Don't Poison Your Dog With Breakfast
I was foggy this morning when the egg teetered out of my hand and splatted on the floor, but suddenly I found myself wide-awake and freaking out. Is that one of the foods that are poisonous for dogs? Within seconds, my low-to-the-ground little scavenger mutt scooted into the kitchen and started lapping up the mess. I tripped over her as I sprinted across the kitchen toward the roll of paper towels. Paranoid? Sure, but I'd had to deal with the loss of our other dog just a few days ago (not from eating anything toxic, but still), so I'm on extra-high alert for any threats to my sole pup. I find myself suddenly obsessive about foods that are dangerous for dogs.
Eggs, it turns out, are actually pretty beneficial for our furry pals: even the shells, after they've been ground to a powder. I was fretting for nothing—the canine owner's version of throwing a mom-arm across the passenger's seat when so much as a leaf blows in front of the car—but I don't regret it a bit. It turns out that there are a fair amount of human breakfast foods that are lethal or harmful to dogs.
Grapes are incredibly dangerous to dogs, for instance. Raisins, too. While it might seem completely darling to toss a few and watch your pup leap up to catch them in their mouth, that's an invitation to disaster. Researchers aren't completely certain which substance within the grape is the culprit, but any form (including juice) it can lead some pretty dire health consequences including sudden kidney failure. Cherries are dangerous territory as well because their pits, stems, and leaves contain cyanide, and the pits may cause an intestinal blockage. If you must for some reason feed them fruit, stick with bananas, strawberries, de-seeded watermelon and cantaloupe, apples (core and seeds removed), pineapple, cherries, and blueberries.
It should be noted for the record that the Starbucks Puppuccino contains no actual espresso, or pup, for that matter; it's just a cup of whipped cream (some dogs do well with dairy and some do not). That's because coffee is definitely on the nope list for dogs. Dogs are extremely sensitive to caffeine, which can raise blood pressure to dangerous levels and cause cardiac arrhythmias, tremors, or seizures.
The caffeine is part of why chocolate and dogs are a potentially deadly mix. The other is theobromine, which is similar to caffeine, but which dogs metabolize much differently than humans. The darker the chocolate, the more risk it poses to your canine pal. It can cause intense gastrointestinal distress, seizures, and even death. If it's in the house, store it up high where even the most agile dog cannot reach.
You may think nothing of breaking off a piece of your pastry to share with your best pal, but it may not be the treat you think it is. Some "sugar-free" products—like peanut butter, pudding, mints, gum, and baked goods—contain a sweetener called xylitol, which a dog's pancreas can mistake for sugar. The organ releases insulin which takes the real sugar out of their system and make the poor pup very sick, potentially fatally so.
And don't share that avocado toast, either. Not only does it apparently leave a pet owner unable to afford a proper home for themselves and their pooch, the popular snack is potentially risky for dogs due to a stomach-upsetting chemical called persin, present in the pit (which can pose a choking hazard), skin, and to a lesser degree, the flesh. A little bit of the spreadable green likely isn't going to cause too much distress, but do you really want your dog to get a taste for the stuff? You'll just end up in the financial doghouse.