Dangerous Spices for Dogs

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Close-up of freshly cut chives on a plate.
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Spices can give your food that extra oomph. However, when preparing home-cooked food for your dog, stay away from the spice rack. Even the most common household spices, including salt, pepper, onion and garlic, could be problematic to your furry companion. The list of dangerous spices for your dog is not long, but they are popular spices.

Onion, Garlic, Chives, Oh My

Gastrointestinal irritation with vomiting and diarrhea could develop if your dog eats onion, garlic and/or chives. These spices contain sulfoxides and disulfides, sulfurs that can damage red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to animal tissue. If too many red blood cells are damaged, your pet could develop anemia.

Easy on the Salt

Too much table salt is not good for your pet. You should avoid feeding her too many salty snacks such as chips or popcorn. Excessive thirst and urination could result from ingesting too much salt. Signs of a salt overdose include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, fever and seizures. Too much salt could also result in sodium ion poisoning. Celtic sea salt is a safe alternative to table salt.

No More Nutmeg

Of the spices to avoid feeding your dog, the most dangerous are cocoa powder, nutmeg and mace. If taken in large doses, cocoa powder could cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, tremors and seizures. If ingested by your dog, nutmeg and mace could cause abdominal pain, vomiting and central nervous system excitement followed by profound drowsiness. Too much nutmeg could result in the death of your pet.

Bottom Line

Other spices that should be avoided are pepper, flaxseed and paprika. Any of these could cause gastrointestinal irritation. Pepper and paprika have been known to cause skin and eye irritations. If used in moderation, ill health affects will be minimal from dangerous spices.