Certain foods that are safe for humans can be harmful to dogs.
Because dogs have a different metabolism than people, feeding human foods to dogs can be very dangerous for their health and may even be fatal in some cases.
This article reviews seven food items that have been proven toxic to dogs — so if you have a dog, it’s important to keep these foods out of their reach.
Avocados contain a toxin called persin. Persin is perfectly safe for human consumption, but can be very poisonous to dogs.
It is found in avocado fruit, pits, leaves and bark, so you should avoid giving any part of the plant to your dog.
If a dog eats these, fluid may accumulate in the dog’s lungs and chest.
This can make it difficult for him or her to breathe, which can lead to oxygen deprivation and even death.
Fluid can also accumulate in the heart, pancreas and abdomen, which can lead to other fatal complications (2).
Avocado pits can also be accidentally swallowed, which can cause choking or a blockage in the digestive tract.
Eating any part of the avocado plant can cause severe health problems in dogs that may result in death.
2. Coffee, Tea and Other Caffeine
Caffeine is naturally found in coffee, tea, cocoa and guarana, a South American plant.
It is also often added to soft drinks and medications.
Caffeine can speed the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system in dogs.
Within two to four hours of consuming caffeine, dogs may experience restlessness, excessive thirst, a lack of bladder control, vomiting and diarrhea.
If dogs ingest too much caffeine, they can experience abnormal heart rhythm or lung failure, which can ultimately lead to death.
In fact, several cases of death have been reported in dogs due to an overdose of caffeine (9, 10, 11).
The minimum dose of caffeine at which death was reported was less than 2.2 mg per pound (1 mg per kg) of body weight.
The average cup of coffee or tea contains between 40 and 150 mg caffeine, so even just a few sips could be deadly for a dog.
Consuming caffeine can cause abnormal heart rhythm or lung failure in dogs, which can ultimately lead to death. Coffee, tea and other sources of caffeine should be kept away from dogs.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is often used to sweeten candy, chewing gum, toothpaste and baked goods.
While deemed safe for human consumption, it can be deadly for dogs.
Eating foods that contain xylitol can lead to a sudden and significant drop in a dog’s blood sugar (3, 4, 5, 6).
Initial symptoms often show up within 30 minutes of consumption and include vomiting, weakness, depression, difficulty moving, coma and seizures.
Eventually, xylitol can lead to liver damage and death.
Eating foods that contain xylitol can cause a dog’s blood sugar to drop drastically. This can cause health problems, liver failure and death.