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Foods To Avoid for Dogs, Foxes, etc. (Updated 5-27-2009)

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Foods To Avoid for Dogs, Foxes, etc. (Updated 5-27-2009)

Postby Ragtatter » Tue May 26, 2009 5:35 pm

Please note that this list is not an exhaustive list of everything that could be harmful to your pet. Also note that one bite of something on this list probably won't kill your pet . Still, these are foods that are best kept out of your pet's reach.

(5-27-2009 Edit: Added Green Eggplant, Green Peppers, Green Potatoes, Green Tomatoes)

*****

Avocados:
Leaves, fruit, seeds, and bark contain the toxin Persin, and can cause difficulty breathing, as well as fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen, and heart. (Bird-owners beware, avocados are also toxic to those with feathers).

There's been some debate over how harmful Avocado really is, and it's actually used in a few brands of commercial dog food (Notably AvoDerm). However, store-bought foods containing avocado generally use the non-toxic parts of the plant. I would advise you to use extreme caution before adding avocado to any home-made diet.

Caffeine:
The lethal dose of caffeine is 150mg per kg of body weight. (So it would take 750mg of caffeine to kill my fox, Gizmo.) Just keep coffee grinds, tea bags, mountain dew, etc. out of your pet's reach, and you'll be fine.

In general, foxes are hyper enough without caffeine, anyway. ;)

Chocolate:
This is a pretty well-known one. Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is poisonous to many animals. As a general rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Chocolate can cause seizures, coma, and death. The official lethal dose of chocolate is 240 to 500 mg per kg of body-weight, but a death from a dose as low as 114 mg/kg of body weight has been recorded.

Grapes And Rasins:
These are known to cause vomiting, kidney damage, and hypercalcemia in dogs, although the exact reason why is unknown.

Green Eggplant, Peppers, and Tomatoes:
Green eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes contain toxins known as glycoalkaloids. The leaves or stem of these plants should also be avoided at all costs. As the veggie ripens and turns red (or purple, in the case of eggplant), most of the glycoalkaloids leave it, making it safe for animal consumption.

However, trace amounts of glycoalkaloids will remain in the tomato/pepper/eggplant even after it is ripe, and they will not be destroyed by the cooking process. Because of this, it is best to feed tomatoes only occasionally to prevent a build-up of toxins in your pet's system over time.

Green Potatoes:
I've separated this out from the other "green" veggies, as I have additional info on it that may not apply to tomatoes, eggplants, etc.

Green potatoes contain glycoalkaloids, solanine, and chaconine, all of which are toxic. When exposed to light, the skin, eyes, and tubers of a potato can develop elevated levels of these toxic substances as a by-product of photosynthesis. Although the greatest concentration is on the surface, the "flesh" of a tuber exposed to sunlight can also develop toxic quantities of these chemicals.

The leaves, stem, and berries of the tomato plant are also toxic. (In particular the berries, which often contain 10-20 times more glycoalkaloids than the tubers.)

Care should be taken to store potatoes in light-proof sacks. Glycoalkaloids, solanine, and chaconine are not destroyed by the cooking process, so any potatoes that develop sprouts or a greenish tint should be discarded immediately.

Macadamia Nuts and Walnuts:
Poisonings from these are few and far between; signs include weakness, vomiting, and tremors.

Onions, Garlic, and Chives:
These plants are all members of the onion family, along with leeks and challots. Onions, garlic, and chives are all in the plant genus Allium, and can be potentially toxic. According to the National Animal Poison Control Center, "Allium species contain sulfur compounds known as disulfides, which if ingested in large quantities can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could even result in damage to red blood cells".

The key word here is probably "large quantities", as many resources will advise the addition of a small bit of garlic to a pet's food to ward off fleas. Still, due to the risks, it is best to avoid garlic, or to use it very, very sparingly.

Pits & Seeds from Apples, Cherries, and Peaches:
These contain trace amounts of cyanide.

Xylitol:
Found in chewing gum, baked goods, and toothpastes; has been known to cause liver failure in dogs.

*****

Also, for those of you who feed your pets store-bought dog food, watch your labels for the following ingredients:

Beet Pulp:
Dried sugar beet residue; little or no nutritional value. Not harmful in and of itself, but a sign that the company making your pets food is cutting corners.

BHA and BHT: (butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hyroxytoluene.)
Can cause cancer, as well as damage to the liver and kidneys. These preservatives also appear in some human foods--but remember, we only eat a type of food once in a while. Your dog or fox eats his dog food every day. If this is in his food, he's eating these harmful chemicals every day.

Dehydrated Food-Waste:
This is basically dried garbage; AAFCO defines it as "any and all animal and vegetable produce" picked up from basic food processing sources or institutions. i.e. garbage from hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. The produce has to be picked up sufficiently frequently so that no decomposition is evident, but still, yuck.

Ethoxyquin:
A preservative that has been found to be highly toxic to animals. (It was originally designed as a pesticide!). It has been associated with immune deficiency syndrome, leukemia, blindness, and cancer of the skin, stomach, spleen, and liver.

Due to protests by pet-owners, it's use is not as widespread in pet foods as it once was, but the FDA/CVM still allows it as an acceptable preservative in pet food.

Ground Almond and Peanut Shells:
Used as a cheap source of fiber, but not much nutritional value. Not harmful in and of itself, but a sign that the company making your pets food is cutting corners.

Hydrolyzed Poultry Feather or Hydrolyzed Hair:
AAFCO allows this to be counted as a protein source in pet foods. However, hydrolyzed feathers and hair are completely indigestible. If your pet's food contains this ingredient, they may not be getting enough protein.

Meat Meal:
Defined by AAFCO as "the rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices."

Rendering plants are a topic in and of themselves, but here's what you need to know: they take in the leftovers from slaughter-houses. They take in meat that's deemed unfit for human consumption. They take in restaurant and grocery store garbage. They also take in dead zoo-animals, road kill that's too big to be buried by the side of the road, diseased livestock, the works. Some (but not all) rendering companies will also take in euthanized companion animals from shelters and veterinary clinics.

They grind it all up, mix it in together, and heat the hell out of it in big vats to separate out the fat. Once all the fat and grease has been removed, they dry the remaining product and sell it as "Meat Meal".

Menadione Dimethylprimidinol Bisulfate:
Used as a cheap source of Vitamin K in inferior foods. Can cause cytotoxicity in the liver, allergic reactions, and irritation of the skin and mucous membranes.

Poultry By-Product Meal:
AAFCO: "consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices."

Same basic problem as meat meal.

Powdered Cellulose:
Adds bulk, but very little else. No real nutritional value.

Soybean Meal:
Adds bulk, but very little else. No real nutritional value.

******

A final note: Watch out for ingredient-splitting in store-bought pet foods. This is where a company will "split" a grain into two categories so that they can list a meat as the primary ingredient, i.e.:

Instead of the ingredients list reading:
Corn, wheat, chicken, rye, salmon meal...

It will read:
Chicken, corn flour, wheat germ meal, rye, corn gluten meal, wheat flour, salmon meal, wheat middlings and shorts, corn bran...

That way, it looks like Chicken is the main ingredient, even though it's not. Sneaky, sneaky pet-food companies. If your pet food has got several different permutations of corn, wheat, or other grains, they may be using "splitting" to disguise the fact that meat is not the primary ingredient.

*****
Hope this was helpful, and if anyone knows of any other foods to avoid, please let me know!
Last edited by Ragtatter on Wed May 27, 2009 3:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue May 26, 2009 8:38 pm

All great info and good idea to have a list on here. I'll make it a sticky.

but avocado is debatable. In fact there are dog foods that contain it. Zoos sometimes give it as treats. I'd just be cautious with it but it certainly wont hurt them to never have it either and be on the safe side.

http://www.thevillagenews.com/story.php?story_ID=22205

Also word from Avoderm dog food on avocado safety
http://www.breeders-choice.com/dog_prod ... safety.htm

Hmm okay I'm missing something don't see how to make it a sticky but I think it would be good.
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Postby Ragtatter » Wed May 27, 2009 12:42 am

Thanks for the (pending?) sticky. I've been doing a lot of research on pet food and animal nutrition (doing my homework before switching Gizmo over to a home-made diet), and I realized we didn't have a "Bad Food" list, so I figured I might as well add one.

I know there's been some debate about some of the items on the list like Avocados and Garlic, but I included them on a "better safe than sorry" basis. I'll update the section on avocados to mention the fact that some foods use them.

Anyway, I'll try to keep this list updated. If anyone finds out about any other foods to avoid, just message me or post them in this thread, and I'll see to it that they're added to the list.
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Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed May 27, 2009 1:40 am

Green tomatoes should be listed and red tomatoes listed similar to avocados. Tomatoes contain three different toxins in them. We can handle them. We can handle them in small amount the fruit has but not as good for dogs. Plus some dogs can have issues with the acid content. My dogs do love spaghetti and get some, so I'm in the "a little wont kill them" mind set here. When I was young and stupid I gave my dog my tomato soup and she did get sick from that but just puked, a lot.

Quoting myself from another time
Small amounts of red tomatoe are not going to
poison them since yes Tomatine and solanine are processed by the
tomato(potato) as it matures and turns red but it's not all gone, there is
just a lot less of it, so there is less chance of an immediate problem. The
green parts are bad for them because of a different chemical Atropine, and is
in ripe fruit too but again in smaller amounts. It is also bad for us, we
just process it better so can eat the green tomatoes, sometimes and be okay,
but it's in the nightshade family so even us eating the leaves of a tomato
plant would be bad but that's a different chemical that is present in
addition to the other and is also in the ripe fruit in small amounts.


This came up in a discussion on giving fennecs such things. Fennecs are prone to liver and kidney problems and those toxins if ingested have to be filtered out by those organs. I'd lump them with peanut butter and avocados as feed sparingly and with caution or like that.

Yeah peanut butter is fine for treats but it should be noted that it is high in toxins caused by mold, for a food source.

I wouldn't say never to feed tomatoes, avocados or peanuts but to be aware of the risk and if you do decide to feed them do so sparingly knowing there are (potentially)bad things in it.

But do avoid any greens of the night shade family, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers. While we can eat the green fruit in some cases never any plant parts and never ant green fruit to dog and cats(though parrots love peppers I've heard). Here's a site discussing them in regards to humans, so not all the toxins that can be bad for canines just the human ones. http://www.deliciousorganics.com/Contro ... tshade.htm

And I found the sticky under edit post. So I edited your post but only thing I did was make it a sticky.
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Re: Foods To Avoid for Dogs, Foxes, etc. (Updated 5-27-2009)

Postby w0lfygirl » Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:10 pm

Wow.. i didn't know garlic was harmful to dogs :nogif:
i always used it to help them when they were sick or wounded and it always helped, even the most infected of wounds.. this is just a dissapointment, but strangely.. my grandma has a 16 year old cat and she had a dog about 10.. and she used to breed the #2 highest line of miniature dobermans she got in germany years ago.. and she used this as well and they were all fine, is it really bad for them? if it is then it's a VERY slow process icon_confused.gif
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Re: Foods To Avoid for Dogs, Foxes, etc. (Updated 5-27-2009)

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:06 pm

Garlic and onions contain a chemical that can cause anemia. Garlic has less of it than onions so you hear more bad things said about onions. Many do give garlic with no problems. My dogs get bits of food with onion or garlic in it but only little tastes and haven't died but it could be worse for sensitive individuals and bad in larger amounts.

The best rule of thumb would be no onions and garlic sparingly.

Since garlic has the anemia chemical it might not be the best thing for on wounds since it might actually inhibit clotting due to that issue, but I'd have to research it. Like some other things on the list it's a personal judgment call, while some others are simple never ever give.

Here's a decent guide but it says no on some of the maybes like avocados that IMO might be okay but sparingly. Oh and it covers some things like medicines too and not just foods

http://www.marvelousproducts.com/Can-I- ... my-dog.htm
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Re: Foods To Avoid for Dogs, Foxes, etc. (Updated 5-27-2009)

Postby pat » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:37 am

mary,

the list was quite interesting you posted.
I was surprised to read all the foods, that was claimed dogs should not have.

I keep getting mixed answers on "garlic" some say, yes, to use it, while others say no.

as for the fruits and veggies, most dogs don't eat it, unless it is mixed in their food.

my bears love grapes, and eat them all the time, do you think their digestive system is like a dogs?

also, I have been using ground meat, roasts, stew meat in their cooked food.
I am thinking now, the chicken might be better. sams club has 10lb frozen chicken for about 22.00. (I do use that sometimes) but, I think I will use chicken more than the beef now.

also, I buy those chicken jerkys for treats. my dogs, bears, coons, foxes absolutly love them. but, they are expensive. I looked at the ingrediates, and all it is dehyrtated chicken. I think I am going to make it, it will be cheaper to make it versus buying it. not only that, it would be safer.

what do you think of using spagetti or bread in their cooked food?
that is what I put in it to stretch the food. I also alternate with rice.
maybe the rice would be better than the spagetti?
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Re: Foods To Avoid for Dogs, Foxes, etc. (Updated 5-27-2009)

Postby Juska » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:11 pm

I put small amounts of garlic in my dog's dry food during the summer, because it helps repel fleas and ticks. Makes their blood taste bad so they don't get bitten as often.
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Re: Foods To Avoid for Dogs, Foxes, etc. (Updated 5-27-2009)

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:14 pm

Skunks have died from the grapes too but they are much smaller animals. I'd think with the bears being so big it would take a lot for them to get sick if they are at risk for it.

Spaghetti would be better than bread. But ideally to make it stretch fiber would be better, unless they need to extra calories. When I buy the big bag of juicing carrots I save the pulp for the dogs food. Actually that is a good option. Ask about beet pulp at the farm store. It's mostly just fiber so is a good filler. People use it for horses sometimes so you should be able to buy big bags of it cheap.
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Re: Foods To Avoid for Dogs, Foxes, etc. (Updated 5-27-2009)

Postby pat » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:19 am

on the garlic, sometimes, I put minced garlic in their food when I cook it.
I would think, if garlic is really bad for dogs, maybe too much of it?

beet pulp :shock: never heard of that. but, I will see if I can find some at the farm store.

I will try some puree carrots too. sometimes, I throw veggies in their food, but, don't puree them. (guess, too lazy to get my blender out :lol: )

I also (sometimes) feed them "bil-jac" with their cooked food.
but, not much of it, bil-jac is suppose to be more filling than other dog foods.
and as far as I know, I think I can trust that one.

my bears eat alot of grapes. but, of course not everyday.
I would think too, because of their size. benny probabaly weighs about 700lbs, and sybil about 300lbs.

thank you for the info..
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Re: Foods To Avoid for Dogs, Foxes, etc. (Updated 5-27-2009)

Postby renwaldo » Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:26 pm

I feel the need to add to this; corn.

Corn itself is not bad, as much as anybody knows. The innards of fresh corn kernels actually hold a lot of nutritional value given their small size, this site outlines the main vitamins and minerals here, http://www.organicfacts.net/nutrition-f ... -rice.html. That's just a basic overview, I'm not science learned enough to know about the specific effect of those things or their importance to us in consumption. fresh corn is only unhealthy in comparison to other plant grown food due to its small size, you would have to eat a heck of a lot of corn to get the same amount of nutrients that you could from eating a banana for example. Dried corn kernels are a common ingredient in small portions in many pet foods for various animals, and we used to feed our dog cooked corn on the cob infrequently without any negative side effects. Basically corn can be good for everybody. The fresher it is the better of course.

What people should be wary of is 'corn meal.' This is the product of taking a bunch of dried whole corns cobs and grinding them up together. For the little amount of healthy stuff you can get from dried corn, you might as well be eating rice. Rice would in fact be a great deal healthier than dry corn. Most of the nutrition corn has comes from the watery innards of its fresh kernels, when you dry it out you're left with a husk that has about as much nutritional value as a potato chip. The cobs are hardly worth anything even when fresh. They take too much energy from the body to chew and process to have any sort of big benefit. When they're dried you'd be just as well off to eat the dead stalk of a corn plant. When you feed this to your animals in their store bought pet food you might as well be giving them plain movie popcorn and dried corn plant leaves, for all the nutrients they can get out of it. Dried whole ground up corn or corn meal is pretty much junk food.

I've noticed at least a couple brands of dog food at my store that list 'cornmeal' as the major substrate for keeping the rest of ingredients in that dog food together. I've been warned against recommending such dog foods for any pet owners other than those with healthy dogs looking for a cheaper alternative to the healthier brand names. Corn meal isn't the worst thing found in some dog foods, but it isn't healthy. It's not going to cause any harm to a healthy dog who eats it as an ingredient in basic dry dog food. However feeding anything more than that - like in the form of whole dried corn cobs - on a regular basis may be harmful.

It's just something to look out for. If you feed your dog a food with cornmeal as one of the first ingredients, and you've been doing so for a while, he has no dietary problems and you prefer the price of that cheaper brand, than there is little to worry about. If your canine has digestive problems or any other dietary issues, I would recommend another dog food without traces of corn meal.

It's not poisonous or dangerous at all, it's just not particularly healthy.

Dried corn kernels in bird and rodent seed mixes or kibble is a similar case. With birds and rodents it actually has even less of an impact given the small portion it makes up in most brands.
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Re: Foods To Avoid for Dogs, Foxes, etc. (Updated 5-27-2009)

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:58 pm

Good info on corn though it is the number one cause of food allergies in dogs so it's the first thing to try removing if your dog has allergies.

Soy is also best avoided in pet foods. It's often added for protein but it has components in it that effect the hormones and it has links to causing thyroid problems.

I wouldn't be scared to let them have a treat that contains soy or corn but wouldn't want them in the base diet getting them all the time.
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Re: Foods To Avoid for Dogs, Foxes, etc. (Updated 5-27-2009)

Postby tylerjones553 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:43 am

That's a Great information I use to give Soybean and Almond few time its great that I have found good information on this here
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Re: Foods To Avoid for Dogs, Foxes, etc. (Updated 5-27-2009)

Postby catlover1019 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:52 am

Your aversion to "meat meal," "poultry by-product meal," and "dehydrated food-waste" seem to be primarily because they sound gross to you. If it's nutritious and not toxic, I don't see the problem. The only real problem I see is "meat meal" due to the possibility of using euthanized animals. Obviously pets shouldn't be ingesting chemicals expressly designed to kill pets. Also, one needs to be mindful of rabies when it comes to road-kill.

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