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Know which foods are toxic to your companion so you can avoid a trip to the emergency hospital.

With those big gorgeous eyes and a pleading look, it can be hard to deny a dog a little piece of the treat you are enjoying.  People often forget that dogs cannot eat everything that humans eat.  Though it may pain you to refuse your pet some of your food, you may just save his life by doing so.  Our veterinarians wanted to share that these five foods that people enjoy regularly can be toxic to a pooch. Even small amounts of these foods can be toxic to animals, so it is imperative you see the services of veterinary pr


You’ve likely heard this from your vet before, but here’s why chocolate can be harmful:  Chocolate contains an ingredient, theobromine, which is toxic to canines.  Theobromine poisoning shows several hours after ingestion.  You may notice the following symptoms:

  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • tremors 

Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate present the biggest danger for your pet.  A twenty-pound animal only needs to ingest as little as three to five ounces to exhibit symptoms, so seek veterinary care immediately.

Foods Containing Xylitole

Sugar-Free candies, gums, breath mints, and chewable vitamins contain an ingredient known as Xylitol.  This substance, while perfectly safe for people, is exceptionally toxic to dogs.  It causes liver failure, hypoglycemia, seizures, and can kill your pet.  The symptoms start within half an hour of ingestion, so contacting your vet or the pet poison helpline is crucial if you fear your canine friend has eaten food containing Xylitol.  Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested xylitol.


Perhaps the most iconic of dog treats; bones should never be given to your pet due to the hazards that they present to your pet’s health.  Canine stomachs and intestines were not designed to handle the sharp splinters into which bones often break.  Additionally, bones can lodge in the animal’s throat.  Either of these will lead to surgery, and possibly death, so call an animal hospital immediately. These can also be hazardous to our cat companions.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic, while delicious, contain a substance that will poison a pet.  Thiosulphate appears in raw onions in higher quantities than in garlic.  It takes a few days for symptoms to appear in a pet, but they include anemia, vomiting, and can cause his red blood cells to burst.  Contact your veterinarian if these are ingested by your pets.


Coffee, like chocolate, contains a stimulant that our canine friends cannot absorb properly.  The symptoms match those of theobromine poisoning and can lead to being sick or even death.  While your dog may not try to drink from your morning coffee cup, they may try to get into coffee grounds that are tossed away in the trash. Take care to keep trash stored in areas inaccessible to your curious pets. Veterinarians see this toxicity appear from many other sources, as well.

Safer Treat Options – Show You Care

Remember, what you eat may be delicious, but it wasn’t made with a dog in mind.  Just like you would not eat their food, your pet should not eat your treats. Have special treats within close reach to reward your them or give them a special snack on occasion, and save your food for your two-legged family members.  Our entire veterinary team loves pets, and we’re pet owners, too! We’d be happy to suggest fido-friendly treats that they will love, and even have a variety of them available in our vet clinic.

Vet Near Me – Smyrna GA Veterinary Care

Should your pet consume one of the above foods, please call our veterinarians at  VETERINARYCARE At Belmont ™ veterinary team immediately for medical attention. Our office is located in the Shops at Belmont area in Smyrna, GA, and conveniently offers evening hours until 9 pm. We are committed to the wellness of our patients and offer full service, quality veterinary services in Cobb County, whether your pet is sick and requires immediate medical attention, or if you are looking for affordable wellness services and preventive care for the overall health of your animals. If you are not yet a client of our clinic, we welcome you to contact us for a visit.

we know many of these foods make an extended appearance during the holiday season as Smyrna, GA residents are celebrating, so your pets may be exposed to them more frequently. A little preventive care goes a long way in keeping accidents from happening in the first place. The last thing that you would want to do is need to take a trip to the animal hospital. Should you have an emergency, or another question about your dog or cat, our veterinarians are here to help and we welcome new clients to make an appointment with us! Your pet’s health and wellness are important to us.