A grape. So benign. Frozen, so delicious. Dehydrated, so raisin-y. And in large quantities in dogs, the unassuming grape goes Breaking Bad and becomes a killer. Da da duuuuum…. so let’s talk toxic foods for a minute.
When my friend Lili Chin over at Doggie Drawings asked if I would look over a poster she was designing of toxic foods for canines, I was so excited, because her drawings rock and I couldn’t wait to see how she interpreted “bulb of garlic.” The idea was to create a simple, cute piece about toxic foods for dogs, and she wanted my thoughts.
As soon as I looked at the list, I realized this would be a challenge, because toxicity is not always linear. Sometimes a dog eats a bag of grapes and is fine and other times a dog eats one bite of pork fried rice and dies of pancreatitis. Sometimes only portions of a fruit are toxic and other parts are fine. Sometimes there are at least three variables that must be calculated before you know if a food was ingested at a toxic amount (chocolate, for example.)
There is a reason this poster does not have in-depth detail about toxicity doses, etc. Determining toxic likelihood on a case-by-case basis is exactly what veterinarians are for, so if you swear up and down onions have made your dog’s life better don’t email me complaining, talk to your vet and go forward in peace. Consider this a lighthearted PSA that you can do with what you will.
At the end of the day, the world will always be improved by more of Lili’s drawings. Macadamias packing heat will NEVER go out of style.
What this is: a cute graphic with limited specifics intended to share knowledge about foods that might cause a problem for your dog, so that you can discuss it with your veterinarian if you are concerned.
What this is not: An exhaustive treatise with toxic dose approximations, a prediction of your dog’s demise if he eats a piece of cheese, an academic piece in a peer reviewed journal, a substitute for your vet’s opinion.
It’s a poster, and a really cute one at that. Lili has them available for download here as well. Hope you like the hooligan chocolate bar as much as me!
Hahaha! These are great. Information but light hearted but enough to make a responsible pet owner think. Thanks for sharing!!
I had a random question spurred by this poster: I heard at some point in my life, that giving milk to cats was actually not good for them despite the movies and cartoons. I saw that up there for dogs and was wondering generally for cats if milk is or is not a good idea.
Dr. V says
A lot of cats are lactose intolerant, so they end up having diarrhea when they ingest dairy. Not all that different from people, really. Some digest it fine. But it’s not something I normally recommend (cat diarrhea is not fun!)
Thanks for the info!! Makes sense 🙂
Brian Bolton says
If a cat or dog is lactose intolerant, is it OK to give them Lactose free milk?
Dr. V says
It’s worth a shot! Since lactose is usually the problem factor in dairy they should be better able to tolerate it.
Sandra P says
This is good. Easy to read and easy to remember. I sure didn’t know about dogs and grapes although I don’t think I’ve ever fed a dog such fruit. I feed horses watermelon. They like it. Not very many people have heard of this so just checking if that’s okay too.
Wendy Gallimore says
Funny, though I don’t generally give scraps to my dogs, I do have one that thoroughly enjoys watermelon.
Mason Canyon says
Love the poster, very easy to read. I’ll definitely keep a copy handy. Just a thought – if onions and garlic are dangerous for dogs, wonder why name brand dog food companies still put them in their dog foods? Makes me rethink some of the dog food I’m buying.
Thoughts in Progress
Dr. V says
A good question and that comes up routinely, also with the avocado thing. Many of these foods have only certain parts that are toxic, and/or require a certain dose to be toxic. So view this as a conversation starter with your vet. The onion thing is controversial as we don’t really know if the toxic dose is cumulative or one time only, but many foods do contain small amounts.
Tabitha W says
It would be great to have one for cats too! I am always shocked by how many people don’t know that lilies are deadly. A plant one would be amazing!
Chintan Vora says
Hi Dr.V this is very usefull. I am sure its going to go viral very soon on facebook if its not already. I know i will be sharing it with my dog owner/lover friends. So if i give my dog milk and she does not get diarrhea does it mean she is ok with milk?
Dr. V says
If your dog tolerates it fine, I would consider it a sometimes treat. 🙂
I think some pets, just like some people, are lactose intolerant. My cat loves milk and cheese, ice cream and whipped cream. Although I severely limit above treats, she has never had any problems. The other cat has a very sensitive stomach. I wouldn’t even THINK of giving him anything other than cat kibble.
ASPCA hotline number is 4435 not 4436. Lily just put out a corrected graphic.
Dr. V says
Thanks for the heads up!
Helene Weatherfield says
Would it be okay to print multiples of the poster for our local humane society to give out? I agree that a poster for cats and also dangerous plants is a good idea.
Dr. V says
Hi heather, the Flickr link has all the info about what you can do with a Creative Commons license 🙂
+1 on a version for cats. As a dog owner, I shared this one, but several friends have asked about a cat version.
I also would like a cat one! My one cat will eat ANYTHING!