Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine
Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea and be toxic to the heart and nervous systems.
Grapes, raisins and currants
Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.
Can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
The leaves, seeds, fruit, which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources
Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.
Generally too high in protein and fats.
Citrus oil extracts
Can cause vomiting.
Can cause pancreatitis.
Fish (raw, canned or cooked)
If fed exclusively or in high amounts can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death.
Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.
Human vitamin supplements containing iron
Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.
Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.
Milk and other dairy products
Some adult dogs and cats may develop diarrhoea if given large amounts of dairy products.
Mouldy or spoiled food, garbage
Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhoea and can also affect other organs.
Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder)
Contain sulfoxides and disulphides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.
Seeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
Pits from peaches and plums
Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.
Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.
May contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. We suggest that people considering a raw diet for their pet educate themselves thoroughly regarding the safe handling and preparation of raw ingredients, and the proper balance of nutrients required to maintain their pet’s health.
Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
Table scraps (in large amounts) Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.
Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.
Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
Can cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can result in vomiting, weakness and collapse. In high doses can cause liver failure.
Food allergies in dogs
Certain ingredients in dog food are known to be a key cause of allergies. A popular belief among pet owners is that wheat and soybeans are a leading cause of dog allergies, however many studies backed by veterinarians have failed to show wheat and soybeans as major sources of allergies, and in fact blame the meat protein for most allergies: beef, chicken, lamb, etc. A number of “grain free” dog foods are available that claim to alleviate such allergies in dogs, however given the current research that true wheat/grain allergy is rare in dogs, these diets are seen as controversial, gimmicky, or unnecessary by veterinarians.
Food allergies account for about 10% of all the allergies seen in dogs, being the least most common cause after flea bite allergies and atopy (inhalant allergies). Food allergies generally account for 20% of the causes of itching and scratching in dogs
Commercial dog food
There are many varieties of commercial dog food to choose from. Most store-bought dog food comes in either a dry form or a wet canned form. Dry food contains 6–10% moisture by volume, as compared to 60–90% in canned food. Semi-moist foods have a moisture content of 25–35%. Pet owners often prefer dry food for reasons of convenience and price.