What not to feed a Labrador?

Answered by Tom Adger

Labradors are beloved family pets known for their big appetites and love for food. However, it’s important to be aware of the foods that can be harmful or toxic to them. Here is a detailed list of what not to feed your Labrador:

1. Onions, Garlic, and Chives: The onion family, whether they are in a dry, raw, or cooked form, can be particularly toxic to dogs. They contain compounds that can cause gastrointestinal irritation and damage red blood cells. It’s best to keep all forms of onions, garlic, and chives away from your Labrador’s reach.

2. Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is toxic to dogs. Dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate have higher levels of theobromine and can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and even seizures. It’s important to avoid giving any kind of chocolate to your Labrador.

3. Macadamia Nuts: Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, tremors, vomiting, and an increased body temperature in dogs. Even a small amount can be harmful, so it’s best to keep them out of your Labrador’s diet.

4. Corn on the Cob: While corn itself is not toxic to dogs, the cob can be a choking hazard and may cause an intestinal blockage if ingested. It’s important to remove the kernels from the cob before feeding corn to your Labrador.

5. Avocado: Avocados contain a substance called persin, which can be toxic to dogs in large quantities. While the flesh of the avocado is generally safe for dogs, it’s best to avoid feeding them the skin, pit, or any guacamole that may contain other harmful ingredients like onions or garlic.

6. Artificial Sweetener (Xylitol): Xylitol is commonly found in sugar-free products like chewing gum, candies, baked goods, and some peanut butter brands. It can cause a rapid release of insulin in dogs, leading to low blood sugar levels, seizures, and liver failure. Always check the ingredient list and avoid any products containing xylitol.

7. Alcohol: Alcohol can have a much stronger effect on dogs than on humans. Even small amounts can cause intoxication, leading to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors, and even coma. It’s important to keep all alcoholic beverages out of your Labrador’s reach.

8. Cooked Bones: While raw bones can be beneficial for dogs, cooked bones can splinter and cause serious injuries. They may lead to choking, blockages, or lacerations in the digestive tract. It’s best to avoid giving your Labrador any cooked bones, including chicken, fish, or beef bones.

Remember, this is not an exhaustive list, and there are other foods that can be harmful to Labradors. It’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian about your dog’s specific dietary needs and any concerns you may have. By being aware of what not to feed your Labrador, you can help keep them safe and healthy.