April 19, 2011 5 Comments
You know, I like to think that most Soapbox readers are pretty dog-savvy.
So, if I were to write about how foods like chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts were dangerous for our dogs, I would think the general response would be along the lines of “yeah, yeah, I know – why am I even reading this?”.
The easy to find Wikipedia entry on food dangerous to pets includes the usual: chocolate, grapes/raisins, onions, xylitol (sweetener), macadamia nuts, apple seeds, peach and apricot pits, and hops (in other words, no beer).
And suffice it to say, if it’s bad for your dog, it’s probably bad for your cat, too.
But there are many, many foods that are potentially harmful to our pets that you don’t find on the typical lists. And for anyone who has – or is interested in – breaking free of the kibble bag, these ingredients are definitely something to be aware of.
Garlic, for instance. Who knew? While not immediately fatal, even small amounts over time can result in red blood cell damage in dogs and cats. And for those of us who have emptied our brains of all highschool biology, it’s the red blood cells that contain hemoglobin and are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body and to vital organs, and damage can result in anemia. So yeah, they’re pretty important.
Avocado is another toxic food I wouldn’t have personally listed off right away, but appears on this extensive list compiled by the American Animal Hospital Association. Avocado finds itself in list of cardiovascular toxins and the list of gastrointestinal toxins. So remember to keep your pets away from the guacamole on Taco Tuesday. Also harmful are eggplant (a neurological and gastrointestinal toxin) and the leaves and stems of tomatoes and potatoes.
Actually, the AAHA list noted above also handily includes which household plants are also potentially harmful, which, while that may not be a major concern for some dog owners, cat owners should definitely take note. Common bouquet flowers that can be harmful are most types of lillies, Chrysanthemum, Bird of Paradise, bamboo, and whatever the heck a Jack-in-the-pulpit is.
Not to be confused with…
For those of you with more, say, “average-sized” dogs, a 50 pound dog would exhibit symptoms after 6 oz. of milk chocolate, and could be subject to seizures after 20 oz. If your dog weighs 17 pounds or less, the chart shows that less than an ounce of pure cocoa can prove to be fatal if not intercepted.
So there you have it.
And if you couldn’t tell, this whole post was really just an excuse to use that interactive and informative National Geographic chart. Seriously. Check it out. It’s fun.