Given how much we humans enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s no wonder that pet owners often want to share these delicious diet staples with their furry companions.
And since most dogs are naturally very curious and always in the mood for a snack, they will probably gobble up the fresh produce right away, unaware of the health risks hidden in each luscious bite.
So it is really up to any dog parent to stay vigilant and exclude foods that are dangerous to canine health from their dog’s diet. That being said, the worst offenders are actually found among our favorite fruits and veggies – read on to find out which ones and why!
10 Fruits and Vegetables That Are Highly Toxic To Dogs
When it comes to foods that are dangerous for dogs, grapes and raisins take the top spot on the list. You wouldn’t imagine it, but even ridiculously small amounts of this sweet, juicy fruit can cause irreversible kidney damage or failure in a very short amount of time.
If your dog has ingested grapes, it’s best to seek veterinary help right away, regardless of the amount consumed.
Even though certain nuts are deemed safer than others, it’s a good rule to keep all nuts out of your dog’s reach. First of all, almost all nuts are dramatically high in fat, so feeding your dog nuts can lead to pancreatic issues.
Due to their shape and size, some nuts are also a choking hazard, such as almonds and pistachios. Macadamia nuts, black walnuts, pecans and raw cashews are highly poisonous and can cause lasting problems for your pup’s insides.
Finally, you should be especially careful with nutmegs since nutmeg poisoning can cause tremors, hallucinations, seizures and death in dogs.
Onions and garlic
All parts and variants of the onion plant are toxic to dogs, including the flesh, leaves, juice and dried powder, and their consumption will invariably result with anemia and toxicity-induced disorders.
Regardless whether they are raw or cooked, onions should be forbidden for dogs in every situation, and the same applies to the rest of the allium family, including garlic, shallots, leeks and chives.
Symptoms of poisoning include severe lethargy, pale mucus membranes, breathing difficulty, tachycardia and chronic vomiting.
Seeds, pips and stones
The seeds, pips and stones from fruits such as plums, cherries, apples, peaches and nectarines are extremely toxic to dogs. Besides the obvious choking hazard, they can cause very painful bowel and intestinal obstruction, while their cyanide content can cause fatal poisoning.
Furthermore, dogs should never be allowed to ingest persimmon seeds, which are not exactly poisonous but usually cause a high temperature in addition to intestinal blockage and gastric inflammation. Dogs can still safely snack on fresh persimmons, though, but only after the seeds have been carefully removed.
Ripe tomatoes can occasionally be given in moderation to dogs as a refreshing treat. However, unripe tomatoes and all other parts of the tomato plant can be exceedingly harmful.
This is because tomatoes contain tomatine, a toxin found mostly in the green parts of the plant that can damage the nervous system, kidneys and GI tract of dogs.
Therefore, your furry friend should never be allowed to ingest the leaves and stems of tomato plants, as well as unripe, green tomatoes.
Mushrooms are a complicated food group for all of us, including dogs, who seem to particularly enjoy their texture. While common mushrooms are generally considered to be safe, poisonous varieties are bound to cause serious issues.
Some dog owners believe that their pets will stay away from toxic mushrooms because of their acute sense of smell, but sadly this is not the case. According to veterinarians, wild mushroom poisoning is an under-reported cause of fatal poisoning in pets.
If you suspect that your dog has ingested a wild mushroom, contact your veterinarian or animal poison control center immediately.
While rhubarb stalks are safe for consumption, its leaves are a different story. Rhubarb leaves contain soluble calcium oxalate crystals and oxalic acid, both of which cause low blood calcium levels and can lead to kidney failure.
Luckily, the leaves have a strong bitter taste, so most dogs won’t stick around long enough to ingest a dangerous amount of them. Still, it’s important to know about the dangerous side of this plant, and especially if you have it in your vegetable patch.
Symptoms of rhubarb toxicity include drooling, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and tremors.
Raw potatoes contain toxins that can poison dogs even in small amounts. This is because potatoes contain solanine, a compound found in green potatoes that acts as a natural defense against insects.
Solanine ingestion can cause breathing difficulty, heart problems, confusion and a thoroughly upset gastrointestinal tract. To make matters worse, the raw potato and its skin also contain chaconine, another toxin that upsets the GI tract, as well as the nervous system and the kidneys.
On the other hand, properly cooked potatoes (without salt or any seasoning) can be fine for dogs in small amounts.
Although there is some contrary evidence, the general rule of thumb is that avocados are pretty toxic for canines and should be banned from their diet altogether. Scientific research insists that any part of this fruit, including the seed and the skin, will most likely lead to severe breathing problems, nausea and diarrhea.
Staying vigilant will ensure your dog’s health and well-being
As tempting as it is to share your food scraps with your dog, which we can assume is always in the right mood for a snack, it’s best to avoid doing it unless you are 100% sure that the foods you are offering are not harmful to canine health.
The same applies to foraging – do not allow your dog to rummage around because no human environment can guarantee a risk-free meal for dogs. The health complications that can ensue are very serious and definitely worth the trouble of limiting your dog’s food sources.
If you suspect that your pooch may have eaten something they really shouldn’t or they are exhibiting signs of discomfort and pain, make sure to contact your veterinarian right away.
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