Pet Care

Foods Dogs Shouldn’t Eat

Foods Dogs Shouldn't Eat Dog with Bowl of Food Image

Foods Dogs Shouldn’t Eat & Why

Most pet owners know you shouldn’t feed a dog chocolate. There are however, many other foods dogs shouldn’t eat. Here’s a list of foods you should avoid giving to your dog:

  • Alcohol – Can causes vomiting, diarrhea, intoxication, coordination and breathing problems, abnormal blood acidity, coma, and death.
  • Avocado – Contains persin, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and congestion in the heart. Sadly, the pit is a choking hazard and contains a high concentration of persin.
  • Bones – Bones can be a choking hazard and may splinter. These splinters can cause injuries in the mouth and throat. They may also lodge in or puncture the digestive tract. Poultry and pork bones are particularly prone to splintering. Some veterinarians say you can give dogs large bones from raw meat, but make sure to supervise them to ensure they don’t choke.
  • Chocolate – Contains theobromine and caffeine, which can elevate heart rate, cause vomiting, diarrhea, frequent urination, tremors, restlessness, seizures, and death.
  • Caffeine – Stimulates the nervous system, can cause racing heart, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death.
  • Citrus – Citric acid can cause irritation and issues in the central nervous system if too much is ingested. Stems, leaves, peels, and seeds are most problematic as they contain the highest concentrations of citric acids.
  • Coconut and coconut products – If eaten in excess, oil in the meat and milk of coconuts can upset the stomach and cause diarrhea. Coconut water has a high potassium content, which can cause heart problems.
  • Corn on the cob – Corn in small amounts isn’t harmful, but the cob in a full ear of corn is a choking hazard, and, if ingested, can block the intestines.
  • Fruit pits and seeds – Can cause intestinal problems and contain cyanide, which is poisonous.
  • Grapes and Raisins – Even in small doses, these can cause vomiting, depression, lethargy, and kidney failure.
  • Marijuana – There is very little research on the effects of marijuana in dogs, but common symptoms that have been observed include slow response times, dribbling urine, abnormal heart rate, hyperactivity, neurological stimulation, coma, and death.
  • Milk/dairy – Can cause gas, diarrhea, and digestive problems.
  • Nicotine – Can cause vomiting, abnormal heart rate, tremors, and weakness.
  • Nuts – Nuts contain high fat levels that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts are very dangerous in particular. They can cause tremors, vomiting, high temperature, weakness in the hind legs, and death.
  • Onion, garlic, chives – These contain disulfides and sulfoxides that can cause anemia and damage to red blood cells. Symptoms include weakness, vomiting, and trouble breathing.
  • Rhubarb leaves and tomato leaves – These contain oxalates, which can cause excess drool, vomiting, diarrhea, low energy, muscle weakness, tremors, and blood in the urine.
  • Salt – Small amounts of salt won’t hurt your dog, but an excess of salt can lead to sodium ion poisoning, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, fever, seizures, and death. Humans use salt to add extra flavor to food, but dogs don’t need it to make their food more appealing.
  • Xylitol – A sugar substitute often found in gum, candy, and baked goods, this sweetener can lower blood sugar and cause seizures, liver failure, and death.
  • Yeast dough – active yeast can rise in your dog’s stomach and cause gas and discomfort. Too much can rupture the stomach or intestines. Furthermore, yeast creates alcohol as it ferments, which can lead to problems caused by alcohol.


What to do if your dog eats something it shouldn’t:

Immediately seek help from a veterinarian if you think your dog has eaten something it shouldn’t, or if it’s exhibiting any of the above symptoms. You can also contact emergency animal hospitals, call the animal poison hotline, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Animal Poison Hotline: 888-232-8870
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435

Sending love to you and your pets,
The Kennel Link Team



AKC. “Exercise Caution When Giving Your Dog a Bone.” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 23 Feb. 2018.

“People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets.” ASPCA.

Schenker, Michelle. “28 Foods Not To Feed Your Dog (And A List Of Those You Can).”, 25 June 2019.

Kennel Cough

Kennel Cough Prevention Tips Header Image golden retriever dog with vet technician

What is Kennel Cough?

Canine contagious Tracheobronchitis, often called Kennel Cough, is a respiratory disease that dogs often catch when in kennels or shelters (hence the name). It’s most common in puppies and younger dogs. Tracheobronchitis is usually caused by the Bordetella bacterium, but it can be caused by other bacteria or viruses. Symptoms include:

  • Deep or hacking cough, often with a honking noise
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

How is it transmitted?

This disease can be transmitted between dogs through airborne droplets, direct contact, or contaminated surfaces. Because of its airborne nature, it is difficult to prevent with usual disinfectants and cleaning. However, there is a vaccine to protect dogs against Kennel Cough and this vaccine can prevent many cases of the disease. Because the disease is sometimes caused by other agents, the vaccine isn’t guaranteed to prevent a dog from catching the disease.
If you notice your dog displaying symptoms like those listed above, you should consult a veterinarian. Most cases are resolved within a couple weeks of rest, but the disease commonly leads to other infections, so a vet might prescribe antibiotics to combat the development of a secondary infection. A vet might also prescribe cough medicine to treat the symptoms of the disease.

Dogs infected with Kennel Cough should be isolated from other dogs to prevent the spread of the disease. They should be kept in a warm environment to minimize the chances of developing pneumonia and given plenty of rest. It’s also advisable to use a harness instead of a collar while a dog is infected in order to avoid further strain on the dog’s throat.
If your dog displays any of the following symptoms long-term or is over the age of three, it’s likely that something more is going on:

  • High Fever
  • Increased inactivity
  • Low appetite
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Difficulty breathing

Though Kennel Cough is usually not serious, you should always consult a veterinarian if your dog is displaying symptoms of disease. Even if your dogs symptoms present as Kennel Cough, it’s possible that they are caused by a different, more serious disease.

Quick facts:

What is it?

  • An airborne, contagious respiratory disease that affects dogs

What are the common symptoms?

  • Coughing (usually with honking sound)
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing

What should I do?

  • Consult a veterinarian
  • Isolate the dog
  • Keep the dog in a warm environment
  • Let the dog rest
  • Use a harness instead of a leash

What can I do to prevent it?

  • Vaccinate the dog—the Bordetella vaccine can prevent many cases of Tracheobronchitis
  • Consult a veterinarian for other recommendations if you plan to introduce the dog to a large group of other dogs (kennel, dog park, training facility, dog show, etc.)

For more information, visit:
Kennel Cough in Dogs – Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention
Kennel Cough
Sending love to you and your pets,
The Kennel Link Team

“Kennel Cough.” American Humane, 25 Aug. 2016.
“The Dangers of Kennel Cough in Dogs.” American Kennel Club, 23 Jan. 2019.

Storm Phobia

What is Storm Phobia Blog Header Image Cute dog Under Gray Blanket

What is Storm Phobia?

Many dogs get anxious before and during thunderstorms. This is sometimes referred to as storm phobia. This anxiety manifests itself in a number of ways—pacing, whining, trembling, or finding places to hide during the storm. Sometimes, the anxiety can become so intense that dogs might cause damage in the house, tearing up furniture or digging at floors, walls, or doors. Storm phobia often worsens over long periods of time when left unaddressed.


The causes of storm phobia are still being studied, but some known causes are falling barometric pressure, darkness that comes with gathering clouds, flashes of lightning, and the noise of thunder and wind. Dogs are also sensitive to static electricity, which can build up in their fur and shock them, adding to their anxiety.

If your dog becomes anxious during thunderstorms, you may be tempted to try to soothe him by petting, cuddling, or giving him treats. This is actually inadvisable because your dog will see these actions as rewards for nervous behavior and that will encourage this behavior to continue. However, you shouldn’t chastise your dog for nervous behavior, either, because that might increase his anxiety further.

Ways to help

The best thing to do, experts say, is to provide your dog with a place he feels safe. It’s likely that your dog will already have a location he goes to for comfort during storms, so, if possible, allow him to go there. Many dogs seek refuge in bathrooms behind toilets or in bathtubs. It’s also recommended that you add a white noise machine to this location to help drown out the sound of the storm.

Another thing you can do is find a snug vest, shirt, or wrap for your dog. This can provide a sense of comfort and may also prevent buildup of static electricity in your dog’s fur. Some suggest rubbing your dog’s coat with dryer sheets to reduce static electricity.
If your dog is prone to intense anxiety or panic during storms, you may want to ask your veterinarian about medication to help calm him down.

There are also things you can do when it’s not stormy outside to encourage calm behavior in your dog when storms do occur. Rewarding calm behavior constantly, especially when it’s not stormy, will encourage this behavior during a storm. When your dog acts calmly during a storm, reward this behavior to encourage your dog to continue to remain calm.

Desensitizing your dog to the sound of thunder by quietly playing recorded sounds of storms at irregular intervals can help. Slowly increase the volume over the span of a couple months, and while playing the noise, give your dog treats or play a game. This will not only get your dog used to the sound of thunder, it will also get him to associate the sound with something positive. This activity only recreates the sound of a storm and can’t simulate dropping barometric pressure or increased static electricity. Therefore, it isn’t always entirely effective, but it can still help prepare your dog for a storm.

Veterinarian Consult

You can also consult a veterinarian for further advice on how to help your dog with storm phobia. The main thing to keep in mind is to encourage good behavior rather than discouraging undesirable behavior. That way your dog will learn to associate calm with a reward and that will lead to less anxious behavior during a storm.

Sending love to you and your pets,
The Kennel Link Team

Langley, Liz. “Why Your Dog Freaks Out During Thunderstorms-And What to Do.” National Geographic, National Geographic, 28 Apr. 2018.
Sashin, Daphne. “How to Help Dogs That FearThunder (Storm Phobia).” WebMD, WebMD, 8 June 2012.