Q: Could you tell me what kinds of fruits and vegetables are dangerous for dogs to eat?
Answer: Here are some foods to avoid:
Onions, garlic and chives can cause gastrointestinal irritation, according to the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center, and can lead to anemia if eaten in large quantities.
“Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed,” according to the ASPCA.
The Canine Journal, a pet-friendly website based in Winston-Salem, adds that it doesn’t matter what form the foods are in — dry, raw, cooked, powder or mixed into other foods — they are “some of the absolute worst foods you could possibly give your pup.”
Avocados contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart, which can be fatal.
Grapes and raisins are especially dangerous for dogs and cats. They can damage a dog’s kidneys, leading to kidney failure and even death. The toxic substance in grapes isn’t known, but the danger it poses is well-documented.
Apple seeds are toxic to a dog, according to the Canine Journal, because they contain a natural chemical that releases cyanide when digested. “So, be sure to core and seed apples before you feed them to your dog.”
Corn on the cob can lead to intestinal blockage. The corn is digested, but the cob can get lodged in the small intestine and require surgery. And corn kernels can upset the digestive tract.
The seeds from persimmons or pits from peaches and plums can cause intestinal obstruction and inflammation of the intestine.
“You’ll want to make sure there aren’t any wild persimmon or other fruit trees that produce seeds growing in your backyard,” the Canine Journal advises. “If you notice your dog pooping all over the place, and see a bunch of seeds or pits in their waste, you’ll need to break out the saw and chop down some trees.”
The leaves from potatoes, rhubarbs and tomatoes contain oxalates, which can be dangerous to pets.
As for what dogs can safely eat, “certain vegetables like carrots, green beans, cucumber slices or zucchini slices all make great treats for your dog,” according to the Canine Journal. “Vegetables make great low-calorie snacks and good training tools, as well. But stay away from canned and pickled vegetables as they contain too much salt.”
And such fruits as bananas, apple slices, strawberries, blueberries and watermelon are OK, though the melon should be seedless.
Other foods to keep away from dogs include chocolate; coffee; colas; alcohol; macadamia nuts; yeast dough; eggs and bones; milk; salt; gums and candy, which can contain a sweetener called xylitol; baby food; cat food; and human snacks, which often contain dangerous ingredients for animals, such as onion or garlic powder on chips, or raisins, chocolate and macadamia nuts in cookies.
If you think your pet has eaten something dangerous, contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary hospital immediately.