Does your furry friend love to eat your leftover table scraps? Most dogs will happily eat just about anything you put in front of them. However, that doesn't mean you should indulge their endless appetite. A dog's body and digestive system is much different than a human's. Just because certain types of food may be okay for you to eat, it doesn't mean that they're okay for you dog. In fact, many foods that we regularly eat can cause serious damage to a dog. Some are even lethal. The next time you're eating these three foods, resist the urge to share your leftovers with your dog.
Chocolate. Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine that can be lethal for dogs. Your dog's digestive system doesn't have the ability to break down theobromine, so the ingredient can cause serious digestive issues. The seriousness of the symptoms depends on the amount and type of chocolate that's ingested and the size of the dog. White chocolate has minimal amounts of theobromine and may make smaller dogs sick. However, small amounts of white chocolate may have no effect on larger dogs.
As the chocolate gets darker, though, the consequences get more serious. Milk chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea in large dogs and be fatal for small dogs. Even small pieces of dark chocolate can be fatal for every size dog. Chocolate baking powder and dry cocoa powder are equivalent to eating poison. If your dog eats chocolate, you should get him or her to an emergency animal hospital right away.
Dairy products. Your dog probably loves cheese. In fact, many dog owners use cheese as a special treat. The problem is that milk, cheese, and other dairy products have complex sugars and fats that dog digestive systems can't fully break down. Dairy products won't have the immediate toxic effects that chocolate has. However, over time, your dog's digestive systems will feel the consequences. You may notice more vomiting and diarrhea. Your dog may even become sensitive when you touch his or her stomach. Too much dairy consumption could lead to a very painful old age for your pup.
Onions. The next time you want to give your dog a hamburger patty, stop and ask yourself whether that patty contains ground onion. If so, your dog probably shouldn't have it. Onions actually pose a very unique threat to dogs. Onions have a compound that attacks red blood cells in dogs. You may not see an immediate reaction from your dog. However, if your dog consistently eats onions, over time he or she will lose red blood cells. That will make him or her more lethargic, less active, and possibly very ill.
If you want your dog to eat leftovers, talk to your veterinarian first. Even though they'll likely advise against any leftovers, they can at least tell you which ones are safe and which can have serious side effects.