicity symptoms for 3 to 5 days; then he’ll seem weak and tired after light exercise. His urine will also be orange to dark red. Get Jake to your vet quickly.


By barring Jake from the kitchen while you’re preparing or eating meals, and keeping human foods and snacks out of reach, Jake’s next visit to his Black Hills vet should be for his routine physical exam.

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