Your dog may be a member of your family, yet that doesn't mean it's safe for him to eat the same foods as you do. Some spices are toxic for Fido, and shouldn't be added to his food or left in an area where he might have accessed to them. It only takes a few seconds for your dog to gobble up a significant amount of harmful spice, which could result in severe illness or death.
The home remedy touting garlic as flea prevention for your pet is be more harmful for the animal than the initial fleas. Don't add it to your dog's food or sprinkle it on his bedding or fur. Garlic, like its relative the onion, is not a pet friendly food. It contains thiosulphate, a substance toxic to dogs, which can trigger a type of anaemia causing the red blood cells to break down. After ingesting garlic, signs might include a loss of appetite along with vomiting and diarrhoea. Garlic is even more toxic to cats.
The nutmeg tree produces two different spices, nutmeg and mace. Both are potential hallucinogens, which can cause severe highs and lows for the central nervous system. Consuming nutmeg can cause severe abdominal pain and vomiting. It can also lead to seizures, tremors and in some cases, death.
Paprika can irritate the skin and gastrointestinal tract, along with other mucous membranes. Paprika is a spice derived from ground peppers, such as bell peppers or hot red peppers. Pepper in general can irritate your dog.
While some alternative medicine websites discuss using turmeric, a spice which is a member of the ginger family, in treating arthritis in dogs, the spice can irritate the gastrointestinal tract and skin. Consult with your veterinarian before using turmeric or another spice or herb to treat your dog.
Anise, a liquorice-flavoured spice, is a tempting flavour, yet for your dogs, it can cause minor central nervous system depression as well as an irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, after consuming a large amount. Anise is a familiar spice used in some cookie recipes. While you may not consume an entire batch of cookies in one sitting, your family dog will have no problem completing the task if left unattended with the anise-laced cookies.
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- UC Davis: Vet MD, Toxicology for Companion Animals
- Humane Society of the United States: Foods Poisonous to Pets
- ASCPC: People Foods
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Being prepared in an emergency
- The Dog Guide: Dog Treats: Do You Know What's Safe and What Isn't?
- Earth Clinic: Turmeric