Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in everything from chewing gum and baked goods to vitamins, can cause "sudden drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), seizures and liver failure," according to a warning issued by the FDA. Always make sure to read the ingredients on a package before sharing foods with your dog -- xylitol is in more items than you could possibly imagine.
While the flesh of an avocado might not be toxic to your dog (unless he's allergic to the substance persin and eats it in large doses), swallowing the pit of the green fruit can cause choking or intestinal obstruction, according to the Pet Poison Helpline. What you think might be a fun toy could wind up being deadly.
You've likely already been told to keep your box of truffles out of reach from your dog -- and for good reason. Cacao beans contain a deadly chemical called theobromine, which becomes toxic to dogs if ingested. Experts say that depending on the type of chocolate -- white, milk, or dark chocolate -- and body weight, your dog could suffer from stomach cramps, extreme thirst, hyperactivity, shaking, and seizures. Too much theobromine poisoning in the system could even result in fatality.
Coffee, Cola, and Other Caffeinated Beverages
A substance called methylxanthine is found in these beverages. Symptoms range from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures and death, depending on the level of poisoning.
Garlic and Onions
Onions and garlic bring intense flavor to your pizza but can be extremely harmful to your canine family members. According to experts at Banfield Pet Hospital, it doesn't matter how your onions or your garlic is prepared -- raw, shredded, or caramelized -- your beloved pet should not chow down on it. And what happens if your doggie "has just one"? Red blood cells become affected, which prevents oxygen from flowing throughout the body, and can also cause anemia and potentially result in fatality.
Grapes and Raisins
While experts have yet to figure out what exactly is in grapes or raisins that makes them so toxic to dogs, numerous studies have concluded that any amount fed to your dog can be dangerous. Giving your dog even a small bite of an oatmeal raisin cookie can cause kidney failure. Other complications include dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and lack of urination.
How to Keep Your Dog Safe
Symptoms of dog poisoning will vary, but keep watch for weakness, vomiting, tremors, and even seizures. If you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, note the amount ingested and your dog's weight, and contact your local veterinarian or the 24-hour hotline ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) for immediate consultation.