It’s pretty widely known that chocolate is toxic to dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a cardiac stimulant. In small doses it typically triggers vomiting and/or diarrhoea but in larger doses can lead to significant problems with the lungs, kidney, heart and nerves and can even cause death. Of particular danger are dark chocolates which contain much more theobromine.
Grape skins can contain a toxin created by a fungus that can cause severe liver damage and kidney failure, even from just a handful of grapes or raisins. Therefore make sure they’re out of the reach of dogs.
While lots of dogs love a peanut butter treat (go easy on them they are not a healthy treat!) there’s quite a few nuts that are choke hazards (walnuts and pecans for example) and others that can cause upset stomachs like pistachios, macadamias and almonds.
Onions contain thiosulphate, which is highly poisonous to dogs and causes haemolytic anaemia – the destruction of red blood cells, leading to weakness, vomiting, blood in urine and breathlessness. They’re particularly dangerous when raw. Note garlic also contains thiosuplhate but in smaller amounts so is safe in moderate quantities, particularly when dried, and does have health benefits.
It’s obvious to most that dogs and alcohol don’t mix well given they have much lower tolerance to alcohol than humans. Symptoms are what you’d expect: vomiting, thirst and urination, lethargy, disorientation, but can lead to more severe problems like muscle tremors, paralysis, extremely slow and shallow breathing. Hops can also cause panting, an increased heart rate, fever, seizures and even death.
Dogs are more sensitive to caffeine than humans – ingestion of a moderate amount can cause damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys and central nervous system and trigger hyperactivity, vomiting, staggering gait, muscle tremors and convulsions.
Lots of common plants are toxic to dogs in varying severity including rhododendron, hydrageneas, monstera and quite a few indoor plants so consider this when planning your garden and keep indoor plants out of their reach.