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Can you feed dogs human food?

Time to read: 6 mins

It can be difficult to know what human food is safe to feed your dog as a treat. So we thought we’d give you a reminder of the foods that are safe and those that should never be fed. 

Foods to avoid

The following are poisonous and should never be fed.

1. Onions, garlic and chives: These can cause gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage.  

2. Chocolate: Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine which can cause seizures and kidney failure. Find out more about dogs and chocolate. 

3. Macadamia nuts: These contain a toxin that can result in weakness, swollen limbs and panting. 

4. Avocado: Contains Persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea . 

5. Artificial sweetener (Xylitol): Can cause hypoglycaemia, liver failure and blood clotting disorders. 

6. Alcohol (Including hidden alcohol in other food items): This has a huge impact even in small doses. It can lead to sickness, diarrhoea and even central nervous system damage. 

7. Cooked bones: These can easily splinter cause constipation, or perforation of the gut. 

8. Grapes and raisins: Cause severe liver damage and kidney failure even in tiny amounts. 

9. Caffeine (coffee and tea): Can case vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, abdominal discomfort, lethargy, muscle tremors, irregular heartbeat, high body temperature, seizures and death.

10. Raw Bread Dough and drink flavouring syrups: Can cause alcohol intoxication. The yeast in raw bread dough can also cause stomach expansion, which can result in tissue damage and difficulty breathing. 

11. Cherries: Their pits, stems, and leaves contain cyanide, which is poisonous and potentially lethal if consumed Cherry pits can also get lodged in a dog’s digestive tract and cause intestinal blockages. 

Safe treats and food

These foods are the least likely to cause gastrointestinal upset, and can even make healthy treats, but should still be given in moderation and with caution.

1. Peanut Butter: Peanuts, the main ingredient in peanut butter, are filled with fats and calories. There may also be xylitol in peanut butter.  

2. Dairy products – cheese, milk yoghurt ice cream: Can upset your dog’s digestive system and cause diarrhoea as well as food allergies. An overweight dog will have increased strain placed on their joints and important organs such as the heart. They will also be more prone to weight related diseases such as diabetes. An obese dog will ultimately have a shorter lifespan. 

3. Fish and prawns: Raw prawns contain lots of bacteria that can cause shellfish toxicity. Uncooked they also contain high amounts of cholesterol. 

Avoid giving your dog raw tuna, sushi, etc. as this can be harmful to their immune system. Canned tuna contains a very high amount of sodium, and can contain mercury, which can create heart problems in dogs who ingest too much of it. Mercury is an important concern among long-lived fish, such as tuna and swordfish. 

Harmful bacteria and/or parasites are a real concern when you feed salmon raw. Salmon can be filled with flukes, a type of parasite that can cause Vomiting, Diarrhea, and Even death in dogs! 

4. Sweet corn and corn on the cob: Although sweetcorn is nontoxic the cob can easily cause a blockage in your dog’s intestine. Sweet corn also has high levels of natural sugars and when fed in excess can cause gastric irritation. 

5. Bread: Cooked bread is safe in small amounts, but raw dough can lead to alcohol toxicity.  

6. Eggs: Nutritious when fully cooked and fed in small amounts. Raw eggs are not recommended.  

7. Fruit: The flesh of many fruits is non toxic but caution is required with  

  • Apricots and mango: The stone/pit can be a choking hazard, cause intestinal blockage, and can contain small amounts of cyanide 
  • Peaches: Peach stones are highly likely to cause intestinal blockage and are not easily identified on x-rays. 

 8. Cashew nuts and peanuts: Not toxic but contain high levels of sodium, phosphorus, and calories. Regular consumption of cashews by dogs can pave the way for weight gain and possibly obesity  

9. Melon: You should never feed your dog the seeds of a melon as they can have poisonous qualities, and cause gastrointestinal problems. The rind could also cause some digestive problems, and can be tough for your dogs to get down. But, the flesh of the melon is perfectly safe in smaller amounts. The high sugar content is likely to cause GI issues in anything but small quantities  

10. Tomato: Raw, ripe tomatoes are non toxic. Unripe tomatoes (green) and tomato plants are highly toxic and should never be eaten.  

The following are safe to feed in small amounts: Banana, Blueberries, Cucumbers, Raspberries. 

11. Vegetables: The following are safe to feed in small amounts: Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, , Peas,  Pumpkin puree, Spinach. 

If you would like any more information on this or any other pet health related queries, please contact our 24/7 vet Careline

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