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Experts reveal what foods are toxic to dogs and what to do if they eat them


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It has been revealed that nearly three in 10 dog owners have fed their pet something toxic without knowing.

So, Canine Cottages has teamed up with a vet nutritionist to uncover dangerous foods and what to do if your pet eats something they shouldn't.

Dark chocolate contains the chemical theobromine, pets can develop heart arrhythmias, kidney failure and seizures if it is eaten. Stock Image
Dark chocolate contains the chemical theobromine, pets can develop heart arrhythmias, kidney failure and seizures if it is eaten. Stock Image

According to the dog-friendly holiday lettings company's research, of the most common toxic foods, the top 10 that pet owners didn’t know can be toxic to their dogs are:

  • Apple seeds
  • Artificial sweetener
  • Caffeine
  • Onions/chives
Apple seeds are toxic to dogs. Stock Image
Apple seeds are toxic to dogs. Stock Image
  • Coffee
  • Garlic
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Mouldy food
  • Alcohol
Alcohol is toxic to dogs. Stock Image
Alcohol is toxic to dogs. Stock Image
  • Chocolate

According to the study, that included 1,500 pet owners, nearly 76% of them were unaware that apple seeds could cause harm to their pets and that they contain cyanide, a chemical that can cause hypoxia – a lack of oxygen delivery to the body.

Artificial sweeteners can also cause harm, Dr Charley Webb, Vet and Nutritionist at VetChef.com, explained they can make a pets glucose drop dangerously low within hours.

She said: "Pets that ingest even small amounts of xylitol can have dangerous hypo-glycaemia and may be unconscious within one hour.

"This is especially dangerous and I avoid keeping any product containing xylitol in the house at all.”

If your pet has eaten something they shouldn't have you should take them to the vets straight away. Picture: Pixabay
If your pet has eaten something they shouldn't have you should take them to the vets straight away. Picture: Pixabay

And although chocolate was the most ‘well-known’ of these toxic foods, 38% of people asked still didn’t know that this could be harmful to their pets.

Dr Webb continued: “Dark chocolate contains the chemical theobromine.

"Within a few hours it can cause signs like slight twitching, high heart rate and hyperactivity.

"If untreated, pets can develop heart arrhythmias, kidney failure and seizures.”

So, if your dog does accidentally eat something they shouldn’t, what’s the best course of action?

Artificial sweeteners can also cause dogs harm. Picture: Pixabay
Artificial sweeteners can also cause dogs harm. Picture: Pixabay

With 47% of owners admitting they wouldn’t know what would happen to their dog if they ate something toxic, Dr Webb added: "If you think your pet has eaten something that might be dangerous to them, stay calm and try not to panic.

"The best course of action is always to call the vet for advice right away, even if it’s the middle of the night or a weekend.

"Most pets recover fully if treated rapidly so it’s important to tell your vet as soon as you know that it has happened, as this can prevent them from causing serious harm and in some cases could save their lives."

Shannon Keary from Canine Cottages, said: “We may all know certain foods that we should avoid feeding our furry friends, but it is surprising to see how many pet owners don’t know that certain foods cold cause harm to their pets.

“Although in most cases a trip to the vets will be able to treat your pet in this instance, as pet owners it’s important to understand what these foods can do to our beloved pets."

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