There are things that dogs should never eat and are especially at risk during the holidays. The list of what is dangerous to dogs continues to grow. Here are the top offenders that could seriously harm or even kill your dog.
1. First and foremost are bones. Many people think that dogs eat bones but this is not true. In the wild, foxes, wolves and other members of the canine family will crack bones to eat the marrow but they rarely eat the bones. Bones are not digestible in a dog’s short intestinal tract and can puncture them internally. Fish and poultry bones are the most dangerous. However, I feel that no bone is good for a dog, especially the ones that are available in pet supply stores that have meat left on them. Those bones also can be contaminated with salmonella.
2. Raw or undercooked turkey which can have salmonella. Turkey in general can be too rich for many dogs and cause them to get sick.
3. Turkey skin is mostly fat and dogs can develop pancreatitis from too much fat, which by the way includes gravy. All meat fat should be on the no-no list for dogs.
4. During the holidays many people tend to bake more than usual. While this may be a special treat for us, cake batter and any cookie or cake dough is not good for dogs. Bread dough is especially dangerous because the dough can rise inside the dog’s stomach causing a lot of pain and even bloat. Not to mention the risk of salmonella from the raw eggs.
5. When I was a child we had a dog that loved beer. He would take the empty beer bottles between his paws and lick the last drops out. As funny as it was, no form of alcohol is good for dogs. If your dog drinks too much he can develop a fever, rapid heartbeat, have seizures and liver damage. Just as in humans, alcohol poisoning can kill a dog.
6. Macadamia nuts surprisingly are also bad for dogs. They can suffer from macadamia nut toxicosis which can cause them to become lethargic, vomit or be unable to stand up.
7. Mushrooms can be lethal for dogs as well. With all of the variety of mushrooms that are OK for humans to eat, it is best to keep all of them away from dogs. A dog can suffer from vomiting, seizures, coma and death from mushrooms.
8. Onions and garlic contain sulfides which can cause a dog to become anemic.
9. Sage contains a number of oils and resins that can upset a dog’s stomach and harm the dog’s nervous system. Many recipes include sage so it is a good idea to always check a recipe to see if it has sage in it.
10. Nutmeg is another spice that is harmful for dogs. This is a common ingredient in some pies and vegetable dishes such as sweet potatoes. Nutmeg has some hallucinogenic properties that can cause seizures, tremors and problems with the central nervous system. Again, check recipes to make sure that they do not contain nutmeg.
11. Chocolate is well known as having lethal affects on dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Baker’s chocolate used in recipes is very toxic.
12. While not considered a food, it is important to mention that rawhide, pigs ears and cow hooves are also potentially lethal for dogs. Not only can they be toxic, but they can block the dog’s intestines requiring surgery or even causing death.
The best overall advice for the holidays or any other time of the year is caution. By being aware of what can harm your dog and preventing access to these items, will keep your dog alive and happy. It is very important to understand that the smaller the dog, the less of the items above it will take to make your dog sick. But that does not mean that if you have a large dog, it is ok to give them a little bit of the forbidden foods. There is always a chance for an allergic type of reaction to foods that are not suitable for dogs.