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21 Foods that Kill Dogs Instantly

There are several cautionary lists on the web. Some are more reliable than others, but most get their information from the same place: The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center. ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center is a national animal poison control hotline that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are staffed with certified veterinary toxicologists who will give you instructions on what to do if your pet has been poisoned.

ASPCA occasionally updates its list, but here are some of the more common foods that can kill dogs:

What Food Can Kill Dogs Instantly? 21 Toxic-Verified Foods To Watch:

#1.Chocolate:

Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance that is poisonous to dogs. The amount of theobromine varies depending on the type of chocolate, with darker chocolates containing more theobromine than milk chocolate. For reference, 1 oz. of milk chocolate contains 44 mg of theobromine, while 1 oz. of baking chocolate contains 390 mg. The lethal dose for dogs is approximately 100-200 mg/kg, meaning that a 10 lb. dog could be poisoned by as little as 1 oz. of Baker’s chocolate, and a 20 lb. dog could be poisoned by as little as 2 oz. of Baker’s chocolate.

#2. Grapes and raisins:

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs and is listed by ASPCA as toxic ingredients to avoid. The mechanism is not fully understood, but it is thought that there may be a toxin in grapes and raisins that damages the kidney cells. A small number of dogs will develop kidney failure after eating grapes or raisins, but the exact amount that is toxic is unknown.

#3. Onions and garlic:

Onions and garlic contain thiosulphate, a substance that can damage red blood cells and cause anemia in dogs. Onion and garlic poisoning typically occurs when a dog has eaten a large amount of onions or garlic, either in raw form or as an ingredient in a dish. Symptoms of onion and garlic poisoning include weakness, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.

#4. Xylitol:

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods, and some types of toothpaste. Xylitol is extremely poisonous to dogs and can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death. The lethal dose of xylitol for dogs is 50-100 mg/kg, meaning that a tiny amount of gum or candy can be deadly for a small dog.

#5. MSG:

MSG is a flavor enhancer that is often used in Chinese food, processed meats, and some soups and salad dressings. It is toxic and causes a condition called “excitotoxicity”, which basically means that it over-stimulates the brain cells and can cause seizures, tremors, and other neurological symptoms. MSG is particularly dangerous because it is often used in large quantities and a small dog could easily consume a lethal dose.

#6. Avocados:

Avocados contain a substance called persin, which is poisonous to dogs. Persin is found in the fruit, leaves, and seeds of avocados and can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. It is important to note that not all dogs are equally sensitive to persin and some may be able to eat avocados without any problems. However, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding avocados to dogs.

#7. Macadamia nuts:

Macadamia nuts are poisonous to dogs and can cause vomiting, weakness, tremors, and paralysis. The exact mechanism is not fully understood, but it is thought that there is a toxin in macadamia nuts that damages the nervous system. A small number of dogs will develop severe symptoms after eating even a small amount of macadamia nuts, so it is best to avoid feeding them to your dog.

#8. Caffeine:

Caffeine is a stimulant and can cause hyperactivity, restlessness, increased heart rate, and tremors. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate. A small amount of caffeine can be dangerous for dogs, so it is best to avoid giving them any products that contain caffeine.

#9. Yeast:

Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to build up in a dog’s stomach, which can be painful and potentially deadly. Yeast is also often used as a bait in traps, so dogs may ingest it if they are trying to get to the food in the trap. Symptoms of yeast poisoning include vomiting, bloating, and pain.

#10. Rhubarb:

Rhubarb leaves contain oxalates, which can cause kidney damage in dogs. The stalks of rhubarb are safe to eat, but the leaves should be avoided. Symptoms of oxalate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty urinating. If you think your dog has eaten rhubarb leaves, contact your veterinarian immediately.

#11. Citrus Oil:

Citrus oil is found in the peel of citrus fruits and can be toxic to dogs. Citrus oil can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and depression. In some cases, it can also cause an increase in heart rate and respiratory rate. If you think your dog has ingested citrus oil, contact your veterinarian immediately.

#12. Cat food:

While cat food is not technically poisonous to dogs, it is not a good idea to feed it to them on a regular basis. Cat food is very high in protein and fat, which can lead to obesity, pancreatitis, and other health problems in dogs. In addition, cat food often contains ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as onion powder and garlic powder. If you must feed your dog cat food, do so only in very small amounts and be sure to consult with your veterinarian first.

#12. Wild mushrooms:

Wild mushrooms can be poisonous to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and liver damage. Some types of wild mushrooms are more toxic than others, so it is best to avoid feeding any type of mushroom to your dog.

#14. Spinach:

Spinach contains oxalates, which can bind to calcium and cause kidney stones. AKC noted that spinach ingestion by dog causes significant kidney damage. Symptoms of oxalate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty urinating. If you think your dog has eaten spinach, contact your veterinarian immediately.

#13. Yeast dough:

Yeast dough is listed by ASPCA as one of the toxic dog food that can kill your dog.

Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to build up in a dog’s stomach, which can be painful and potentially deadly. Yeast is also often used as a bait in traps, so dogs may ingest it if they are trying to get to the food in the trap. Symptoms of yeast poisoning include vomiting, bloating, and pain.

14. Iron Supplements:

While iron is an essential nutrient for dogs, too much iron can be toxic. Iron supplements are often given to dogs to treat anemia, but if the dosage is not carefully monitored, it can cause iron poisoning. Symptoms of iron poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and seizures.

Read about iron toxicity, iron deficiency and recommended iron dose to stick to.

15. Peaches:

The pits of peaches, plums, and apricots contain a substance called amygdalin, which breaks down into cyanide when ingested. Cyanide is poisonous and can cause respiratory failure and death. The flesh of the fruit is safe to eat, but the pits should be avoided.

16. Currant:

Currants, also known as gooseberries, contain a substance called cyanogenic glycoside, which breaks down into cyanide when ingested. Cyanide is poisonous and can cause respiratory failure, kidney failure, pancreatitis, and death. Currants are often used in pies and jams, so dogs may be exposed to them if they eat these products.

Sources of currant include grapes, raisins, sultanas, and currants.

17. Hops:

Hops are used to flavor beer and are also used in some herbal teas. Hops are poisonous to dogs and can cause panting, increased heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death.

18. Leeks:

Leeks are a type of onion and contain the same toxic substance, thiosulphate. Thiosulphate is poisonous to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, and death.

19. Mustard:

Mustard seeds and oil are used to flavor many foods, such as hot dogs, salad dressing, and mustard. Mustard is mildy poisonous to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in the stool. In some cases, it can also cause anemia and death.

As per this website, dogs can handle small amounts of Mustard in their food, but it is best to avoid feeding it to them altogether.

20. Nutmeg:

Nutmeg is a spice that is often used in baking and cooking. It contains myristicin, a substance that is poisonous to dogs. Myristicin can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and death.

Read PetMd’s explanation of Nutmeg’s toxicity here.