As man’s best friend, dogs do everything with us: walk around town, ride in the car, play in the yard, and snuggle on the couch. It’s natural, then—given how much time we spend with our four-legged companions—to assume they can eat with us, too. However, human food can be dangerous for dogs, even types of food that are completely safe for us.
Part of the reason we can eat foods that they can’t is that dogs are so much smaller than us. They also weigh far less, which means their bodies can’t absorb things as quickly. “Foods that are perfectly suitable for human consumption, as well as other animals, may be toxic and even poisonous to your dog, posing a serious threat to their health and well-being,” writes Canine Journal co-founder Michelle Schenker. “Why? Because all animals have very different rates of metabolism.”
Another problem is that dogs have voracious appetites and don’t always know when to stop. Although some foods are not toxic in small doses, larger quantities can be fatal. Signs of food poisoning in dogs can vary widely, but key symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, loss of appetite, restlessness, staggering, and disorientation. If you suspect your dog has eaten something toxic, VetsNow recommends never to induce vomiting unless a poison control expert has instructed you to do so. Certain substances can actually cause more damage coming back up and are best left in a dog’s stomach.
To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet’s phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call for advice at (888) 426-4435.
Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of which human foods can be dangerous, Stacker put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.
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