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Human foods that should never be fed to a dog

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Not all human food is food for a dog. Feeding scraps from the table not only may add extra weight to the dog, some foods are poisonous. Dogs need to be fed quality dog food, and treats should be...treats. Even feeding too many treats may have an adverse effect on the dog's weight. The following foods should never be fed to a dog as feeding these food items can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, serious health issues β€” or even death:

1. Avocados - An avocado is poisonous to dogs and can cause vomiting and diarrhea. This seemingly benign fruit contains persin, which is toxic to dogs in large quantities.

2. Grapes and Raisins - Grapes and raisins are not healthy low-calorie snacks or treats for your dog? Whether they're plucked from a vine or sprinkled out of a box, grapes and raisins can cause acute (sudden) kidney failure in your canine. The signs of grape toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

3. Xylitol - Many sugar-free candies, sweets and mints contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can be deadly for dogs. When ingested, xylitol causes a sudden release of insulin in a dog's body which leads to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Warning signs include vomiting, lethargy and trouble with coordination. If left untreated, xylitol toxicity can be fatal. Also, make sure you don't leave a purse or backpack on the ground or located in an area where the dog can get into it. The dog may rummage through the bag and get to the gum, candy or mint.

4. Chocolate contains both caffeine and a chemical called theobromine, both of which are toxic to dogs if eaten in large-enough quantities. Your dog will probably be fine if he accidentally eats a chocolate chip cookie, but depending on its size, chowing down on dark chocolate or baker's chocolate could cause vomiting, diarrhea, rapid or irregular heartbeat, restlessness, muscle tremors, seizures or death.

5. Peaches and Plums - If a dog is fed a peach or plum, it may eat the pit, which can cause intestinal obstruction and cyanide poisoning.

6. Onions - Potent onions damage red blood cells in dogs, leading to anemia and causing weakness, shortness of breath, and vomiting. It doesn't matter if they're minced, chopped, sliced, diced, cooked or powdered β€” garlic and onions contain chemicals that damage red blood cells in dogs. The affected red blood cells can rupture or lose their ability to carry oxygen effectively, which could lead to life-threatening anemia. Make sure you read labels carefully, as many foods, such as meat-variety baby food, contain these dangerous ingredients. Also, don't even think about using garlic as a cure for fleas β€” it doesn't work and could be more harmful than helpful to your dog.

7. Macadamia Nuts - While they're an excellent source of vitamin E for humans, macadamia nuts can prove fatal for dogs. As few as 10 macadamia nuts can cause frightening symptoms in dogs, such as weakness, vomiting, tremors, joint pain, muscle and nervous-system problems, and paralysis in dogs.

Safety should always be a top concern as a dog owner. Be vigilant in keeping human food items out of the reach of a dog. There are plenty of healthy and beneficial foods scientifically formulated for the best quality of nutrition for dogs. Human food is for humans.

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