From Dr. Richard Fujie from the King Street Pet Hospital
1. What kind of table food you should avoid giving to your dog?
It is a lot easier to feed a quality commercial dog food and you are guaranteed to have a complete nutritional diet. You can cook for your dog and use many different ingredients, but I usually recommend that you source your recipes from a veterinarian or a veterinary hospital website to ensure the diet is wholesome.
2. What foods should you avoid giving to your dog?
There are several foods that are safe for humans, but can be toxic to dogs.
CHOCOLATE - We all love chocolate, but it can kill dogs if they consume enough of it. This is a common problem and we even have a calculator to figure out the risks depending on the type of chocolate and the amount to the body weight (photo of round calculator). The greater percentage of cocoa, the more toxic it is. Unsweetened cocoa powder and baker's chocolate is the worst.
GRAPES AND RAISINS - We still don't know the toxic compound in grapes and raisins, but it can cause kidney failure in dogs.
XYLITOL - This is artificial sweetner especially found in sugarless gum. It can cause a severe drop in blood sugar which creates a condition like a diabetic coma.
ONIONS AND GARLIC - Large amounts consumed by dogs can cause a life threatening anemia.
LARGE AMOUNT OF FAT - We see this problem usually during the holidays when dogs get into the garbage. The fatty meal can trigger a condition called pancreatitis that is painful and can be fatal in dogs.
MACADAMIA NUTS - This is my favorite nut but should never be given to dogs. It can cause hind leg paralysis or weakness. I have seen a couple of cases recently, but luckily this is a temporary condition.
AVOCADO, RAW YEAST DOUGH, RAW SALMON - Should also be avoided
3. Most of us know we should not give these foods to dogs and so most of these situations are accidental?
Yes, dogs have a great sense of smell and can find these tasty foods. If you have given a box of chocolates as a Christmas Gift and your friends has a dog, do let them know. I have had cases where dogs have chewed boxes open and consumed the whole box of chocolate covered mac nuts, a double whammy. And don't leave these foods like candies on your coffee tables where it is reachable by your pets.
4. What do we do if our dog has consumed something toxic like chocolate?
DON'T WAIT FOR SYMPTOMS! By that time, the toxins have been absorbed. Call your veterinarian immediately. We can induce vomiting by using a drug that we put into the conjuctival sac of teh eye (show photo). The dogs will start vomiting within a few minutes and once we feel the stomach is empty, we can flush out the medication from the eyes and the vomiting will cease. We can also give activated charcoal, enemas and other supportive care, if needed.
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