Who can resist those big brown doggie eyes when Fido strolls up to the table and is secretly begging “feed me, I REALLY like the look of your dinner”. Is a little treat from your plate really that bad for your dog? You might be eating the healthiest dinner possible, but a lot of ‘people food’ can result some nasty results for your dog and even lead to death.

Food with a high fat content such as avocados and macadamia nuts can wreak havoc on your dog’s tummy. We’re not just talking about whole raw products, even macadamia nuts in a cookie or avocado in guacamole, that Fido finds on the floor can potentially lead to poisoning for a small dog. You might have seen ‘doggie treats’ that look like chocolate. Most dogs are lactose intolerant, and white and brown chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic and can cause our furry friends to vomit, have diarrhoea and be excessively thirsty. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and death.

Grapes, currants, raisins and even cranberries can cause rapid kidney failure in dogs. Watch out for them in products such as trail mix, cookies and even breakfast cereals!!! Chives, onions and garlic can destroy a dog’s red blood cells leading to anaemia.

If you are holding a large birthday party, or you are having more than a handful of children at your home, it pays to lock up your dog for his own good, or have someone take him out for a long walk while the food is being served.

Please don’t give your dog a leftover bone after Sunday’s roast. Table scraps and bones often contain meat fat that can cause pancreatitis, and bones can splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog’s digestive system. Ouch!

The obvious ones to avoid are alcohol, caffeine, excessive salt (think potato chips) and drugs prescribed for humans – the most common cause of poisoning in dogs!!!!. Chocolate covered coffee beans are a double whammy of trouble for dogs!!! Avoid anything that will possibly become stuck in a dog’s intestinal tract such as corncobs or chewing gum.

If you are going away on holidays to make sure your husband, helper or house-sitter is well aware of what’s ok to feed your pets. Store all these items out of reach, don’t leave your purse on the floor, most importantly if you suspect your pet has eaten something harmful, call your vet immediately and be ready to provide as much information as possible about what they ate.