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5 Foods You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Dog

Before you let your fur-baby snatch up your cooking scraps, think twice. You’ve heard about chocolate for years, but that’s not the only common food that can harm your pouch’s health.

1. Macadamia Nuts

There’s no better souvenir from Hawaii than a box of Mauna Loa, chocolate-dipped, caramel, macadamia nut clusters. But when that box of delicious goodness lands unattended on the kitchen counter as the result of your jet-lagged daze, it’s game on for your furry-faced love bug. Those nut-laced clusters are easy pickings and a gluttonous puppy snack attack can ensue!

The cause of macadamia nut toxicity is not known and only seems to affect dogs. Neurologic symptoms, such as weakness, incoordination, tremors and sedation, occur within three to six hours of ingestion. Other symptoms, such as vomiting and fever may also accompany these.

When it comes to macadamia nuts, don’t go nuts: protect your four-legged buddy and stow the caramel clusters under the seat in front of you. Maybe even leave them on the plane.

2. Raisins

Don’t be fooled by the raisin’s sweet innocence. Even though they commonly grace cakes and cookies, when it comes to your pets, raisins are downright dangerous.

Raisins can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. The mechanism of toxicity remains unknown; neither the amount of raisins nor the size of the dog predicts the degree of illness. The results can be fatal, and are usually completely avoidable.

Lock up pantries, take out the trash, secure the countertops, and check kids’ book bags and rooms for stray snack. Keep your best buddy safe by staying vigilant and send those raisins packing.

3. Coconut

Coconut conjures up images of piña coladas by the pool, chocolate-covered macaroons and silky pies. This tropical delight is a familiar ingredient in many confections and savory dishes alike.

When it comes to our furry friends, coconut and its iterations can cause some issues. While coconut is not toxic to dogs, the high fat content can result in gastrointestinal upset, pancreatitis and weight gain. Husks and large pieces of coconut flesh can cause choking, airway obstruction and gastrointestinal obstruction.

If a stray flake of coconut falls from your kitchen counter while you’re baking, no harm, no foul. However, don’t make feeding coconut or its byproducts a habit. You may inadvertently make your dog sick, and there are safer fruits and supplements out there.

4. Pork

Pork, ham and bacon: so savory, so popular, and so dangerous for your pooch!

While humans can consume foods high in fat with relatively few concerns, dogs fair poorly when they slurp up greasy, rich morsels. The canine pancreas does not process fat well, and when it gets inundated with goop, the result is severe inflammation, or pancreatitis.

Even if your pooch has a “cast iron stomach” and hasn’t had a problem in the past, pork is a ticking time bomb. Stick with lean meats in moderation if you choose to treat your pooch.

5. Cat Food

Cat food is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of our feline friends. It tends to be higher in fats and protein than dog food and contains vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that cats require in precise portions.

While dogs love plunging their faces into the kitty crunchies and canned pate, it’s not something that should grace their bowls on a regular basis. For one thing, its rich ingredients can cause serious stomach upset for some pooches, including vomiting and diarrhea. Ingesting large amounts may result in pancreatitis.

Cat food is for cats for a reason, and dog food is for dogs for the same reason. Choose a premium diet that’s appropriate for your pet’s species and life-stage.  Your dog’s stomach, muffin top, kidneys, and bladder will thank you in the long run!

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