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What foods NOT to feed your dog

Chocolate

I think everybody is now aware that chocolate is dangerous for dogs. An ingredient in chocolate, theobromine, is quite toxic to dogs, but not so in us. It can cause heart problems and acts as a diuretic which means your dog can become quite dehydrated. Deaths do occur. The higher the cocoa content of chocolate, the higher the theobromine levels. This would include other foods based on cocoa such as fudge or icing. The light milk chocolates are less toxic, but it is best to avoid chocolate all together in your dog. Carob based treats which are made for dogs tend to be OK

Macadamia Nuts

A compound in the kernel of macadamia nuts has been found to be toxic in dogs. It causes neuromuscular problems in dogs which is seen as muscles tremors, weakness and paralysis. There may also be muscle pain and the dog will appear quite distressed. These signs seem to be reversible with Veterinary treatment.

Of course any nuts in their shell are no-no. Many Vets have removed such object from the intestine of dogs and if your dog requires emergency surgery on Boxing Day, you can forget splurging at the post-Xmas sales !

Onions & Garlic

These contains a compound called thiosulphate. It causes harm by casing the bodies immune system to start destroying its own red blood cells. This is leads to severe anaemia and even death if not treated. The signs of this would be weakness and inappetence. You may also notice dark urine as the haemoglobin of the destroyed blood cells is urinated out. Such signs can occur days after the onion is ingested. The condition is often seen after dogs have eaten left over onions for a BBQ etc. Garlic contains much less thiosulphate so small amounts in a dog's diet is not too much concern.

Sultanas & Raisins

In their dried form these fruits have high concentrations of some compounds that may be toxic to your dog's liver


Left Overs 

Some leftovers are fine. However it is best to avoid anything fatty. This includes the fat off the ham. A sudden increase in the fat content of a dogs diet can cause gastro-enteritis or even pancreatitis - a very serious condition. 
Cooked bones should also be avoided

Alcohol & Drugs

This is not funny. As a Vet I saw several drunk (& stoned) dogs, and it is not nice. It borders on animal cruelty. Of course dogs don't choose to drink or eat certain cakes/cookies - it is prompted by owners. Dogs don't have the enzyme systems developed to deal with alcohol and drugs like us and the altered state they find themselves in can be quite distressing for them

Bits & pieces of toys

Once the kids lose interest in a toy on Christmas morning, it may seem like a great new chew toy for your pet. This can be bad - besides a sad child, you may also have a sad dog when it has to whisked into surgery to remove a Barbie's head or limb blocking it's intestine !

Otherwise, let you pets be part of the joy of Christmas. They can certainly sense when there is happiness and fun in the room and that makes them happy too !