Dogs should never be giving candies or any foods that are high in sugar. Dogs aren’t built for processing high amounts of sugar. Not only can it make them sick, it can shorten their lifespan. No one wants to make their dog so sick that he throws up, gets diarrhea…or worse, becomes diabetic. Yes, dogs can get type two diabetes and it requires you to inject insulin for them the rest of their days and they’ll need to eat a very restrictive diet from then on. It’s in your control to ensure that your dog is given proper nutrition. Candy canes are unfortunately a big no.
There are many foods that dogs shouldn’t have and sugar is just one of them. Here are a few other things that you should be vigilant about not giving to your dog:
1) Chocolate – this is very toxic for dogs and can actually cause death. They can get violently ill, throw-up, have diarrhea, have convulsions, seizures and die. The darker the chocolate the more toxic it will be. Cooking and baking cocoa are the most toxic to your dog but any chocolate is bad.
2) Macadamia nuts – no one knows exactly why but when dogs eat macadamia nuts it can cause them to be unable to walk. It seems to have a very toxic impact on the neural network of the body and leaves them incapable of movement on their own, with their legs giving out completely.
3) Salt – this is very toxic to dogs and most people have no idea that each time they hand a scrap to their dog that has salt in it, they are potentially causing harm to their dog. Slat can build to toxic levels and cause many health problems and ultimately lead to death if not treated.
4) Coffee – Any form of caffeine, including tea is very toxic for dogs. THey do not metabolize it from their system and it builds up to very bad levels for them, quickly.
5) Onions and garlic – These can quickly cause liver damage in dogs. They should not have onion or garlic in any form and that includes powdered garlic or dehydrated onions.
6) Mushrooms – Dogs can’t have any type of mushroom. They are all very toxic to dogs and should always be avoided. The wild mushrooms that are poisonous to humans will be even worse for dogs and they may be attracted to them, so watch your dog carefully.
7) Rhubarb – This is poisonous to dogs and some humans can’t tolerate it well either, but for dogs is extremely bad. Beware Rhubarb in the summer that grows in gardens and finds its way into delicious desserts on the table.
8) Nutmeg – A common holiday spice, is fatal to dogs. Avoid gingerbread cookies and eggnog around your dog. Leaving one unattended cookie could spell bad news for your dog.
9) Grapes and raisins – It is unknown exactly what it is in grapes that is toxic to dogs but as few as 6 or 7 grapes or raisins can be lethal to your dog. The kidneys can shut down within two days, resulting in death.
10) Tomato leaves, stems, and unripe tomatoes – Especially unripe green tomatoes can be lethal to dogs. Don’t have them around your dog. Do not allow dogs to chew on tomatoe plants or the leaves.
11) Baking soda, baking powder – These can cause severe digestive problems. Spasms, seizures, and heart related issues can be the result of ingesting either of these two, known as leavening agents.
12) Bread dough with yeast – The yeast will cause the raw dough to expand in the stomach or intestines, causing rupture to internal organs.
13) Alcohol – causes severe mental issues and can also cause damage to internal organs. It should absolutely be avoided, including beer.
14) Cinnamon, just like nutmeg, should be avoided for dogs. Cinnamon can cause breathing problems, seizures and even death in dogs. They should not even be allowed to breathe it in deeply.
15) Avocado – this is potentially lethally toxic to dogs.
16) Peach pits – these are a choking hazard and too hard to chew. Any dog swallowing one of these will choke to death.
17) Apple seeds – these contain cyanide and are quite toxic and poisonous to many animals, not just dogs. Don’t ever give your dog an apple with complete core. Always trim the core away from the apple and ensure the remaining slices are seed-free.
18) Potato leaves and stems – They are quite toxic and can make your dog deathly ill. You should also not feed dogs raw white potatoes, they should always be cooked. Yams and sweet potatoes are the exception. They are fine to feed raw.
19) Xylitol – this artificial sweetener found in most gums and other people foods is very much a neurotoxin to dogs. Xylitol is very lethal and one piece of gum can kill a small dog in a matter of hours.
As you can see, there are a lot of things not good for dogs that humans take for granted. You shouldn’t be careful at all times. While a tiny piece of candy cane isn’t going to be lethal to your dog, too much given too often can cause them irreversible health harm.
Your dog is depending on you to know what he can’t have and what is dangerous. Check labels, read warnings, and brush up on what products are not safe for dogs at all. Some things are deathly toxic while others will make them sick without long term effects and some things will damage them for life. It’s your responsibility to know the difference.
If you suspect that your dog may have gotten into something but you aren’t sure, call the veterinarian or the animal poison control helpline and find out what they recommend. Some foods are okay to induce vomiting while other things are recommended to be given activated charcoal. In some cases, rushing to the vet is the best solution of all. Don’t take chances because it can boil down to a matter of minutes being what determines if your dog lives or dies.
Dawn Greer is a passionate blogger and animal rights activist. She is a pet lover, certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, pet nutritionist, and former veterinary technician. She continues her work while writing blogs for pet lovers around the globe.