Dogs are one of the purest beings that ever existed and are a joy to be around. We share our homes, lives, sorrows and happy moments with them.
Not only that, but from a psychological standpoint, owning a dog as a pet has been proven to be very beneficial. These great companions can reduce your levels of stress and improve your mood by increasing the levels of oxytocin, a hormone that increases trust and reduces fear. More importantly, they can improve the quality of life for people with autism and are used to assist blind people in their daily lives.
But as much as we would like to share every single aspect of our lives with them, there is one thing we have to be careful about: what we feed them.
Some types of fruits and vegetables can be very poisonous for your dog. Here are 20 fruits and veggies your dog can and can’t eat.
What Dogs Can’t Eat
Let us start this article with a list of ten veggies and fruits you should not feed to your dog. Some of them could lead to mild health effects, while others could prove to be outright fatal if served in large quantities.
The first thing you should cut out of the list of dog foods are grapes. Scientists have not discovered which amount and what precise substances are bad for dogs, but its toxicity, in general, has been proven, so it is best to avoid grapes altogether. The same thing applies to raisins. Symptoms of grape ingestion include dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy and weakness, loss of appetite and, in extreme cases, acute kidney failure that can be fatal. If your dog accidentally eats grapes, take him to a specialist immediately.
Garlic, while being very beneficial for humans, is extremely toxic for pets in general, and dogs in particular. To measure the level of toxicity, factors such as the canine’s age, size, weight, and breed should be taken into consideration, but in some cases, just one clove of garlic can lead to toxicosis.
Similarly to grapes, symptoms of garlic ingestion include vomiting, weakness, lethargy, and diarrhea, as well as pale gums, breathlessness, exercise intolerance and collapse. Remember that it may take two to three days for the symptoms to occur, but do not delay visiting the vet if your pet consumes garlic.
However, bleak as this might look, it can prove to be beneficial to the dog in one fringe scenario. Macerated garlic is a very effective home remedy for dog ear infection. Put two garlic cloves in olive oil and let it sit for two weeks. After that, strain it and carefully pour three drops in the dog’s ear. Do this daily until the infection is fully treated.
Avocado is another fruit that dogs can’t eat. Their skin, pit, and leaves contain a substance called persin, which is very toxic for the dog’s metabolism because it causes diarrhea and vomiting. It is worth noting that while the fleshy inside of the avocado does not contain as much persin as the surface, it is still toxic for the dog.
Cherries are extremely bad for dogs because the plants contain cyanide. While the human body is able to properly ingest it in large quantities without any health effects, unfortunately, dogs can’t. Cyanide will inhibit oxygen transport, making the dog’s blood cells unable to receive enough of it. Signs of cyanide poisoning in dogs are dilated pupils, red gums, and breathing difficulties. If you notice these symptoms, do not hesitate to take action.
Onions are as toxic for dogs as garlic. This vegetable contains N-propyl disulfide, a substance that a dog’s system has difficulty assimilating. Take note that every part, from the flesh and leaves to the juice are toxic to dogs. While Japanese breeds such as Shiba Inus and Akitas are more affected by onion poisoning, all dogs are susceptible to it in varying degrees. Onions will lead to nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, red-colored urine, fainting, stomach cramps and, in extreme cases, the rupture of red blood cells.
While tomatoes are not as poisonous to dogs as other vegetables and fruits, it is best to avoid them just to make sure. Tomatoes contain solanine, a substance from the leaves and stem that can be very harmful to the pet. Symptoms of tomato consumption consist of tremors, seizures, muscle weakness and gastrointestinal upset. Fortunately, their rate of occurrence is low, and it is not the end of the world if your dog ends up eating a tomato.
But again, as a precaution, keep these vegetables in a spot where the dog can’t reach it.
Many variants of mushrooms are safe for humans to eat. Unfortunately, dogs are unable to enjoy this luxury. While some mushrooms are safe for dogs to eat, the ones that are not can lead to the dog’s untimely death. So, unless you are a mycologist and have an encyclopedic knowledge of mushrooms, it is best to abstain from feeding them to your pet. Common symptoms of mushroom poisoning are weakness, excessive salivation, lethargy, weakness, ataxia, jaundice and even liver failure and coma.
While asparagus is not toxic to dogs, it can be damaging in other ways. First, we usually cook the asparagus before eating it because it is quite tough in raw form. While we are sensible enough not to swallow foods whole, your dog might not be and could end up choking on the asparagus. Secondly, the dog’s digestive system might encounter difficulties processing this vegetable. But, if you still want to treat your pooch with some asparagus, make sure to boil it and chop it into little pieces.
9. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts too are a tricky proposition for your dog. The symptoms of macadamia nuts consumption include tremors, hyperthermia, vomiting, weakness, and depression. They usually occur 12 hours after the fact and can last 12 to 48 hours on average.
10. Garden Rhubarb
Finally, another vegetable that is toxic to dogs is the garden rhubarb. Although it rarely causes death, it can lead to other unpleasant conditions such as tremors, coma, and even kidney failure. On the bright side, as long as your dog does not consume the leaves, he or she is safe from any harm.
What Dogs Can Eat
The first healthy snack on this list are strawberries. This particular fruit is full of fiber and vitamin C, as well as containing an enzyme that can whiten the dog’s teeth. However, be careful to give it in moderation, as they contain lots of sugar that can prove harmful.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of beneficial nutrients like beta-carotene and fiber, and vitamins such as C and B-6, making it one of the best foods you can let your dog snack on. Before serving it, make sure to wash, peel and cook it properly. Avoid giving it sugary sweet potato pies, for obvious reasons.
Pineapples are good for dogs as long as you remove the prickly outside. Pineapples are packed with fiber, minerals, and vitamins. On top of all that, this fruit also contains an enzyme called bromelain, which has the potential to enhance the dog’s protein absorption capabilities.
Peas, particularly of the sugar snap, snow, and garden varieties are all perfectly healthy for your pet because they are full of minerals, fiber, and proteins. They can be served frozen, fresh or thawed, but not canned, as the canned version has a lot of added sodium.
Pears, while being a delicious treat for your dog, can benefit them in many ways. This particular fruit contains high amounts of copper, fiber, and vitamins K and C. But as much as your pooch might love pears, they can cause an upset stomach if served in large quantities. Another important thing to remember is to remove the seeds and pits because they contain traces of cyanide.
Served in moderation, raspberries can be very good for your pet, as they are low in calories and contain high amounts of fiber, vitamin C, and manganese. Raspberries are especially recommended for old dogs due to their anti-inflammatory qualities, relieving pains in the joints. Do not give your dog more than one cup of raspberries at a given moment because they contain traces of Xylitol, a toxin that can harm the animal in some cases.
Like most of the fruits listed above, peaches are good sources of vitamin A and fiber. Moreover, they are great for treating infections. Still, like cherries and pears, peaches have low amounts of cyanide concentrated mostly in the pit area. Serve them fresh and cur around the pit, and avoid canned peaches due to their high amounts of added sugar and fat syrups.
Before giving your dog watermelon, make sure to remove the seeds and rind because they can cause intestinal blockage. With that being said, watermelons are perfectly safe and healthy for your joyful companion. Besides containing tons of beneficial vitamins such as A, B-6 and C and potassium, they are a great way of keeping your dog hydrated during the summer.
According to veterinarians, oranges are perfectly safe for dogs to eat. They contain large amounts of beneficial nutrients and are very low in sodium.
However, experts recommend serving it in small quantities and removing the peel and seeds, as the latter is hard for the dog’s digestive system to process.
Finally, the last delicious treat on this list is the mango. It is a perfect, healthy snack during the summer with four types of vitamins – E, B6, C and A.
Moreover, mangoes are good sources of beta-carotene, potassium, and alpha-carotene. Do not forget to remove the pit before letting your dog near to prevent the pet from getting cyanide poisoning and choking on it.
Because dogs tend to emulate their owner’s behavior, they will snack on almost anything that humans eat. That is why we need to protect them from their culinary naivete and take measures in case the unthinkable happens. Make sure to prevent your dog from eating foods such as onions, cherries, mushrooms, garlic, and avocados as they can be poisonous and even cause their untimely death.
Mike Jones became vegetarian due to ethical reasons. He didn't want to eat something that suffered in the process. Mike grew up surrounded by cats and dogs and learned to love them early on.
Wondering what fruits and vegetables are safe or unsafe for your pup? Here are 20.