While some dogs are smart enough not to want to eat foods that are very dangerous for them, there are those canine companions that will eat absolutely anything they can get their teeth on, whether or not it’s food.
If your dog is highly food motivated, in order to keep them safe and healthy, it will be very important to keep cupboards containing any food or poisonous products tightly closed and out of their reach. This will also include any area where you might store garbage because if they can smell it, they will figure out how to get to it.
As conscientious guardians for our furry friends, it will always be our responsibility to make certain that when we share our homes with a dog, we never leave foods (or other products) that could be toxic or lethal to them easily within their reach.
While there are many foods that can be toxic to a dog, it is recognized that the following are very dangerous foods for dogs:
1. Bread Dough
If your dog eats bread dough, their body heat will cause the dough to rise inside the stomach. As the dough expands during the rising process, alcohol is produced.
Dogs who have eaten bread dough may experience stomach bloating, abdominal pain, vomiting, disorientation, and depression. Because bread dough can rise to many times its original size, eating only a small amount will cause a problem for any dog.
The toxic ingredient in broccoli is isothiocyanate. While it may cause stomach upset, it probably won’t be very harmful unless the amount eaten is more than 10% of the dog’s total daily diet.
Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that is toxic to dogs in large enough quantities. Chocolate also contains caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, and certain soft drinks. Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine and caffeine.
For example, dark chocolate and baking chocolate or cocoa powder contain more of these compounds than milk chocolate does, therefore, a dog would need to eat more milk chocolate in order to become ill.
However, even a few ounces of chocolate can be enough to cause illness or death in a puppy or smaller dog, therefore, no amount or type of chocolate should be considered safe for a dog to eat.
A dog suffering from having eaten chocolate may display symptoms that include diarrhea, vomiting, increased heart rate, restless behavior, muscle tremors, or seizures. If they have eaten enough of it, they could die within 24 hours of eating.
During many holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s, Easter and Halloween, chocolate is often more easily accessible to curious dogs, especially from children who are not so careful with where they might keep their Halloween or Easter egg stash and who is an easy mark for a hungry dog.
In some cases, people unwittingly poison their dogs by offering them chocolate as a treat or leaving chocolate cookies or frosted cake easily within licking distance.
Beverages containing caffeine, such as soda, tea, coffee, and chocolate, act as a stimulant and can accelerate your dog’s heartbeat to a dangerous level. Dogs ingesting caffeine have been known to have seizures, some of which are fatal.
5. Cooked Bones
Cooked bones can be extremely hazardous for a dog because the bones become brittle when cooked which causes them to splinter when the dog chews on them. The splinters have sharp edges that have been known to become stuck in the teeth and cause choking when caught in the throat or create a rupture or puncture of the stomach lining or intestinal tract.
Especially dangerous are cooked turkey and chicken legs, ham, pork chop, and veal bones. Symptoms of choking include:
- Pale or blue gums ·
- Gasping breathing or panting ·
- Pawing or scratching at the face ·
- Slowed, shallow breathing
- Collapse and unconsciousness with dilated pupils
6. Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins can cause acute (sudden) kidney failure in dogs. While it is not known what the toxic agent is in this fruit, clinical signs can occur within 24 hours of eating and include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy (tiredness).
Other signs of illness caused by eating grapes or raisins relate to the eventual shutdown of kidney functioning.
7. Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions contain chemicals that damage red blood cells by rupturing them so that they lose their ability to carry oxygen effectively, which leaves the dog short of oxygen, causing what is called “hemolytic anemia”.
Poisoning can occur when a dog eats a large amount of garlic or onions all at once, or when eating repeated meals containing smaller amounts and cooking does not reduce the potential toxicity of onions and garlic.
NOTE: fresh, cooked, and/or powdered garlic or onions are commonly found in baby food, which is sometimes given to dogs when they are sick, therefore, be certain to carefully read food labels before feeding to your American Bully.
8. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are commonly found in candies and chocolates. Although the mechanism of macadamia nut toxicity is not well understood, the clinical signs in dogs having eaten these nuts include depression, weakness, vomiting, tremors, joint pain, and pale gums. Signs can occur within 12 hours after eating. In some cases, symptoms can resolve themselves without treatment within 24 to 48 hours. However, keeping a close eye on your dog will be strongly recommended. Mushrooms: mushroom poisoning can be fatal if certain species of mushrooms are eaten.
The most commonly reported severely toxic species of mushroom in the US is Amanita phalloides (Death Cap mushroom), which is also quite a common species found in most parts of Britain. Other Amanita species are also toxic.
This deadly mushroom is often found growing in grassy or wooded areas near various deciduous and coniferous trees, which means that if you’re out walking with your dog in the woods, they could easily find these mushrooms.
Eating them can cause severe liver disease and neurological disorders. If you suspect your dog has eaten these mushrooms, immediately take them to your veterinarian, as the recommended treatment is to induce vomiting and to give activated charcoal. Further treatment for liver disease may also be necessary.
9. Pits and Seeds
Many seeds and pits found in a variety of fruits, including apples, apricots, cherries, pears, and plums, contain cyanogenic glycosides that can cause cyanide poisoning in your dog.
The symptoms of cyanide poisoning usually occur within 15-20 minutes to a few hours after eating and symptoms can include initial excitement, followed by rapid respiration rate, salivation or drooling, voiding of urine and feces, vomiting, muscle spasm, staggering, and coma before death.
Dogs suffering from cyanide poisoning that live more than 2 hours after onset of symptoms will usually recover.
10. Raw Salmon or Trout
Salmon Poisoning Disease (SPD) can be a problem for anyone who goes fishing with their dog or feeds their dog a raw meat diet that includes raw salmon or trout
When a snail is infected and then is eaten by the fish as part of the food chain, the dog is exposed when it eats the infected fish.
Sudden onset of symptoms can occur 5-7 days after eating the infected fish. In the acute stages, gastrointestinal symptoms are quite similar to canine parvovirus.
SPD has a mortality rate of up to 90%, can be diagnosed with a fecal sample and is treatable if caught in time
Prevention is simple, cook all fish before feeding it to your American Bully and immediately see your veterinarian if you suspect that your dog has eaten raw salmon or trout.
Tobacco: all forms of tobacco, including patches, nicotine gum, and chewing tobacco can be fatal to dogs if eaten. Signs of poisoning can appear quite rapidly (within an hour or less) and may include diarrhea, vomiting, a heightened state of activity, excessive drooling and panting. Depending upon how much a dog may have eaten, more acute signs of poisoning may cause twitching, leading to collapse and coma due to a heart attack that will cause death.
Never leave tobacco products within reach of your puppy or dog, and be careful not to let them pick up discarded cigarette butts when they are young puppies. If you suspect your dog has eaten cigarette butts, seek immediate veterinary help.
When your dog is a very young puppy, use a double leash, collar and harness arrangement, so that you can still teach them to walk on leash with a Martingale collar around their neck, but can also attach the second leash to their harness so that you can easily lift them over enticing cigarette butts or other toxic garbage they may be trying to eat during your walks.
Tomatoes contain a substance called atropine, which can cause tremors, dilated pupils and an irregular heartbeat in a puppy or dog that eats them. The greatest amount of atropine will be found in the stalks and leaves of the tomato plant, next is the green tomato (before it ripens), and then ripe tomatoes.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener often found in many candies, gums, breath mints, toothpaste and mouthwashes that are recognized by the National Animal Poison Control Center to be a poison risk to dogs.
When puppies or dogs eat products containing Xylitol, it causes a sudden release of insulin, which in turn causes low blood sugar, which can also cause liver damage.
Within 30 minutes after eating a product containing Xylitol, the dog may vomit, be lethargic (tired), and/or be uncoordinated. However, some signs of toxicity can also be delayed for hours or even for a few days. Xylitol toxicity in dogs can be fatal if left untreated.
Please be aware that the above list is just some of the more common foods that can be toxic or fatal to our furry friends and that there are many other foods we should never be feeding our dogs.
If you have one of those dogs who will happily eat anything that looks or smells even slightly like food, or even if not food, but is enticing for a puppy or dog to eat, be certain to keep these foods or products far away from your beloved American Bully and you’ll help them to live a long and healthy life.
Many common house plants are actually poisonous to our canine companions, and although many dogs simply will ignore house plants, some will attempt to eat anything, especially puppies who want to taste everything in their new world.
More than 700 plant species contain toxins that may harm or be fatal to puppies or dogs, depending on the size of the puppy or dog and how much they may eat.
Therefore, it is especially important to be aware of household plants that could be toxic when you are sharing your home with a new puppy. Following is a shortlist of the more common household plants, what they look like, the different names they are known by, and what symptoms might be apparent if your puppy or dog decides to eat them.
13. Aloe Plant
Aloe plant is a very common succulent plant that is toxic to dogs. The toxic agent in this plant is Aloin. This bitter yellow substance is found in most aloe species and may cause vomiting and/or reddish urine.
14. Asparagus Fern
The toxic agent in this plant is sapogenin, which is a steroid found in a variety of plants. Repeated exposure to the berries of this plant cause vomiting, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain or skin inflammation.
15. Corn Plant
Saponin is the offensive chemical compound found in this plant. If the plant is eaten, vomiting (with or without blood), loss of appetite, depression and/or increased drooling can occur.
Cyclamen is a pretty, flowering plant that, if eaten, can cause diarrhea, vomiting and increased salivation. If a dog eats a large number of the plants’ tubers, usually found underneath the soil at the root level, heart rhythm problems can occur, which may result in seizures or even death.
Dieffenbachia contains a poisonous chemical and If a dog eats the plant, they will experience mouth irritation, especially on the tongue and lips that can lead to an increase in drooling, problems swallowing and vomiting.
18. Elephant Ear
Elephant ear contains a chemical that is similar to a chemical also found in dieffenbachia. A dog’s toxic reaction to elephant ear is similar, including oral irritation, problems swallowing, increased drooling, and vomiting.
19. Heartleaf Philodendron
Heartleaf philodendron is a very common, easy-to-grow houseplant that contains a chemical irritating to the mouth, tongue, and lips of dogs. An affected dog may also experience difficulty swallowing, vomiting and increased drooling.
20. Jade Plant
Jade plant has many other names, such as “baby jade, Chinese rubber plant, dwarf rubber plant, friendship tree, jade tree, or Japanese rubber plant”. While exactly what is toxic to dogs in this plant is unknown, a dog eating a Jade plant can suffer from loss of coordination and depression as well as a slowed heart rate.
Some plants of the lily family can be toxic to dogs. The peace lily (also known as Mauna Loa) is known to be toxic to dogs. Eating the peace lily or calla lily can cause vomiting, irritation to the dog’s tongue and lips, problems swallowing and increased drooling.
22. Satin Pothos
Also known as silk pothos, if eaten by a dog, the plant may cause irritation to the dog’s mouth, lips and tongue, while the dog may also experience vomiting, difficulty swallowing and drooling. The plants noted above are only a few of the more common household plants, and every conscientious Dog guardian will want to educate themselves before bringing plants into the home that could be toxic to their canine companions.
Poison Proof Your Home
You can learn about many potentially toxic and poisonous sources both inside and outside your home by visiting the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website.
Always keep your veterinarian’s emergency number in a place where you can quickly access it, as well as the Emergency Poison Control telephone number, in case you suspect that your dog may have been poisoned.
Knowing what to do if you suspect your dog may have been poisoned and being able to quickly contact the right people could save your dog’s life.
If you keep toxic cleaning substances (including fertilizers, vermin or snail poisons and vehicle products) in your home, garage or garden shed, always keep them behind closed doors.
As well, keep any medications where your American Bully can never get to them, and seriously consider eliminating the use of any and all toxic products, for the health of both yourself, your family and your best fur friends.
23. Garden Plants
Please note that there are also many outdoor plants that can be toxic or poisonous to your puppy or dog, therefore, always check what plants are growing in your garden and if any may be harmful, remove them or make certain that your American Bully puppy or adult dog cannot eat them.
Cornell University, Department of Animal Science lists many different categories of poisonous plants affecting dogs, including house plants, flower garden plants, vegetable garden plants, plants found in swamps or moist areas, plants found in fields, trees and shrubs, plants found in wooded areas, and ornamental plants
Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?
Be aware that many puppies and adult dogs will eat grass, just because. Perhaps they like the taste, are curious, bored, or need a little moisture or fiber in their diet.
Remember that canines are natural scavengers, always on the lookout for something they can eat, and so long as the grass is healthy and has not been sprayed with toxic chemicals, a little grass-eating should not be a concern.