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Beware giving dogs human foods, like chocolate

Layla, Eddie and Rocco are pets of Kidsday

Layla, Eddie and Rocco are pets of Kidsday reporter Alora Hague's uncle. Credit: Alora Hague

I’m sure you’ve heard of dogs getting sick from chocolate and other human food, but did you know that not all dogs are affected as strongly as others? This is because breeds of dogs come in different sizes.

Most of the information in this article comes from the American Kennel Club’s article titled “Human Foods Dogs Can and Can’t Eat,” but other information was taught to me by Terry Kaplan from the Nassau BOCES Barry Tech Center during a summer camp program through Hofstra Camps for learning veterinary medicine.

Most toxins will affect different breeds of dogs differently. For example, if a small square of chocolate is ingested, smaller dogs — like Chihuahuas, beagles and any toy breeds — will have an immediate and more severe reaction, while larger breeds — like Labradors, poodles and German shepherds — will have a less severe reaction.

Toxins can cause both physical and chemical reactions. They can lower or raise blood sugar levels and cause diarrhea and vomiting, as well as breathing problems. So it is best to make sure that when you feed your dogs, you are aware of how it will affect them based on your dog specifically. Check with your vet!

The most toxic foods and drinks that can be harmful to dogs:

Chocolate: It contains a chemical called theobromine that is extremely toxic to dogs. Dark chocolate contains a substantially larger potion of it than milk or white chocolate, which makes it the most toxic type of chocolate to dogs.

Cinnamon: It can cause lower blood sugar levels, liver disease, vomiting and difficulty breathing if inhaled as a powder.

Almonds: They aren’t necessarily toxic, but they can tear the windpipe and block the esophagus.

Raw eggs: Though many people think raw eggs will make a dog’s coat shinier, they cause a biotin (a type of vitamin) deficiency. Cooked eggs are safe for your dogs, though.

Garlic and onions: Two of the most dangerous foods for your dogs. They can cause elevated heart rate and weakness. They may have delayed symptoms, so if your dog has eaten either of these, monitor them for a few days to make sure they are OK.

Ice cream and milk: Dogs do not digest dairy well. If you want to give your dog something cold to eat, frozen strawberries and crunchy ice cubes are good.

Macadamia nuts: One of the most poisonous foods that a dog could ever eat. It can cause weakness as well as digestive problems. Never feed your dog macadamia nuts.

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