Dogs are experts in sniffing out smelly, tasty food lying around and quickly gulping it down before you can snatch it away. They’ll also raid cupboards, fridges and garbage cans without you seeing. Then there are many people who want to spoil a dog by feeding them their table scraps.
But not all foods are “dog-friendly”. Knowing what foods are toxic to dogs is helpful in preventing accidental poisonings.
Here is a helpful list of foods for your dog to avoid and what to do if they do happen to eat it.
In this part we cover meat and fish that can be toxic to dogs. To read about toxic drinks and beans (like cocoa/chocolate) click here. To read about potentially toxic fruits, vegetables and nuts click here. To read about potentially toxic ingredients click here.
Please remember, if you suspect your dog has ingested a toxic food, seek veterinary attention immediately.
Although saturated fats aren’t technically poisonous foods for dogs, high fat foods (such as bacon, ham) can be very dangerous foods for dogs and can cause canine pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
Just one fatty meal can cause acute pancreatitis in dogs. Chronic pancreatitis in dogs may develop over time with regular and frequent ingestion of high fat foods. Canine pancreatitis is a painful and potentially life-threatening disease. Generally, middle-aged and older female dogs appear to be more susceptible to canine pancreatitis, as do Miniature Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, and Miniature Schnauzers.
Symptoms: may either be mild and not that obvious, or clearly very painful and severe. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, no appetite, abdominal pain, dehydration, severe weakness and/or collapse, shock, and fever. Signs of abdominal pain include restlessness, heavy panting, wincing, trembling, arched back, or lying with their front down and their rear end up.
Actions: Take your dog to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.
Cat food is very high in fats and protein and when ingested by a dog, particularly in large amounts or on a regular basis, it can lead to potentially deadly pancreatitis. For symptoms of pancreatitis see Fatty Meats above.
Just as would be the case with humans, dogs eating raw eggs can run the risk of food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. Also, there is an enzyme in raw eggs that interferes with the absorption of a particular B vitamin, that can cause skin and coat problems for your dog if they are fed raw eggs for a long period of time.
Actions: A bout of antibiotics may be necessary to clear up any detected bacterial infection.
Certain kinds of fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can contain a parasite (Nanophyetus salmincola) which is infected with an organism called Neorickettsia helminthoeca that causes “fish disease” in dogs. This parasite is commonly found in fish that swim upstream. To avoid infection, thoroughly cook the fish which will kill parasites and protect your dog.
Symptoms: vomiting, weakness, appetite loss, dehydration, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.
Possible Outcomes: severe illness. If not treated the disease can be fatal within 2 weeks.
Actions: Take your pet to a vet. This condition can be diagnosed with a fecal sample. Antibiotics and a wormer will likely be prescribed. Dogs recover quickly from this type of infection.
Camel Meat from Australia
Camel meat from Australia can contain the acid indospicine which can cause severe and sometimes fatal liver disease in dogs. The cause is that some camels in Australia graze plants that have a toxic amino acid which accumulates in the camels’ system and is then passed on to dogs when the dogs eat their meat. The RSPCA is warning pet owners to avoid feeding their dogs camel meat.
Symptoms: Lethargy, decreased appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice. Stools may be gray and light in color, urine may be darker than normal, possible orange. Some dogs may also suffer from weakness and confusion.
Possible Outcomes: hepatotoxicosis, severe liver diseases.
Actions: take your dog to the vet if you suspect camel meat poisoning.