We always want to give our furry friends the best of everything. If you have a dog, you know how important it is to give your pup a great diet to keep them healthy and energetic.
You’ve probably asked yourself can dogs eat vegetables? Well, the answer is yes. Veggies are not only good for dogs, they’re an absolute necessity. Dogs and other canids have consumed vegetation for decades to supplement their meat diet.
However, not all veggies that humans eat can or should be consumed by dogs. While most veggies are dog friendly, some are toxic and harmful for dogs to eat. This article highlights those veggies you should not feed your dog.
So, let’s get into it. Here’s a list of vegetables that are harmful for dogs to eat;
Yes, this all essential veggie in almost all human cooking can be harmful for dogs. All parts of an onion, including the plant, leaves, bulb, juice or onion powder, whether raw or cooked, are harmful for dogs.
Onions contain a high amount of N-Propyl disulfide, an oxidant that can cause serious health problems in dogs. Compared to humans, dogs are more sensitive to “oxidative damage” on their red blood cells. Dogs have more “areas” on their red blood cells that oxidizing agents such as n-propyl disulfide can attach to.
The result of dogs consuming onions is the increased breakdown of red blood cells in a process called hemolysis, leading to anemia. Prolonged consumption of onions by dogs worsens their anemia.
With anemia, a dog’s internal organs will no longer receive adequate oxygen. In severe cases, internal organs will begin to fail, leading to death. In some cases, the urine turns red or brown.
Onion poisoning is most notable in dogs that take in over 0.5% of their weight in onions. The impact of onions on a dog depend on several factors, including the dog breed, weight, existing conditions such as liver problems, diabetes, and anemia, and when the dog is under certain medication. This does not mean that small amounts of onion are okay for your dog; consuming small amount for a prolonged time will lead to accumulation of N-Propyl disulfide to high enough levels to trigger the breakdown of red blood cells.
The symptoms of onion poisoning in dogs include;
- Abdominal pain
- Clumsiness (stumbling or loss of balance)
- Red or brown urine
- Increased heart rate
- Increased respiratory rate
- Pale gums
- Weak, and
- Intolerance to exercise and play
Garlic is another common ingredient in human food. While garlic adds flavor to food and it contains various healthy nutrients, its toxic for dogs too consume in whatever form.
Just like onion, garlic contains N-propyl disulfide and thiosulphates. As seen before, N-propyl disulfide leads to the breakdown of red blood cells in dogs. Thiosulphates also contribute to this process, putting your pup at high risk of anemia.
Anemia in dogs will lead to improper function of internal organs, or even total organ failure. In severe cases, it can lead to death.
Garlic is also known to cause gastrointestinal irritation in dogs. It can lead to diarrhea and vomiting. Other symptoms of garlic poisoning include weakness, hypersalivation, lack of coordination, increased heart rate, bluish gums and skin, red or brown urine, and lethargy.
If you spot any of these symptoms after your dog consumes garlic, please go see your vet right away.
Mushrooms are tricky, even for humans. While mushrooms are tasty and loaded with nutrients, there are many varieties that are poisonous for humans and other animals. So, what makes them unsafe for dogs?
Many varieties of wild mushrooms contain a wide range of toxic substances. These can lead to painful fatalities in dogs. These poisonous varieties include;
- Panther cap
- Death cap
- Jeweled death cap
- Fools web cap
- Fly agaric
- Gyromitra esculenta
- Galerina marginata
Mushroom poisoning manifests differently depending on the variety of mushrooms a dog consumes, the breed of the dog, and its size. If your dog takes in poisonous mushrooms, he/she may experience a combination of the following symptoms;
- Stomach pain
- yellowing skin
- excessive drooling
- uncoordinated movement
While store-bought mushrooms are considered safe for dogs, its best to avoid feeding your pup mushrooms. They’re not necessary in a dog’s diet and the nutrients they provide can be found in other foods.
So, the next time you’re taking your dog for a walk and they run off into the woods, you should be worried of them consuming a poisonous wild mushroom. Also regularly check for sprouting mushrooms in your backyard to avoid accidental consumption.
Leeks may not seem like they’re harmful for dogs but they are. Leeks are part of the allium species that is known for causing gastrointestinal irritation.
Leeks contain toxic organosulfur compounds such as N-propyl disulfide. When ingested, these compounds break down and trigger the degeneration of red blood cells. Consequentially, internal organs do not receive enough oxygen, leading to organ failure, and eventually death.
The symptoms of leek toxicity in dogs include;
- Loss of appetite
- Blue or white gums
- Yellowing eyes and skin
- Breathing difficulties
- Dark urine
- Excessive drooling
- Extreme body weakness
- Fast heart and respiratory rate
- Inflammation of the spleen and liver
- Loss of muscle function
- Foul breath
- Stomach pain and cramping
You may be wondering, what if my dog consumes a small slice of leeks? Well, they should be fine. However, consult with your vet even in the absence of any of the above symptoms. Consuming small amounts over a prolonged time could lead to accumulation of the poisonous compounds in their system.
Though not a common veggie, rhubarbs can be toxic for dogs to ingest. All parts of the plant—including the rhubarb stalk and leaves—are hazardous to dogs.
Rhubarbs contain high levels of soluble calcium which is concentrated in the leaves. Additionally, they have a compound known as oxalic acid (a poisonous crystalline acid). This causes irritation and intense pain in the mouth of dogs. This can radiate to the throat and gastrointestinal tract can cause swelling.
The oxalate crystals can also cause renal failure, cardiac arrythmia, tremors, and put your dog in a coma. Other symptoms include;
- Swelling of the lips and tongue and difficulty swallowing
- Breathing difficulties
- Excessive drooling
- Blood in the urine
- Dilated eyes
- Hoarse barking
It’s often tempting to share your food with your pooch, but its best to avoid this. While your dog may love eating your food, the veggies you use to cook can be slowly killing them without you knowing.
Be sure to avoid feeding your furry friend with any of the veggies listed in this article in any form. Even small amounts can lead to the accumulation of the harmful toxins in your dog’s body and cause severe health problems in future.
So, the next time you want to feed your pooch healthy veggies, be sure to get them their own vegetables that are safe for dogs to eat.