A healthy diet is integral to your dog's health. In addition to a high-quality dog food, you can supplement your pup's meal with occasional fruits and vegetables. Offer apples, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, oranges and watermelon. Some fruits and vegetables should not be given to dogs; they can be toxic and cause illness or death.
Avocados and Persin
A few leftover slices of avocado won't kill your dog, but he probably won't be a very happy pup after eating it. Avocado contains persin, a toxin that can kill other animals such as rabbits, birds or horses. In dogs, the toxin results in stomach upset. All parts of the avocado plant contain persin, so don't let your dog chew on bark or leaves if you have an avocado tree in the yard.
In addition to containing persin, the pits in avocados can be harmful to dogs due to their hardness and size. If your dog attempts to chew an avocado pit, it can slip into his throat and cause choking and suffocation.
Grapes Can Cause Kidney Failure
The toxic affects of grapes and raisins are a mystery to the veterinary community. In some dogs, even a small amount results in acute kidney failure and can be fatal; in other dogs, grapes seem to cause no harm. Veterinarians don't know why some dogs experience severe symptoms when eating grapes, but they have plenty of clinical evidence showing that grapes or raisins cause dangerous reactions. PetMD notes that some dogs can ingest grapes without side effects for years, then suddenly have symptoms of kidney failure after a snack of grapes or raisins.
Symptoms of acute kidney failure appear within hours of ingesting grapes or raisins and include:
- No appetite
- Stomach pain
- Passing only a small amount, or no urine
Since pet owners have no way of knowing whether their dog will suffer potentially fatal illness when eating grapes, veterinarians recommend never feeding them to your pup. If you suspect your dog has eaten grapes or raisins, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Onions and Garlic
Members of the onion family include onions, scallions, shallots and garlic. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals notes that compounds present in these plants kill red blood cells, which can cause serious illness. Your dog must eat a lot of the compound to be affected, so it's unlikely he would suffer serious consequences from eating raw onions. However, the compound is much more concentrated in garlic, so a smaller amount of the vegetable can cause problems. A single bulb of garlic could cause anemia.
According to the ASPCA, symptoms won't appear for three to four days after ingesting the plant. Your dog may seem weak and tired; his urine could be orange or red. If you suspect your dog has eaten onions or garlic and is exhibiting symptoms, see a veterinarian immediately. He may require a blood transfusion.
Some natural food proponents disagree with the ASPCA regarding the health impact of garlic and state that garlic may be beneficial in other ways. Consult your veterinarian for advice.
While the fruit of peaches, plums and persimmons isn't poisonous, the pits and seeds are. Persimmon seeds cause intestinal inflammation; the pits of plums and peaches contain cyanide. In addition, if your dog swallows a fruit pit whole, it may become lodged in his throat.
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Foods That are Hazardous to Dogs
- WebMD: Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat
- American Veterinary Medical Association: Garlic: Hazardous or Healthy for My Pet?
- Dogs Naturally Magazine: Garlic for Dogs Poison or Medicine?
- Pet Poison Hotline: Garlic
- Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer: Garlic for Dogs
- PetMD: Grape and Raisin Poisoning in Dogs