Most of us give our dogs a few left-overs (or they steal them from the kitchen counter!) from time to time. You might know that chocolate is a definite no-no for dogs, but some of the foods that are toxic for canines might surprise you.
See also: Is your dog depressed? How to spot the signs
See also: Should you let a dog lick your face?
Here are seven foods you should never give to your dog:
1. Grapes, raisins, sultanas, currants
Ingesting grapes and raisins have been known to result in kidney failure in some dogs. Eating just a small amount of these foods can prove toxic. Poisoning causes vomiting and diarrhoea at first, with kidney failure occurring a few days later. Although some dogs seem to tolerate eating grapes, it's best to avoid them - as well as raisins, sultanas and currants.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in human foods, such as chewing gum and sugar-free sweets. Even when eaten in relatively small quantities, it can cause low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure and death in dogs. Symptoms can appear anywhere between 30 minutes and 12 hours after exposure, and quick treatment is necessary or it may prove fatal to your pet.
3. Macadamia nuts
Macadamia nuts can result in weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia (increased body temperature) in dogs. Symptoms usually start within 12 hours of consumption and can continue for around 12 to 48 hours. You should ensure that your dog doesn't eat any kind of nut as they contain high amounts of oils and fats, which can cause stomach upsets and may lead to pancreatitis.
Chocolate poisoning is the most common type of dog poisoning reported to vets. Dark chocolate and cocoa contain high levels of the stimulant theobromine, which can prove fatal if consumed in high enough qualities. Symptoms usually appear within 4 - 24 hours following ingestion and will vary depending on the amount of chocolate your dog has eaten. Signs of theobromine poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, hyperactivity, high temperature and blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm and tremors.
5. Yeast dough
While it's generally ok for your dog to eat small bits of bread which have fully risen (ie from a sliced loaf from the supermarket) your pet shouldn't be allowed near yeast dough. That's because the yeast can cause gas to accumulate in your dog's digestive system. As well as being painful, this can cause the intestines to be blocked or distended.
6. Onions and garlic
Onions and garlic may taste good to our pets, but eating them can irritate their stomachs and lead to problems. Consuming high levels of onion is known to cause life-threatening anaemia in cats, and can also prove toxic to dogs. Symptoms of onion or garlic toxicity include lethargy, a fast heart beat and respiratory rates, pale gums, and even collapse.
7. Corn on the cob
Some foods aren't toxic to dogs, but can cause a blockage when consumed. For example, you should avoid letting your pet eat corn on the cob. Unlike most vegetables, it doesn't digest well in a dog's stomach and if your pet scoffs a whole cob, it can cause a blockage that requires surgery.