Chocolate & caffeinated drinks
Chocolate, coffee and tea contain theobromine, a bitter tasting substance that is found in cocoa, among other things. Theobromine is a dangerous substance for dogs - it affects the nervous system and can lead to palpitations and breathing problems. Depending on how large your four-legged friend is, even a small amount can be fatal. Dark chocolate contains the most theobromine and is therefore the most risky.
It’s all about the quantity: if your dog eats more than two grams of pure chocolate per kilogram of body weight, you need to take action. For example, it would be very dangerous for a chihuahua weighing 5kg to eat a 10-gram bar of chocolate. With milk chocolate, the dose is slightly higher because of the low cocoa content. In the same way, white chocolate is almost harmless. Also pay attention to caffeine tablets and tea bags lying around.
Grapes and raisins
Nobody yet knows what the toxic substance is in grapes and raisins that can seriously damage dogs’ kidneys. Unfortunately, because the symptoms of eating grapes and raisins are slow to appear, the danger is often discovered too late. Damaged kidneys cannot recover, but you can prevent further damage. If you have a grape bush in your garden, make sure to install a strong fence so your dog can’t reach it.
Garlic is often used in natural flea-fighting remedies. However, garlic is not yet 100% scientifically proven as a flea remedy, and it can be toxic to dogs - particularly in higher quantities. At a high dose, garlic causes damage to red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. The same applies to leeks and onions.
Note: the symptoms appear a few days after the overdose, but quick treatment is important!
Almonds, pecans, walnuts and especially macadamia nuts contain large amounts of oils and fats. This can upset a dog’s stomach and cause inflammation of the pancreas.
Sweeteners such as xylitol and aspartame can lead to a life-threatening drop in sugar levels in dogs. Sweeteners can be found in sugar-free sweets and sugar substitutes for coffee.
Help! My dog has eaten something poisonous ...
We call it a ‘suspected poisoning’ if your dog has eaten more than a certain dose of a dangerous substance. Symptoms of a suspected poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, staggering or shaking. But keep in mind that some poisonings do not immediately cause symptoms!
Have you found an empty package of chocolate? Do you suspect your dog has eaten something poisonous? Contact your vet and follow their advice. Never ignore vomiting - always get medical advice!