A few foods that are toxic (or at least dangerous) to dogs are fairly obvious, but many are common foods that you probably wouldn't think twice about using - unless you were aware of their dangers.
Puppies in particular are notorious for getting into things they shouldn't, and they tend to operate on the assumption that everything is edible until proven otherwise.
If your little guy thinks it's perfectly okay to eat that cardboard box, he won't think twice about snacking on anything that you leave lying around!
So, keep your puppy safe by making sure he never gets a chance to eat (or drink) any of the poisonous foods below......
Dogs should never drink alcohol, not even a sip of beer! Depending on the amount ingested it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, coma and even death.
Hops (which are in beer) cause an increased heart rate, panting and can lead to seizures and death.
Avocados contain a toxin called Persin which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and intestinal problems in dogs.
Candies that contain the sweetener Xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, seizures and possible liver failure. Hard candies of all sorts are the ones most likely to contain Xylitol, but it can be found in other sweets too.
Gum also contains Xylitol (even sugarless gum has it). See 'Candy' (above) for symptoms of xylitol poisoning.
Chocolate contains large amounts of natural stimulants called Methylxantines. The darker the chocolate the higher the concentration of these compounds and the more danger to your dog. Even white chocolate can cause problems. Cocoa powder has similar dangers and cocoa beans are extremely toxic.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include nervousness, extreme panting, seizures and possibly death. Be especially careful during holidays such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas, when lots of chocolate and candy is in your home.
You can learn more about what happens when a dog eats chocolate and what to do to keep him safe on my Help - My Dog Ate Chocolate! page.
The peel, pith and seeds of citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit etc.) can cause irritation in your puppies digestive system, particularly if eaten in large quantities.
Grapes Or Raisins
Your dog can have a bad reaction to either of these, and symptoms include fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea and possibly even renal (kidney) failure.
These can contain toxic compounds which can cause serious problems such as liver/kidney damage, convulsions, coma, and even death.
Iron Tablets Or Other Vitamins
Vitamins that include iron (including pre-natal vitamins) can cause gastro-intestinal irritation causing vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms may seem to improve but within 12 to 24 hours your dog could relapse and show signs of shock, depression or seizures and suffer liver damage or kidney failure.
Macadamia nuts are surprisingly toxic to dogs and can cause temporarily paralysis - which is obviously very dangerous.
Onions & Garlic
These contain a toxin called Thiosulphate. Symptoms of poisoning are usually an upset digestive system followed by general fatigue and weakness.
Thiosulphate affects the red blood cells in your pup's body and within a few days symptoms could progress to include bloody diarrhea, breathlessness and even death.
Onions are more dangerous than garlic as the toxin is more concentrated. It doesn't take much to cause poisoning.
Yeast Dough - Uncooked
If uncooked dough expands inside your pups tummy it can cause internal damage. Also as the dough rises it can form alcohol and result in alcohol poisoning.
With a lot of the above poisonous foods and toxins it doesn't take very much to make your dog seriously ill.
ALWAYS, ALWAYS SEEK VETERINARY ADVICE if you even just think your puppy or dog has ingested dangerous or poisonous foods. Every minute counts in these situations!
If your pet has only ingested a small amount of one of these poisonous foods and is experiencing some vomiting, diarrhea or other fairly mild symptoms, you may be inclined to think that everything is okay.
BUT you should always get veterinary help, or check with your local poison control center, because the real damage may not show up right away.
In some cases symptoms gradually worsen over a period of hours, or even days, and if you 'wait and see' it could be too late for your precious puppy by the time you seek help.
To read other dog-owners questions about foods that are toxic to their pets, visit ASPCA - Ask The Experts, People Food
Being prepared can make all the difference in an emergency situation.
I'd strongly recommend visiting my Dog Posisoning page to learn more about common household items that are toxic to dogs, and what to do if you suspect your pet has ingested something dangerous.