Danger in the kitchen! "Allergy Dog Foods" are Not the Only Foods That Need Your Attention

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Danger in the Kitchen!! Allergy Dog Foods are Not the Only Foods That Need Your Attention. 

There are a number of foods in our kitchen that demand our attention.  The current trending discussions are all about the appropriate allergy-dog foods to use during an elimination diet trial.  That, elimination diet trials, is a topic for another time and one that we will cover extensively.  As pet-parents start to home-cook for the family dog, we need to exercise some caution and remind everyone that “what is good for us……is not necessarily good for your dog”!    

 The most common pet-related toxins found in the kitchen are:


grapes/raisins/ currants

table salt


macadamia nuts


jerky treats!!!



-chocolate stays in the stomach for a long time so you may need to observe your dog for up to 96 hours

-the order of toxicity from most to least toxic:  cacao beans> cacao powder>baker’s

chocolate>dark semisweet>milk chocolate>white chocolate

-toxic signs you may notice:  vomiting and diarrhea

                                                       increased urination

                                                  agitation/ hyperactivity    

                                                  increased body temperature (fever)

                                                  tremors or seizures


-seeds, seedless, organic….all poisonous!

-as an example….  1.4 oz of raisins (approx. 40 raisins) can be toxic for a 30# dog

                                              9.5oz  of grapes (approx.. 47 grapes )can be toxic for a 30# dog

-things you may notice:  vomiting and diarrhea (with intact fruit!!)

                                               painful belly

                                            mentally depressed

                                          lack of urination (kidney failure)


-sources:  homemade playdough, baking soda, paintballs, sea water

-things you may notice: vomiting/ diarrhea

                                          loss of appetite

                                          loss of coordination

                                          tremors, seizures, coma


XYLITOL: sugar-free sweetener in gum, breath mints, gummy vitamins, mouthwash, etc

-things you may notice: weakness/ twitching (low blood glucose)

                                           vomiting/ diarrhea/ dark stool           

                                         loss of appetite

                               yellow mucous membranes (gums, eyes)- liver failure


- 30 nuts may be toxic for a 15# dog

-things you may notice:  weakness, tremors, ataxia

                                          increased temperature

                                          lameness, joint stiffness


                                          belly pain


-your dog must ingest a large amount at one time for toxicity to occur

-things you may see:  depression

                                     abdominal pain


                                       rapid heart rate and rapid breathing   

                                       pale mucous membranes (anemia)

“Toxic” Jerky Dog Treats from China: Caution!!!!

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has received approximately 4,800 complaints of illness in animals (as well as 3 people and several cats) fed jerky treats from China.  They have been aware of this ongoing problem since 2007.   They have reports of as many as 1,000 dog deaths.  The exact cause of the illness is still under investigation.  The FDA is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  No specific agent or toxin has been identified to date.  Most of the suspect products contained chicken or duck.  Current investigations are underway to identify the offending agent.  Original “toxic” suspects; amantadine (anti-viral drug), melamine, and heavy metals, have proven negative.

Consumers should be aware that manufacturers do not need to list the country of “origin” for each ingredient used in their products, so packages that do not state on the label that they are made in another country may still contain ingredients sourced from China or other countries that export to the U.S.  

In response to consumer pressure…..

Petco announced it will stop carrying  Chinese-made dog and cat jerky treats by  

             December 2014

PetSmart announced it will stop carrying the treats by March 2015

Nestle Purina announced on May 30, 2014 that it had offered $6.5million to settle

           claims on Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats

Although retail stores have acknowledged the potential for hazard, they are slow to remove the products from their shelves.  The same can be said for the actual companies that manufacture and/or import the products for placement in the stores.  Unfortunately, these potentially tainted treats are still on the shelves for purchase.  As consumers, we must be ever vigilant in what we give our pets. 

Listing of recalled treats: “to date”

Jones Natural Foods Co. recalls Woofers Dog Treats

Milo’s Kitchen recalls Chicken Jerky & Chicken Grillers Home-Style Dog Treats

Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats

Boots & Barkley Pig Ears & Variety Pack Dog Treats

Publix Private label Chicken Tenders Dog Chew Treats

 Remember: Safety is paramount!  Carefully read all labels

KEEP YOUR PET HEALTHY AND SAFE!  IF YOU ARE WORRIED….CALL!  Better safe than sorry!!!                                                              

www.petpoisonhelpline.com/owners (24/7 availability, staffed by veterinarians, access to multiple specialists)

iPhone app available for pet owners

pet poison HELPLINE @  800-213-6680

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