Is Table Food Poisonous for Dogs?

From our friends at the Pet Poison Helpline,  you may be doing more harm than you think!

plate of food

turkey dinner

“While you may think you are “loving” your dog by giving him table scraps from Thanksgiving dinner, it could be very unsafe for your pet.

While there’s not a “toxicity” issue from fatty table foods (such as bacon, gravy, turkey skin, grizzle, etc.), it can result in a gastroenteritis (such as a mild vomiting or diarrhea) to a severe, fatal pancreatitis.

Other table food like corn-on-the-cob can result in a severe foreign body in your dog’s intestines, resulting in projectile vomiting, diarrhea, and may require an expensive intestinal surgery.

Desserts made with xylitol, a natural sugar-free sweetener, or foods containing grapes or raisins can also result in toxicity. Xylitol results in an acute drop in blood sugar and even liver failure at high doses, while grapes and raisins can result in severe, fatal acute kidney failure. When in doubt, don’t let your pet get any table food!

 Threat to pets:

 Fatty foods such as butter, oils, meat drippings/grease, chocolate and meat scraps may cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) when ingested, especially by dogs. Certain breeds, miniature Schnauzers in particular, are more likely to develop pancreatitis than other breeds.

 Symptoms to watch for:

Delayed onset vomiting (1-4 days after fatty meal ingestion), abdominal pain, diarrhea (+/- blood), reduced appetite and lethargy.

 Treatment:

Take your pet to the Vet.  The Vet’s options include:  Anti-nausea and anti-vomiting medications, withholding food or giving only easily digestible diets, IV fluids, monitoring of blood chemistry panels and in-hospital care. In certain cases other drugs such as antibiotics may be necessary.

 Prognosis:

 Good when treated early and appropriately

photo credit: jeffreyw via photopin cc