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Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice!

Safe & Toxic Foods for Your Dog

The holidays are coming, and soon your house will be filled with the sound of family, friends, and trick-or-treaters at your door – as well as the smell of delicious food wafting from the kitchen. With all the excitement and distractions, it’s easy for your dog to get into things that aren’t safe for them. It is really important for you, and your guests, to know what is safe and not safe for your pet to eat (especially when they’re sneaking them table scraps).

Safe foods:

These foods are safe to give to your dog. Be sure to read the information for each one thoroughly!

  • Pumpkin

    Natural canned pumpkin is safe for dogs. However, do not give your dog pumpkin pie filling or any pumpkin that has been seasoned. Pumpkin is good for urinary tract health, digestive health and weight management. A tablespoon a day – mixed in with their food – is plenty to help boost your dog's everyday health!
  • Carrots

    Good for dogs teeth; carrots remove plaque, and promote good dental health. Keep in mind that carrots are rich in vitamin A, so give in moderation. Vitamin A in large quantities can be toxic to your dog (and you).
  • Apples

    A good source of fiber which helps regulate your dog's digestion. Do not feed your dog over-ripe or rotten apples that have fermented as this could lead to alcohol poisoning.
  • White Rice

    Helps with an upset stomach since it is easy to digest and binds to your dog's stool which can help with diarrhea as well. Give only in small quantities and only as needed. White rice can raise blood sugar in your dog which is especially bad for those with diabetes. Brown rice can also be used as it is higher in protein and a little lower in fat.
  • Fish

    Salmon and tuna are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which helps support your dog's immune system as well as gives them a shinier coat and healthier skin.
    Shrimp is also good for dog's; it contains vitamin B which is good for their digestion and blood circulation.
  • Chicken

    Unseasoned, cooked chicken is good for upset stomachs, and is also a good source of protein.
  • Pork

    Unseasoned, cooked pork is fine to give your dog in moderation. Pork is high in fat, so consuming pork in large quantities can be bad for your dog's pancreas and could cause inflammation.
  • Peanut Butter

    Unsalted peanut butter (with no added sugar) is a great treat for your dog and a perfect add-in when making homemade dog treats. Please make sure that the peanut butter you are feeding your dog contains no Xylitol. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs.
    If you feel like your dog has eaten something with Xylitol take them to the vet immediately. Emergency Phone Numbers  
  • Turkey

    Plain, unseasoned turkey is a great source of protein. Make sure to remove the fat as too much can cause issues with your dog's pancreas. Turkey at thanksgiving is an acceptable table scrap that your dog can enjoy with you and your family. Remember to always give treats in moderation.
  • Berries

    Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are a powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber for your dog. All of the health benefits they give us, they give your dog too. Don’t give in large quantities because too many could raise your dog's blood sugar. But they are an excellent treat that you can give to your dog frozen or fresh from the store – just remember to wash them first!
  • Banana

    Give bananas in moderation as they are high in sugar. Bananas are full of magnesium which is important for bone health – not only for you but your dog too!
  • Watermelon

    These are a great treat on a hot day. Watermelon helps keep your dog hydrated and is a good source of vitamins A, C, and B-6. Make sure to remove seeds and the rind before giving to your dog. Seeds can block their intestines, and the rind can give them an upset stomach.

Toxic foods:

These foods are toxic to dogs. Do not offer to any canine and call poison control immediately if you think they have eaten any of the below. Emergency Phone Numbers  

  • Avocado

    High in fat, avocados can lead to pancreatitis and can also pose a choking or blockage hazard if the dog is to get a hold of the seed. The seed also contains a chemical called Persin , which is highly toxic to certain animals. Dogs are rarely affected by Persin, but it can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Cherries  

    The “pulp” of the cherry is not toxic, but the cherry's pits, leaves, and stems are. The bits of the cherry we would consider inedible are all toxic, containing a chemical called cyanogenic glycosides, which is cyanide. Cyanide poisoning produces symptoms such as dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, red gums, shock, and death.
  • Chocolate

    The severity of chocolate poisoning varies depending on the size of the dog, how much chocolate the dog has ingested, and how much cocoa was in the chocolate. The chemical theobromine  is very difficult for dogs to metabolize which allows it to build up to toxic levels in their system.

    Now, if you accidentally drop an M&M on the ground and your dog scoops it up, they will be fine. But if they get into your Halloween or Christmas candy you should seek medical help immediately!

    Signs of chocolate poisoning are:

    • Hyperactivity
    • Restlessness
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Increased thirst
    • Elevated heart rate
    • Elevated blood pressure
    • Abnormal heart rhythms
    • Tremors
    • Elevated body temperature

    Keep in mind that food containing chocolate can also contain other toxins like Xylitol, macadamia nuts, raisins, or coffee beans which increases the chance of your dog getting severely ill.

  • Grapes

    Grapes and raisins, sultanas, and currants are all extremely poisonous to dogs. Interestingly, no one has really figured out why they are so lethal. Even in small quantities your dog will have adverse effects; this means that even some bread, a granola bar or even fruitcake could lead to kidney failure or even death!
    Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anorexia, and kidney failure.
  • Citrus Fruits

    Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit all contain citric acid which can cause an upset stomach - and if given in large quantities can lead to nervous system depression.
    Oranges in very small quantities and not given everyday, are ok because they are high in vitamin C, but grapefruits are extremely toxic to dogs as they contain very high amounts of citric acid.
  • Nuts

    Macadamia nuts   in particular are extremely toxic to dogs. Macadamia nuts can cause lethargy, muscle weakness, vomiting, hyperthermia, and even death! Other nuts can be a choking hazard and are not recommended to give to your dog.
  • Onions and Garlic  

    A part of the allium family, onions, garlic, and chives are all extremely toxic to your dog. These foods contain organosulfides which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and (if eaten in large quantities) death!
    Chances are if you drop an onion slice on the ground and your dog scoops it up he might get a stomach ache, but if given food that has been cooked in onions/garlic, or contains garlic or onion powder they could fall seriously ill.
  • Raw Meat

    In recent years people have been promoting raw-food diets for their pets, but people don’t realize raw “processed” meat can cause serious complications. Raw meat packaged in a store can contain bacteria like E. coli and salmonella which could lead to food poisoning or even death.
    Raw meat might sound good for your dog, bringing them back to their “roots,” but meat fresh off a deer and meat from a store are completely different. It is better to just cook the meat to rid it of potentially dangerous bacteria.
  • Raw Eggs

    Feeding your dog raw eggs can lead to biotin deficiency which can interfere with the healthiness of your dog's coat, and skin. Raw eggs can also contain salmonella, so it is a good idea to fully cook the eggs before giving them to your dog.
    Cooked eggs, however, are a great source of protein for your dog, especially if they have been experiencing stomach problems.
  • Xylitol

    This sugar replacement is extremely toxic to dogs, just 6 pieces of gum that contains this artificial sweetener could kill your dog. Dogs cannot metabolize xylitol so it builds up to very toxic levels in their system, this can lead to liver failure, low blood sugar, and death! If you feel like your dog has eaten anything with Xylitol, seek medical help immediately!
  • Bread Dough

    Baked bread is relatively safe for dogs, however bread dough can be extremely dangerous. The yeast in dough can expand in the dog's stomach which can cause bloating – leading to dangerous complications. Yeast also produces ethanol which could lead to alcohol poisoning in your dog.

Be Aware of Your Pets' Diets

Please note that this list contains only a small portion of what is safe and not safe for your dogs to consume. Always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog anything you are unsure of. Every dog is different. Size and breed will also play key roles in what's best for your dog.

What To Do In a Poisoning Incident

If you feel like your dog has gotten a hold of something – and you are not sure of the effects it will have – contact animal poison control immediately.

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