Foods Your Dog Should not Eat

There are a number of foods that can be detrimental to your dog’s health and should be avoided.  Read this article to find out what some of them are.

Ask a Vet: Grapes, raisins and other foods your dog shouldn’t eat

By DR. FRANCINE RATTNER, For The Capital, Published 02/26/10

Q: I have heard recently that I shouldn’t feed grapes to my dogs. She loves them. What is wrong with grapes?

A: There are lots of treats your dog might love and you would enjoy giving to her, but there a few that can be so toxic that if enough is eaten, they could be fatal. Unfortunately grapes and raisins are on the list of foods to avoid feeding your dog. It has only been in recent years that this has become apparent.

Eating grapes or raisins can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. The reason for this is not yet known. Theories being investigated involve mold, pesticide, or metal contamination.

The toxin seems to be in the grape itself and not the seeds. Reported cases of kidney damage have occurred with the equivalent amount of three ounces eaten by a 10-pound dog. Not every dog that eats grapes will get sick. There seems to be some individual susceptibility to the poisoning, but it is best not to take a chance.

The prognosis for survival is good if you get early treatment after a dog has eaten grapes. This would involve emptying the dog’s stomach and giving it a dose of activated charcoal to absorb any chemicals still in the intestinal tract.

Intravenous fluids are needed to flush the kidneys and continued for 2 or more days, depending on laboratory tests to evaluate kidney damage.

While we are on the subject, there are several other toxic foods you shouldn’t share with your dog.

It is commonly known that chocolate can be poisonous. The critical amount depends on whether it was white, milk, semi-sweet or baking chocolate.

The most dangerous is baking chocolate. The cacao seed contains methylxanthine which is also found in coffee and caffeinated sodas.

Small amounts may cause an upset stomach or hyperactivity, but larger quantities cause heart irregularities, seizures and even death.

Less commonly known problem foods are onions, avocado, macadamia nuts, rising yeast dough, and products with the artificial sweetener xylitol.

Avoid these and use common sense to feed only those treats you would consider healthy for yourself and you should avoid problems.

Dr. Francine K. Rattner is a veterinarian at South Arundel Veterinary Hospital in Edgewater. Please send questions to


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