My Friend’s Chihuahua ingested chocolate the other day. They incurred a vet bill of $3182 but thankfully the dog survived.
Not all dogs are lucky.
Many foods that are safe for human consumption are extremely poisonous or toxic to our Chihuahuas. And we must not forget the fact that Chihuahuas are small dogs. Therefore, even a tiny amount of these unsafe/toxic human foods can cause a huge adverse reaction in its delicate system.
It is no surprise that hundreds of dogs die each year from eating something they weren’t supposed to eat. Majority of these incidents arise due to lack of public knowledge.
This guide is to outline current knowledge of human foods that are frequently involved in the poisoning of our tiny Chihuahuas.
30 Bad Foods That Are Poisonous & Toxic to Chihuahuas
Several foods, while safe for humans, pose a threat to our tiny Chihuahuas.
As a Chihuahua owner, you may want to avoid stocking these foods completely or at least keep them out of your pet’s reach.
Also, please educate your family members, especially your children, about these foods.
If needed, buy this printable list of toxic foods for dogs and paste it on your refrigerator. This way, everyone in your household will know which foods to never feed your Chihuahua.
Here are 30 most toxic human food to keep away from your small Chihuahua.
1. Allium SPP. (Onions and garlic)
Organosulfoxides present in onions, chives, and garlic are extremely toxic to Chihuahuas. If your pet chews on garlic or onions, the reaction produces a complex mix of sulfur compounds, creating a serious toxic reaction – even anemia in your tiny pet.
Even cooking onion and garlic does not reduce the toxic effect of allium spp. on dog’s stomach. There have been several cases of dog and cat poisoning due to onion and garlic.
Your pet will need immediate vet examination and even hospitalization. It may be necessary to empty your dog’s stomach through induced vomiting.
Ethanol is found in many household items and foods including medicines, mouthwashes, perfumes, etc. If your small Chihuahua accidentally ingests alcoholic beverages, then toxicity can occur within minutes.
Even the ingestion of rotten apples and berries can cause ethanol toxicity in Chihuahuas. Once ingested, ethanol quickly crosses the blood-brain-barrier and cause vomiting, ataxia (loss of control over body movements), lethargy, hypothermia, tremors, dehydration, and liver damage, etc.
A dog might become comatose or suffer from respiratory distress. Many small dogs are even known to die within 48 hours after ingestion.
3. Grapes & their dried products
Grapes and its dried counterparts like sultanas, raisins, and currants are known to cause acute renal failure in Chihuahuas.
Your Chi could accidentally ingest these dried fruits/fruits through mince pies, cakes, cupcakes, etc.
Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, and abdominal pain. If you see these signs in your Chi, please take it to the vet right away. Your vet might administer emetic and activated charcoal repeatedly for prompt decontamination.
More and more people have started home brewing of beer and other alcoholic beverages. As a result, companion animals like cats and dogs are at a risk of poisoning from beer hops.
Hops, both fresh and spent, contain many toxic compounds like resins, essential oils, phenolic compounds, tannins, and nitrogenous compounds leading to symptoms like anxiety, panting, vomiting, abdominal pain, and seizures.
Dogs that are suspected to have ingested hops should be decontaminated aggressively using emetics. Your Chihuahua will also need cooling measures like ice baths to bring down its body temperature.
5. Macadamia nuts
The ingestion of just 0.7g/kg of macadamia nuts can cause symptoms like weakness of limbs, depression, vomiting, ataxia, abdominal pain, etc.
The good news is that most dogs suspected of macadamia nut poisoning do not die and a majority of them recover within 24-48 hours.
6. Caffeine and Theobromine (Coffee & Chocolate)
Nearly 10 most common cases of toxicosis in dogs reported to the American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) involve baking chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate toxicity.
Note: just 4 tsp. of instant coffee can be lethal to a 5-6 lb. dog!
Initial sign of toxicity from caffeine and chocolate include diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, and urinary incontinence. As toxicity progresses, some small dogs show cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension, ataxia, seizures, and some even become comatose.
The good news is that dogs can be saved through detoxification if it is done within 2-4h of chocolate ingestion. Death usually occurs if the pet goes in cardiac arrest.
This is a 5-sugar carbon and an artificial sweetener. It is present in chewing gum, candy, cookies, peanut butter, cakes, and baked goods. Since it has antibacterial properties, this dangerous food for dogs is also used in dental care products like toothpastes, mouth-washes, etc.
Unfortunately, even many water additives for dental care contain xylitol and this has increased exposure of household pets to this harmful toxin. Initial sign of xylitol poisoning in Chihuahuas is vomiting. Lethargy, seizures, ataxia, and gastrointestinal hemorrhages can also occur.
8. Human medicines
Granted human medicines are not part of food but they can sometimes be easily accessible to our tiny dogs. Your Chihuahua can easily pick up tiny pills that fall on the floor. The worst human medicines for Chihuahuas are:
- Ibuprofen and aspirin – never give these to your Chi thinking they will bring down fever or reduce pain
- Anti-cancer drugs
- Human vitamins
- Cold and flu medicines
- Diet pills
9. Raw yeast dough
Yeast in bread dough can lead to ethanol toxicity in small dogs like Chihuahuas. Even a small bit of yeast can rapidly rise inside your pet’s intestinal tract causing abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. The toxins could even enter its bloodstream.
The persin content in avocadoes can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, etc. in Chihuahuas. Persin is a fungicidal toxin which can cause debilitating symptoms in your Chi.
11. Spoilt or bad food
Rotten fruit and spoiled or contaminated food can impact your Chihuahua very badly. The bacterial multiply inside the digestive tract leading to pain, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. Some Chis also need IV fluids and antibiotics to prevent dehydration and worsening of symptoms.
12. Tea leaves
Tea leaves, both raw and brewed, can lead to caffeine poisoning in Chihuahuas. Prevent your pet from sipping tea or licking leftover tea in your teacup as it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other painful symptoms.
13. Fatty foods
Fatty foods like bacon strips are extremely tasty and your Chi might bed for some. However, fatty foods can cause inflammation or pancreatitis which can be especially harmful to smaller dog breeds like Chihuahuas, Shih Tzu, miniature Schnauzers, etc.
14. Raw bones
Turkey bones and chicken bones are easily accessible to Chihuahuas especially during the Holiday season. A tiny Chi can easily poke its nose in the garbage bin and grab cooked turkey/chicken bones. These could end up shattering and hurting your Chihuahua’s intestines. The tiny shards can even choke a small Chihuahua puppy.
15. Raw eggs/raw fish
Raw eggs deplete biotin causing biotin deficiency in Chihuahuas. A Chi deficient in biotin could have hair loss, dull and dry coat, and bald patches. Furthermore, raw eggs/raw fish could carry salmonella which can cause salmonella toxicity or salmonellosis in small and large pets. Symptoms of salmonellosis are vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
Cherry and cherry pits are toxic to dogs because they contain cyanide. In excess, cherries can lead to cyanide poisoning in the form of labored breathing, red gums, dilated pupils, etc. Please see your vet right away to have your pet’s tummy flushed out.
While asparagus won’t kill your Chihuahua, its ferns and stems can be hard to digest and could cause severe bloating, vomiting, gas, and indigestion. So please avoid feeding this seemingly healthy vegetable to your buddy.
If your Chihuahuas has eaten red, green, or cherry tomatoes, leaves, seeds, and stems, then please keep an eye on it. Initial signs of tomato poisoning in dogs is indigestion and stomach upset. Some Chihuahuas also suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, and confusion. If you see these signs of tomato toxicity, please call your vet.
There are nearly hundreds of different types of mushrooms available in the market and in the wild. All varieties like bella, baby bell, Portobello, wild mushrooms, and button mushrooms can cause toxicity in your small dog.
The variety that is most toxic to dogs is muscarinic mushroom – it is known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other painful symptoms in pets. Symptoms can occur within 15 minutes of ingestion although some pets are known to have a delayed reaction.
20. Limes and lemons
Limes and lemons and their juice, seeds, and peels won’t kill your pet but it could cause illness like vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Thankfully, most Chihuahuas do not like the taste of lemon. A few drops of lemon or lime juice are OK for your pet but please dilute it several times with water. In case of mild symptoms, allow your pet to rest and do not give it any solids. Simply give some water or broth to let the toxins flush out of the body.
Plum poisoning in dogs is a serious matter – one that you should not ignore. Please see your vet right away if your Chi has ingested an entire plum with the pits. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, discomfort, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
If consumed in large quantities, grapefruit can be fatal to your Chi. So please avoid feeding this fruit although it is healthy to humans.
Salt and salty foods can lead to salt toxicity in dogs, especially small dog breeds like Chihuahuas. A little bit of salt is okay but more than 1.5 grams of salt per pound of body weight can lead to salt poisoning symptoms like vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
Pepper contains the same toxins as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants – mainly solanine which is a glycoalkaloid toxin. Hot peppers can also cause burning sensation in your small Chihuahua causing retching and vomiting.
Three whole nutmegs or a teaspoon of nutmeg powder can cause hallucinations, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, vomiting, and seizures in your tiny Chihuahua. Please see your vet immediately if it has swallowed large quantities of nutmeg.
26. Sugary foods
Cats cannot taste sugar and sweet foods since they do not have the receptors needed to separate sugar taste. However, dogs can taste sweet foods because of furaneol chemical present on their tongues. This makes sugary foods very alluring to your Chihuahua.
That does not mean you should feed them sugary foods as too much can cause obesity, diabetes, and even shorten your Chihuahua’s lifespan considerably.
27. Apple seeds
Apple is generally a safe fruit to feed your Chihuahua. However, please keep the apple core and seeds out of your pets reach. Apple seeds contain cyanide which can restrict the flow of oxygen leading to hypoxia in your Chi. Apple seeds can also cause intestinal blockage in your small pet.
28. Junk food
Junk foods contain excess oil, harmful fats, sodium, salt, and sugar – all of which are very harmful to your Chi. In excess, junk foods like chips, French Fries, popcorn, crackers, cookies, baked and fried goods, etc. can cause obesity, dehydration, diabetes, and other problems that could reduce your pet’s lifespan.
29. Potato skins/raw potatoes
Raw potatoes and their skin contain the same toxin – solanine – found in other nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. These can – in excess – lead to solanine toxicity in the form of rapid breathing, heart problems, respiratory distress, gastric troubles, etc.
30. Dairy foods – Milk, ice cream, etc.
Most Chihuahuas have lactose intolerance. While a few teaspoons of cow’s or goat’s milk won’t cause any harm, in excess, dairy products like milk, cheese, ice cream, etc. can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastric issues in your little dog. Milk also contains sugar which Chihuahuas cannot digest.
Conclusion – 30 Bad Foods Toxic & Poisonous to Chihuahua
We all want our Chihuahuas to eat well and live a long, healthy life. Naturally, in addition to giving them nourishing foods, we must also keep them safe from toxic table food.
Many human foods like alcohol, candy, chocolates, and coffee are extremely toxic to these small dogs. If you suspect your pet has ingested one of the above 30 foods, please call (888) 426-4435 or your vet right away.