You may have thought Cockers could eat pretty much anything, but there are lots of potentially toxic items sitting innocently in our kitchen cupboards, many of which could so easily poison your dog!
We love our Spaniels, and would never knowingly harm them, would we? However, there are many every-day foods that are tasty and nutritious for us humans, but which are toxic food for dogs. As loving Cocker Spaniel owners, there’s nothing we like more than spoiling our pets with the occasional tit-bit of chicken or cheese.
However, you should be aware that not all human foods are safe for our pets; there are some that can cause serious illness, even death.In many cases, our pets would need to eat quite a large quantity of a toxic food before it had any real impact on them.
Human Foods Toxic To Dogs
Also bear in mind that some ‘toxic’ foods may not affect your dog immediately, but over a period of time they could accumulate in his system resulting in eventual illness.
Dark Chocolate: Highly Toxic Food For Dogs!
Dogs like sweet things and once your pet has tasted chocolate it’s very likely that he’ll want more, but please don’t underestimate the effect that chocolate can have on our pets.
It’s one of the most toxic food for dogs and it can be lethal!
Even small amounts of (dark) chocolate could kill your pet!
That’s because it contains theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in the cocoa bean, but very poisonous to dogs.
Chocolate used for baking and dark chocolate are much more toxic than milk chocolate because they contain more cocoa solids, and consequently, more theobromine.
Theobromine can cause dehydration (by making your dog pee more), but it can also affect the central nervous system, as well as the heart.
As the theobromine is absorbed into the bloodstream, especially if your dog has managed to eat a lot of
Alcohol: Toxic Food For Dogs
We all enjoy the occasional alcoholic drink; a G&T, a glass of wine or a bottle of beer, but we’re also aware that too much of it can act as a slow poison.
Alcoholic drinks can also be poisonous to dogs. At best, your dog will act as though drunk, but in extreme cases, it can cause liver failure, seizures, coma and even death.
Don’t take the risk. If you’re planning a party, or having friends round for a drink, make sure unfinished drinks are cleared away and any bottles of alcohol are safely stored afterwards.
Sometimes people and alcohol don’t mix, but dogs and alcohol certainly don’t mix!
Avocado Is A Toxic Food For Dogs
All parts of the avocado (the fruit, skin, stone, and leaves) are toxic for our dogs and can cause a great deal of discomfort if eaten.
If your Cocker Spaniel managed to find and eat any part of an avocado, and depending upon how much he ate, it could cause fluid on his lungs and severe breathing difficulties.
Symptoms may include liver damage, vomiting, diarrhoea, laboured breathing and discoloured urine from the burst blood cells.
Hundreds of garlic bulbs, white tinged with pink.
Toxic Foods for Dogs: Brewing Hops
Used hops from home brewing kits are also toxic foods for dogs and can be fatal if eaten.
Hops can cause panting, high temperature, increased heart rate, and seizures.
If you’re a home-brewing enthusiast it makes sense to keep the kit away from animals, and used hops should always be disposed of very carefully to avoid accidents.
I’ve seen owners feed their dogs the dregs from their beer cans. I know I shouldn’t judge, but I don’t think that responsible pet ownership!
Fatty Foods Can Cause Pancreatitis
Most dogs, including our Cockers, love fatty foods and will root through the rubbish bins in the hope of finding a tasty morsel or two.
Sometime they may even ‘steal’ leftovers from our dinner plates the minute our back is turned!
But let’s face it, too much fat in our Spaniel’s diet will not only make him fat, but it can cause pancreatitis, which can be a life-threatening condition.
If your Cocker Spaniel is a little overweight and you’d like to help him lose a little fat, cut out the treats, reduce his food intake a little and increase his exercise by an hour or two each week (I recommend you do this gradually, especially if you have a senior dog).
A normal healthy pancreas produces enzymes to help digest fat, but in a high-fat diet the pancreas produces too many enzymes, causing the pancreas to become swollen and inflamed.
Cocker Spaniels are especially prone to pancreatic problems and symptoms often include vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
Pancreatitis (and obesity) can easily be avoided by removing excess fat from your dog’s diet. Don’t feed him fatty foods such as chicken skin, fatty meats, cakes and biscuits, or leftovers, and make sure those rubbish bins are securely fastened!
Macadamia Nuts: Another Toxic Food For Dogs
Please don’t feed your dog macadamia nuts and if you have them in the house, make sure your Cocker can’t get at them.
They contain high levels of phosphorus and can affect the digestive and nervous system causing serious tremors and paralysis of the hind legs.
These symptoms are only temporary. The paralysis will eventually right itself over a couple of days, but the experience can cause extreme distress to your Cocker Spaniel.
Our Cocker Spaniel loves liver and will do almost anything for it, but as it’s on our toxic food for dogs list, he only gets it as a rare treat.
Foraging outdoors, they may come across decomposing animals and/or rotten food and could pick up harmful bacteria, such as salmonella and e-coli, and end up with a bad case of food poisoning.
If your dog is unlucky enough to get food poisoning, you may see symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.
As a general rule these symptoms may only last a couple of days unless he develops a bacterial infection.
This may seem a fairly obvious statement, but spoiled food shouldn’t be given to your dog. If the food is passed its sell-by date and it’s not safe enough for humans, then it’s not safe for dogs.
Take care, and keep a tight lid on kitchen and outdoor garbage bins!