One of a dog’s favorite moments in life is when he’s chowing down on some good food, but we’re not here to talk about the good stuff this time.
No, we’re here to talk about the bad apples, the foods that cause kidney failure in dogs and other dangerous issues.
The most dangerous ones are well known to all dog owners, chocolate as well as grapes and raisins.
Chocolate, in particular, is the bane of all doggo kind due to the substance called theobromine that’s present in all chocolate.
That one can become a real problem if your dog so much as ingests even a smidge of it.
But, despite dogs liking all sorts of food, these three aren’t their only limitations.
There are so, so many others to be on the lookout for just so you don’t end up hurting your pup on accident, or worse.
The Problematic Foods In A Dog’s Diet
While foods that represent a danger to the kidneys are near the top of the list of doggy dangers, they’re far and away from the only ones that do so.
Here are some of the most problematic foods that are most often found in your pantry that you need to keep away from your pooch at all costs.
Foods That Cause Kidney Failure
The number one culprit of dog poisoning, but, because of its popularity, new dog owners need to be reminded of the dangers hidden behind the sweet taste of this otherwise wonderful treat.
Theobromine is the main culprit here alongside caffeine.
Both are very hard for a dog’s digestive system to process which is why the diuretic properties of the two can be really uncomfortable for them.
Other than that, they also relax smooth muscle tissue and help lower blood pressure.
Both effects, if they linger for too long, can cause a lot of problems for your pooch.
While kidney failure is the absolute extreme, there are some early signs that will point to chocolate poisoning like severe bouts of diarrhea and vomiting from the diuretic properties.
The other obvious one is that you’ll see your dog restless, pacing about on top of the earlier signs and having an increased heart rate
And that’s not even the worst of it as more severe cases may end up with heart failure, nasty seizures or severe shakiness on top of everything else.
This is why every vet or pet health advisor is going to tell you to keep any and all chocolate out of reach for them, particularly dark chocolate as it has a higher concentration of the problematic elements.
The lighter the chocolate the “safer” it is, but I’d still advise you not to play with chance, it’s your furry best friend’s life on the line here, after all.
2. Grapes And Raisins
While less severe cases than chocolate and a more recent finding, grapes and raisins too have been found to cause potential kidney failure through the process of developing the inability to urinate.
This ends up causing the kidneys to get backed up with waste and simply fail, leading to a fatal outcome.
That said, the exact cause of this in grapes hasn’t been determined yet despite it still being a researched topic.
So, we don’t have anything to point fingers at here like theobromine and caffeine and can just blame the item itself.
Thankfully, the signs of poisoning are usually apparent.
Diarrhea and vomiting for one, with the situation worsening over the course of the next 2 days, after which kidney failure usually sets in and the dog has to be put down.
3. Salty Foods
Salt is good in small amounts, but the moment that delicate threshold is crossed, it starts wreaking havoc on digestion, the kidneys in particular.
That’s because kidneys want to go through lots of water to remain healthy which is the norm for every living being, and salt tends to absorb water which makes it harder for the kidneys to process.
It may seem odd for such an everyday item, but we’ve seen that even chocolate can be a massive hazard.
This is why a lot of brands have started to introduce low sodium variants of their food to help combat this rising problem.
While it is harder to notice a sodium overdose as it usually mounts over time, when it does hit, it is pretty evident.
The usual diarrhea and vomiting will be present, as will be an excess thirst and the urge to pee.
The more severe ones involve weakness, an increase in blood pressure as well as a potential coma, kidney failure, and eventual death if nothing is done about it.
Other Problematic Foods
4. Garlic And Onion
The most common and most present ingredient in almost any cuisine will be either garlic or onion to a lesser extent, but they will be around.
However, both of these in excess amounts can cause heavily detrimental effects to your dog.
Due to the presence of disulfides and thiosulphates, the dogs who ingest garlic or onion end up contracting anemia, their red blood cells suffering oxidation damage.
This is all on top of likely inflammation of the digestive tract, as is common for these poisonous substances, causing bouts of diarrhea and vomiting until said inflammation subsides.
So, if you’re trying to feed your dog table scraps, make sure to avoid giving them any that had garlic as one of the ingredients as it’s not okay to ingest in any amount.
While not a food really, but rather an ingredient, xylitol can be found in a number of everyday items that may end up being fed to dogs as a treat, peanut butter being one of the main ones.
It’s often a substitute for sugar, used as an artificial sweetener which can’t be effectively digested by dogs and will thus cause a load of trouble for your precious pet.
Nothing short of the standard vomiting and diarrhea that comes par for the course for every poison on top of seizures and total liver failure on the harsher end, likely leading to a fatal outcome if not dealt with swiftly.
The way to avoid it is to avoid dog food that says it’s “low in sugar” or “sugar-free” for that matter, but reading through the ingredient list is good practice regardless of label.
Though, arguably the biggest threat comes from peanut butter as the store bought variants often contain xylitol, so be wary before trying to feed it to your dog, it may very well be dangerous.
Are These The Only Ones?
Not really, but they’re the most commonly present ones.
The others either aren’t fatal, and the ones that are are either blatantly bad like alcohol and human medicine, or aren’t as common to find around the house like avocados.
That said, I’d advise you to inform yourself on other potentially problematic foods too as, despite not having a potentially debilitating long term side effect tacked on to them, can cause your dog to have a real bad few days.
For that, consult your local vet or pet nutritionist to learn about the dangers lurking in the world of dog food.
What You Should Do If Poisoning Does Occur
While you may be wary of every problem now, your dog isn’t, and you can’t stop him from sticking his nose into things 24/7.
An accident is bound to happen at some point, and if it does, you need to be ready to act quickly to save your best bud’s life.
The instructions are often clear enough; call a vet and explain the problem, after which you’re likely driving him to said vet to get the contents of his stomach pumped out to prevent further problems.
The sooner it’s done, the more likely your dog is to coast by with only temporary symptoms.
Though there are many problem foods that are normally perfectly okay for us but detrimental to dogs, the ones affecting their kidneys are probably the most dangerous of the bunch.
Not because they’re the deadliest as we have ones that can cause the liver to fail or ones that severely damage blood cells.
Rather, it’s because they’re the most common ingredients found around the household that your doggo can get his paws on.
This doesn’t even take into account the potential of some stranger giving your pooch some of it.
That’s why teaching him not to accept food from unknown people should be a high priority during behavior training.
If poisoning does occur, act quickly and you can save your big ol’ boy from a potentially fatal outcome.
Be sure to keep your fluffy furballs safe, pet parents.