As any dog owner knows, you have to keep your food out of reach of dogs. For the most part, the worst thing that normally happens is you’ll end up having shared a plate with your dog. However, some foods are dangerous for dogs. In this post I’m looking at Whippets and foods to avoid for them specifically.
Whippets and Foods All Dogs Should Avoid
My Dear Whippet is a blog about, erm, Whippets. As a result most of the people reading this article will be Whippet owners.
However, the following list is relevant to all dog owners since it contains dangerous foods any breed must avoid.
Want to know more about Whippets? Check out my Whippet dog breed information page to find out everything about this lovely creature!
1. Raisins and Grapes
It seems ridiculous that raisins and grapes are foods that cause such severe damage to Whippets, but there you go.
Grapes and raisins (which of course are just dried grapes) cause liver damage and kidney failure. The precise element within them that causes such catastrophic damage is not presently known… but the effects most certainly are.
The symptoms of grape and raisin toxicity are:
- Increased drinking
- Not eating
- Abdominal pain
- Liver damage
- Kidney failure
2. Peaches, Plums and Persimmons
Persimmons are not a problem in my household since we never buy them… however, we often have peaches and plums.
The flesh of the persimmon is likely beneficial for dogs since it contains vitamins A and C. However, persimmon seeds are a potential problem since they can block your whippet’s digestive system, so they need to be avoided.
The same is true for the stones from peaches and plums. However worse still is that peach and plum stones contain cyanide which is toxic.
All chocolate contains the stimulant theobromine, which is another food that’s toxic to dogs. Theobromine causes kidney failure in dogs so it’s another food to keep out of their way.
The darker the chocolate, the higher the content of theobromine… so dark chocolate lovers beware.
The symptoms of chocolate poisoning are:
- Increased drinking
- Excessively urinating
- Increased heart rate and heart failure
- Kidney failure
This is a really tricky thing to monitor. Many people keep chocolate at home and if you’ve got kids, there’s always more of a danger. The little chocolate treat your kids feed to your dog could result in severe illness.
Educate your children about the risks in feeding human chocolate to dogs and avoid leaving chocolate within range of your sweet-toothed mutt!
If you want to give your dogs a chocolatey treat, give them specific dog chocolates that use carob as a substitute as it’s non-toxic for dogs.
4. Milk and Dairy Foods
You might think that milk and dairy foods are pretty innocuous. Although they’re not as dangerous as some of the foods in this list, milk and dairy-based produce can cause:
Some dogs might also be allergic to dairy foods, in which case they might make them itchy and make them scratch themselves excessively.
Over scratching can become a problem making skin extremely sore.
5. Raw Eggs
May vets recommend that dogs avoid raw eggs because of the potential for salmonella or E. coli infections…. neither is something you want your little Whippet to suffer from.
There is some debate on the subject of dogs eating uncooked eggs though since eggs are considered a “complete food” for dogs.
Nonetheless a risk does exist so it’s probably best to err on the side of caution.
6. Raw Fish & Meat
Uncooked fish and meat also have the potential to cause bacterial food poisoning.
Some raw fish also have parasites that can be transmitted to dogs if they’re not cooked.
To avoid the associated risks of raw meat and fish, only give your Whippet meat and fish that’s been cooked and avoid feeding them anything raw.
7. Cooked Bones
Cooked meat is fine… but cooked bones are a big no.
When you cook bones they become weak and splinter easily. These splinters can block your Whippet’s digestive system or even puncture the gut, which is a potentially fatal condition.
Avoid at all costs!
We love avocados in my home… but whippets need to give them a wide berth.
Avocados contain a fungicidal toxin called persin, which is harmless to us humans. However, persin can cause stomach upsets in dogs and has the more worrying potential to cause long-term heart damage.
9. Corn on the Cob
Corn is fine but corn cobs most definitely are not.
While not strictly food, a corn cob is another food related item than can block your dog’s gut. It might seem a nice thing for your Whippet to chew on, but really you should avoid feeding any dog corn on the cob.
10. Macadamia nuts
Rich and delicious, macadamias are a staple found in many homes, but if you have a dog you must avoid feeding them these nuts.
Macadamia nuts are toxic for dogs. Minor symptoms of macadamia poisoning include:
- Joint pain
- Stomach upsets
- General weakness
- Loss of coordination
A Whippet with macadamia poisoning might not be able to stand and may even suffer limb paralysis.
Dogs recover from macadamia toxicity, but you’ll likely have to take them to a vet to manage their pain relief until they recover.
11. The Onion Family
This was big news to me at one time. All members of the onion family are toxic to Whippets regardless of whether they’re cooked or raw.
Onions, garlic and chives can irritate your dog’s digestive system and cause damage to red blood cells. Depending on the amount consumed symptoms of onion poisoning can be:
- Pale gums
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of appetite
- Red coloured urine
12. Bread Dough
You should never give your Whippet uncooked dough under any circumstances.
The yeast in uncooked dough causes the fermentation that makes bread dough increase in size. If your Whippet eats a large amount of uncooked dough, this “rising” process will continue inside its stomach. This can stretch your Whippet’s tummy and cause extreme pain.
13. Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
As for humans, sugar is generally a bad thing for Whippets.
If you don’t want an overweight dog with bad teeth avoid giving your Whippet sugary foods. Let’s not forget that diabetes is an issue for dogs too.
Furthermore, sweeteners such as xylitol are extremely toxic to dogs. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning are serious and include:
- Lack of coordination
- Depression or lethargy
Xylitol causes hypoglycaemia in dogs and it has a relationship with liver failure and blood clotting problems.
Always check food treats you give to your dog (such as peanut butter) to see if they include xylitol, and avoid them if they do.
We’ve had the sweet, now comes the savoury.
Like sugary things, too much salt is bad for everyone… including Whippets and all other dog breeds.
Over-consumption of salts causes dehydration and makes your dog thirsty. Worse than this is the potential for sodium ion poisoning, which causes stomach upset, tremors, seizures and even death. Symptoms include:
- Decreased appetite
- Loss of coordination
- Excessive thirst or urination
You should avoid sharing salty foods such as potato chips with your dog at all times… no matter how much it begs and sits at your feet looking longingly up at you!
15. Baking Ingredients
It’s not just certain foods Whippets should avoid… it’s also food ingredients.
In large enough quantities, baking soda and baking powder are both toxic to dogs. Great for cakes… bad for Whippets!
The same is true for spices such as nutmeg. In large doses it’s toxic for humans and dogs are no different.
Keep baking ingredients like these safely hidden away… remember a Whippet will eat almost any food or ingredient.
Other seemingly harmless drinks such as tea and coffee contain caffeine, which can be fatal to dogs.
But you’ll find caffeine in many different foods too: cocoa, chocolate and some fizzy drinks all contain caffeine.
Dogs are unable to metabolise caffeine and so even moderate amounts of are very dangerous, especially for smaller dogs. Caffeine poisoning in dogs manifests in:
- Tachycardia (increased heart rate) and abnormal heart rhythms
- Hypertension (increased blood pressure)
You know how powerful the effects of alcohol can be on humans… the effects on dogs can be disastrous:
- Drooling and vomiting
- Weakness and collapse
- Decreased respiratory rate and even respiratory failure
- Hypoglycemia (decreased blood sugar)
- Hypotension (decreased blood pressure)
Even if your Whippet consumes small doses of alcohol it can cause long-term damage or even death.
What Should You Do if Your Whippet Eats These Foods?
Prevention is of course better than cure. However, Whippets are sneaky eaters and sometimes it’s hard to prevent them eating something they shouldn’t.
In my experience with raisins, the best thing to do is not wait to see how they are.
If your dog eats anything from this list, take them to a vet immediately and let professionals manage the situation for you… even if it means you simply have to leave your Whippet with them so they can keep an eye on them.
We had a close shave ourselves when our Whippet ate raisins but we reacted quickly and took her to a vet immediately.
However, I’m aware that other Whippets have not been so fortunate.
Always try to keep all food away from your Whippet and don’t be tempted to let them finish off your plate.
Keep human snack foods away from them too… and don’t leave them in a place where your Whippet can get them.
If you ever suspect your Whippet has eaten foods best avoided, take them to a vet as quickly as you can.
Has your Whippet ever eaten anything it shouldn’t have? I’d love to hear your experiences or views on Whippet foods to avoid. Please share them in the comments below.