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From the first day you brought your dog home, you've loved him. As a puppy, all he wanted to do was play. And as he's grown, you've enjoyed his companionship and loyalty. But no matter how old your friend gets, one thing never changes: those sad puppy eyes watching you as you eat. Whether you eat every meal at the dinner table or in front of the television, your dog has been there watching you. And when you do give in to those sad eyes, it's important to know what not to give him. Listed below are five substances you need to make sure your dog never consumes.

Chocolate Like all things, you dog with scarf down chocolate, but pet owner should know better. It doesn't matter how long your dog begs, stay strong. Every bit of chocolate you give you dog is another bite that will lead to sickness and potentially death. Cocoa, the main ingredient of chocolate, has a chemical called theobromine. This chemical, which is safe for human consumption, gives chocolate its bitter taste and is poisonous to dogs. But not all chocolates have the same amount of this chemical substance. In order of the danger they present to dogs, the following list shows theobromine levels in chocolate, from the most to least:

  • Baker's chocolate

  • Dark chocolate

  • Semi-Sweet milk chocolate

  • Milk chocolate

  • White Chocolate

According to experts, one ounce of chocolate per pound of body weight may have lethal effects. Alcoholic Drinks Dogs may be man's best friend, but that doesn't mean you and your dog should get drunk together. Unlike humans, dogs have a hard time metabolising alcohols. You dog can experience a number of medical problems when they imbibe even the smallest amount of alcoholic, including dehydration, cardiac arrest, low blood sugar, and liver and kidney damage If you think your dog has accidentally consumed alcohol of any sort, look for the following symptoms:

  • Seizures

  • Confusion

  • Mood swings

  • Shallow breathing

  • Lack of motor skills

  • Uncontrollable urination

Tobacco If you are a loved one enjoys the occasional cigarette, make sure to dispose of your cigarette butts appropriately. Your dog will eat anything, and even small amounts of nicotine can lead to serious illness and even death. If you believe your dog has consumed nicotine, look for these symptoms:

  • Tremors and seizures

  • Diarrhea and vomiting

  • Unusual breathing pattern

  • Uncoordinated movement

Contact your local veterinary practice immediately if you notice any of these conditions. A pet who does not receive care soon after ingesting nicotine may suffer fatally. Uncooked Meats It's no secret that dogs love meat. If left in the wild, your dog’s diet would consist almost entirely of meat. And meat, or the protein equivalent, is an important part of a balanced diet. But most domesticated animals should avoid eating raw meats. Undercooked chicken and pork are notorious for causing salmonella and other sicknesses in humans. The same is possible for your canine counterpart. Raw meats may also contain parasites that can leave you dog weak and malnourished. In addition to the uncooked or undercooked meats, avoid giving your dog bones that may splinter or are too small. These may include chicken bones, fish bones, and other bones the dog has left small enough to choke on. Seeded Fruits Most dogs find one way or another to eat fruit. And while most fruits are completely harmless, there are a number of potential problems that can arise when your dog eats fruit. Plums and Peaches While your dog can consume the majority of fruit with no side effect, the problem comes at the core. If given the chance, your dog will chew and eventually swallow fruits in their entirety, pits and all. Plums and peaches have large pits that may become choking hazard. But once swallowed, these pits may log somewhere in the digestive track, blocking passage and proper function. In addition to blockage, these seeds also carry small amounts of cyanide. Once digested, this can lead to fever and diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration and shock. If left untreated, these symptoms may turn fatal in as few as three days. If your canine enjoys the occasional plum or peach, make sure to remove the pit before they begin eating. Grapes Your dog should avoid grapes and grape by-products in their entirety. Eating a handful of grapes can lead to irreversible kidney damage. If you notice your dog eating grapes, take action immediately. Remove what grapes you can and watch for:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Decrease in urination

  • No appetite

  • Decrease in motor skills

You want your dog to live a long life. Keeping your canine away from the wrong food is just as important as making sure he eats the right food. Make sure you provide your furry friend with a well-balanced diet. If you have concerns about what your pet is eating, talk to your veterinarian at Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital about your dog's nutritional needs.

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