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Top Ten Foods You Should NEVER Feed to a Dog

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/27/2007 | Pets and Animals

1. Chocolate
To dogs, chocolate acts as a stimulant, making your dog's heartbeat accelerate or beat irregularly, leading to seizures and even cardiac arrest. To compound things further, it also acts as a severe diuretic, causing frequent urination, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. If you even suspect your dog has consumed chocolate, take him to an animal hospital immediately.

2. Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins create havoc with your dog's kidneys and digestive system. What's worse is that the amount of grapes needed to cause problems can vary greatly among individual dogs. Symptoms include frequent urination, vomiting, and diarrhea.

3. Onions
Onions cause the breakdown of a dog's red blood cells, which deprives his cells of much-needed oxygen. If you're in the habit of feeding your dog table scraps, make sure the dish was not prepared with onions, as the effects can be cumulative over a period of time. Symptoms can vary greatly, ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to loss of appetite, fever, or exhaustion.

4. Macadamia Nuts
While the exact chemical compound is still unknown, even a small amount of macadamia nuts can cause fever, irregular heartbeat, seizures, or mild paralysis.

5. Alcoholic Beverages
Dogs' physiologies are not equipped to handle alcohol consumption. They are extremely susceptible to alcohol poisoning, and even small amounts can lead to digestive problems or even death.

6. Bread Dough
Because it is soft, dogs will often swallow the dough without chewing it. When the dough hits your dog's stomach, his body heat will cause the dough to rise inside his stomach. This rising action can cause bloating or vomiting. To compound things further, the rising action creates alcohol as a by-product, and your dog may experience the symptoms listed in the previous paragraph.

7. Caffeinated Beverages
Similar to the effects of chocolate, caffeine is a stimulant and can negatively impact your dog's heart rate, causing seizures or heart attacks.

8. Avocadoes
Avocadoes are toxic to many animals. The offensive chemical damages heart, lung, and other essential tissues. Be aware since guacamole's main ingredient is avocado, that you keep any such dips well out of your dog's reach.

9. Pitted Fruits (Peaches, Pears, Cherries, and Apricots)
The pits of these fruits contain small doses of cyanide, which can be fatal to smaller dogs. Also, if the pit is swallowed whole, it may become lodged in the intestinal tract, where the blockage will have to be surgically removed.

10. Raw Fish
Raw fish, especially salmon, can contain parasites, usually fluke larvae. The dog consumes the fish, and the larvae hatch in your dog's digestive tract, attaching themselves to his intestinal walls. Symptoms can take up to a week to exhibit and usually mimic other canine diseases, such as distemper or parvovirus. The hazard here is misdiagnosis by the veterinarian, leading to an improper or ineffective treatment. If you choose to feed your dog fish, be sure to cook it thoroughly to kill any bad critters that could be hiding inside.