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15 foods you should never feed your dog

Dog owners often treat their canines like family members, but that doesn't mean their pets should eat the same foods as their human companions. Shared food is a cornerstone in the foundation of the human-canine relationship, but many modern foods are sugar-laden and processed with products that are harmful and even deadly for dogs to eat. Responsible owners need to know what foods their dog should avoid at all costs.
Sometimes dogs can get into the wrong foods if they're left within reach. Be careful, especially around family parties and the holidays, to take some extra time to ensure that your dog can't access dangerous foods. Here's a list of the top 15 foods you should never feed your dog and why.
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1. Any food containing xylitol
Xylitol is found in many sugar-free foods like gum, candy and peanut butter. It's an artificial sweetener that poses serious danger to your dog and can cause an insulin release leading to brain damage, seizures, liver failure or coma.
2. Chocolate
While tasty to humans, chocolate is deadly for some dogs. It contains methylxanthines which can cause gastrointestinal upset, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures or even death. Dark chocolate is more dangerous for canines than milk or white chocolates because it contains more methylxanthines.
3. Onions and chives
Onions and chives can cause severe stomach upset for your dog, and in worst case scenarios, anemia and further red blood cell damage may occur.
4. Grapes and raisins
No one knows why dogs react so poorly to grapes and raisins, but they do; some dogs will experience few symptoms after eating a few grapes while others can face death after eating just one. Something in these fruits is toxic to dogs and leads to kidney failure, so keep them out of your dog's reach at all times.
5. Garlic
Roughly five times more toxic than onions, garlic causes significant gastrointestinal issues, and in severe cases, oxidative damage to red blood cells and anemia in canines. Garlic can sometimes be used in foods without our knowledge, giving you another good reason not to feed your dog table food.
6. Salty snack foods
Chips and pretzels aren't the best snack choices for people, and less so for your dog. The high sodium levels can result in sodium toxicity, stomach upset, stupor, tremors, seizures and even death.
7. Nuts
The high-fat content of nuts --- including pecans, almonds, peanuts and walnuts --- is too much for a dog's body to process. A dog who gets into a bowl or package of peanuts may suffer from vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts are especially toxic and can cause depression, hyperthermia and seizures.
8. Citrus fruits
It doesn't take much citrus fruit to produce a negative reaction in dogs-- mainly stomach upset. Ingesting large amounts of citrus fruits can cause your dog to suffer extremely painful gastrointestinal conditions and a depressed nervous system.
9. Coffee and caffeine products
As with chocolate, coffee or other food and drink including caffeine is a danger to your dog due to the high content of methylxanthines. While your pet might not be drinking from your cup of coffee, giving him easy access to your coffee beans spells nothing but trouble.
10. Milk and dairy products
People and cats may be able to consume dairy, but with dogs it's different. They produce a low amount of lactase and have great difficulty adequately and efficiently breaking down the lactose found in dairy products. This leads to upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhea.
11. Raw eggs
Uncooked eggs potentially expose your dog to bacterial infections such as salmonella and E. coli. Feeding your dog raw eggs in large quantities may also impact the quality of his skin and coat due to biotin (Vitamin B7) deficiency.
12. Alcohol
Your dog should never be given or have access to alcohol. It has a similar affect on your dog's brain as it would on yours, but it doesn't take much alcohol for your dog to suffer. In a short amount of time, your dog can develop stomach upset, tremors, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, seizures, coma or death. Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center right away if you believe your dog has ingested alcohol.
13. Licorice
Consuming large amounts of licorice is bad news for canines. The dilute nutraceutical extracts in licorice lead to muscle damage and the development of adrenal gland issues in dogs. Keep this candy far out of your dog's range.
14. Yeast dough
Dough with yeast poses a serious threat to your dog's health and should be kept out of range. The yeast prompts increased gas production that results in life-threatening gastric bloat. Even consuming small amounts of yeast dough can lead to the formation of ethanol by-products and the chance of alcohol toxicity in your dog.
15. Under-cooked or raw meat and bones
Although giving your dog raw meat or undercooked bones may seem like a good idea --- and your dog will not object --- they are highly dangerous and can expose your dog to E. coli or salmonella infections. The bones themselves are risky as they can easily splinter when chewed. Obstruction, choking or gastrointestinal punctures can also occur.
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Not all dogs react the same way to all foods. Discuss any concerns you have about food hazards with your veterinarian, and do everything you can to dog-proof your home to keep your beloved pet away from foods that can threaten his health and well-being.
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