Chihuahuas are downright sneaky at times and frequently eat things they shouldn't. If you leave food on the coffee table or on a place where a small Chihuahua can reach it, chances are they'll sneak their way into it. Unfortunately, however, there are a number of foods that are dangerous and even lethal to a small Chihuahua. While certain foods are dangerous to all dog breeds, Chihuahuas are more susceptible due to their small size. Here we'll take a closer look at some of the commonly ingested "people" foods that can harm a small Chihuahua.
Of course some owners are guilty of feeding their Chihuahuas leftover food from the dinner table. Their mentality is that giving a Chihuahua leftover food is better than throwing it away. After all, it's almost impossible to deny those begging eyes starring up at you. The problem in doing so is that you may unknowingly give them something that harms them. Even though it's not your intention to hurt them, certain foods can cause a wide variety of health problems in Chihuahuas. Whether you feed your Chihuahua table food or they steal it from your plate, you need to educate yourself on what foods may cause them harm.
I think most of us have heard the old saying that chocolate can cause death when consumed by a dog. So, just how much truth is there to this? Unfortunately, chocolate can in fact kill Chihuahuas and any other breed of dog for that matter. The amount it takes to kill them depends on the type of chocolate consumed (baker's chocolate is more dangerous) and the size of the dog. Being the smallest dog breed in the world, Chihuahuas are at the most risk when it comes to chocolate consumption. According to reports, it takes less than an ounce of bakers chocolate to kill as Chihuahua that's under 6 pounds.
The main problem associated with chocolate consumption is that it contains a lethal chemical known as theobromine, which is in the methylxanthines class of alkaloid molecules. The reason why it's not harmful for humans to eat is because our bodies metabolize it at a much faster pace. When it's consumed by dogs, however, theobromine causes wide range of symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, restlessness, hyperactivity and seizures. Symptoms typically onset within just hours of consumption and death may occur in less than 24 hours.
Milk, Cheese and Other Dairy Products
Lets face it, most us aren't going to be giving their Chihuahuas a bowl full of milk, but they might sneak their way into your glass or cereal bowl when you aren't looking. Some owners will blow this off as a non-concerning issue, but milk can cause digestive issues in small Chihuahuas. You see, like most dogs Chihuahuas are lactose intolerant, which means they don't have the enzyme necessary to break down the complex sugars found in dairy milk. Although it's usually not fatal, a Chihuahua may experience vomiting and diarrhea after consuming milk, cheese or other dairy products.
Another reason why milk and dairy products should be avoided is because of their high fat content. Allowing your Chihuahua to consume a diet high in fat may lead to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
For most owners, onions don't come to mind when they think about foods that are dangerous for their Chihuahuas. If there's a big onion left on your plate after dinner, you probably aren't going to toss it down to chomper as he's begging on the floor. The problem, however, is that Chihuahuas are often fed foods that contain small amounts of onion. Even in small portions, onions can cause anemia, which is the destruction of red blood cells. In turn, this leads to respiratory problems, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and death in severe cases. Whether it's raw, cooked or even powdered onions, they should all be kept away from your Chihuahua.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes (red and white) and raisins are another dangerous food that many Chihuahua owners are completely unaware of. When they're consumed by a small Chihuahua, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea and kidney failure in as little as 2 hours. If they aren't treated within this time frame, more severe symptoms including renal failure may present themselves. The problem is that a lethal dose can be just a couple grapes or a handful of raisins, so you'll need to be extra cautious when eating them around your Chihuahua. The exact chemical that causes these symptoms in dogs is still unknown.
Although there there have been no fatal cases reported by the ASPCA and APCC, macadamia nuts are still considered toxic for Chihuahuas and small dogs. Like grapes, there's an unknown chemical present in macadamia nuts than seems to cause problems once consumed by Chihuahuas and small dogs.
After ingestion, they mat experience vomiting, fever, lethargy, tremors, muscle spasms and abdominal pain. As stated above, though, macadamia nuts have not been known to cause death, but you should still keep them away from your Chihuahua just to be on the safe side.
Do you give your Chihuahua a cup of steaming hot coffee in the morning? Okay, you probably don't, but Chihuahuas will drink and eat just about anything they can get their paws on, including coffee. Some owners may laugh at the sight of their small Chihuahua lapping up a cup a of coffee, but this can cause some serious health problems that no owners wants to see happen.
As you probably already know, coffee contains a powerful stimulant known as caffeine. Our bodies can handle moderates amount of caffeine because we're larger and more capable of metabolizing it. Chihuahuas, on the other hand, are small and unable to process this powerful stimulant. As a result, they may experience nervousness, restlessness, vomiting, weakness, increased heart rate and even organ failure in large doses.
Remember, coffee isn't the only substance that contains caffeine. Tea, tea bags, coffee grounds, energy drinks and energy supplements are other items that should be kept far away from your Chihuahua's grasp.
Many owners toss their Chihuahuas' bones without thinking twice. Even if there's little-to-no meat left on them, Chihuahuas will eagerly chew on them for hours, and seeing their happy faces is enough for most owners. The problem with bones isn't a chemical or ingredient they contain, but rather the possibility of them choking.
Whether they're chicken, beef or pork bones, they can splinter when being chewed on, causing razor-sharp pieces to get lodged in their throat. As a result, your Chihuahua may have suffocate from having their air passage blocked, or they may swallow these sharp splintered bones where it cuts them from the inside out. Stick with safe, all-natural dog chews, and always supervise your Chihuahuas as they consume them.