Dogs have a habit of grabbing and eating food items commonly found in the household, and many pet owners love to feed their pets.
But while sharing a bite with your furry friend might seem like a loving gesture, it’s essential to know that some foods we enjoy can be harmful to dogs.
This is especially true for smaller breeds like the Scottish Terrier, or “Scottie,” where even small quantities of certain foods can be hazardous.
While it’s best to feed your Scottie high quality dog food, we know that’s it’s unrealistic to think they will never get a taste of human food.
Scotties’ small size makes them more vulnerable to some of the dangers found in human foods. Some of the items on this list are potentially dangerous for all dogs, but the risks are amplified for our little friends.
Here is a list of 20 things that Scottish Terriers and other dogs should never eat, as they are toxic to their health.
Please note that this is not a comprehensive list, and there may be other foods that aren’t suitable for dogs.
Chocolate, a well-known treat made from cacao, contains substances like theobromine and caffeine that are not metabolized well by dogs, including Scotties.
These ingredients can cause toxic reactions such as central nervous system stimulation, rapid breathing (Tachypnea), cardiac arrhythmias, muscle spasms, and hyperthermia.
Symptoms of chocolate toxicity in a Scottish Terrier might also include vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst and urination.
Even a small piece of chocolate can be dangerous, so it’s best to keep it out of reach.
Caffeine, a central nervous system stimulant found in tea, coffee beans, chocolate, and many beverages, belongs to the methylxanthine drug class.
If a Scottie accidentally ingests products containing caffeine, it can lead to toxic effects such as heavy breathing, a racing heart rate, increased thirst, and diuresis (increased frequency and production of urine). Gastrointestinal disturbances like vomiting and diarrhea can also occur.
For a Scottish Terrier, even a small amount can be dangerous, so be mindful to keep these items away.
Alcohol, found in beverages like beer, wine, and champagne, is highly toxic for dogs, including Scottish Terriers.
Even in small amounts, alcohol can cause CNS depression, leading to sleepiness and disoriented behavior. For a Scottie, it can also cause the blood sugar to drop, leading to hypothermia (low body temperature).
Other alarming signs include vomiting, increased thirst and urination, tremors, and in severe cases, coma or even death.
Kale, a green vegetable related to cabbage, is a rich source of calcium oxalate, which may be nutritious for humans but can pose health risks for dogs like Scottish Terriers if ingested in large amounts.
While small quantities of kale typically don’t cause problems, excessive consumption can lead to the formation of kidney and bladder stones.
These calcium oxalate crystals can deposit in the urinary bladder and kidney, leading to urine retention, a condition that can be life-threatening for your Scottie.
Avocados, also known as butter fruit or alligator pear, are toxic for dogs, including Scotties. Rich in micronutrients for humans, they contain a compound called Persin, found in the seeds, leaves, tree bark, and even the fruit itself.
Ingestion of avocado can cause gastrointestinal disturbances like vomiting and diarrhea in a Scottish Terrier.
The seeds can get stuck in the stomach and intestine, causing gastric obstruction that can be fatal.
Onions contain a compound called N-propyl disulfide, which is toxic to dogs, including Scottish Terriers.
This compound can cause oxidative damage to red blood cell membranes, leading to hemolytic anemia.
This condition is marked by a reduced number of circulating red blood cells and symptoms such as paleness of gums, lethargy, weakness, and red-colored urine (hematuria) in your Scottie.
Garlic, like onions, contains thiosulfate and can cause hemolytic anemia in dogs, including Scotties. Ingestion of around 15 to 30 grams per kg body weight of garlic can lead to toxicity.
Signs to watch for in your Scottish Terrier include rapid breathing, jaundice, lethargy, fainting, dark-colored urine, and gastrointestinal upset.
Chives, part of the Allium family like onions and garlic, contain sulfide groups that can cause hemolysis of red blood cells in dogs, including Scotties, if ingested in large amounts.
The oxidative injury to cells can lead to symptoms such as paleness of gums, jaundice, dark red urine, drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea in your Scottish Terrier.
9. Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins, though sometimes given as treats, are toxic to dogs, including Scotties.
These fruits contain tartaric acid, which can lead to severe gastrointestinal upset, liver, and kidney failure.
Both seeded and seedless varieties are harmful.
Early signs in your Scottish Terrier include vomiting and drooling, followed by polyuria, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and tremors.
10. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts, edible for humans and often used in desserts, are not well-tolerated by dogs, including Scottish Terriers. Even a few nuts can negatively impact a Scottie’s health.
Signs of macadamia nut toxicity include lethargy, fever, joint stiffness, stumbling gait, and vomiting.
Being high in fat content, these nuts may also cause pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas.
Nutmeg, a popular spice from the seeds of the Myristica fragrans plant, is toxic for dogs, including Scotties.
Though it has medicinal uses for humans, in dogs it can cause psychotropic effects like hallucinations.
Symptoms of nutmeg poisoning in a Scottish Terrier might also include rapid breathing, abdominal pain, and seizures.
12. Xylitol (Check Your Peanut Butter!)
Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in products like sugar-free gums, baked goods, peanut butter, candies, and toothpaste, is highly toxic for dogs, including Scottish Terriers.
Ingestion can cause a rapid increase in insulin production, leading to a significant drop in blood sugar, resulting in hypoglycemia, hypothermia, liver failure, vomiting, and recurrent seizures.
Always check the label of peanut butter and other treats you may have for your Scottie, as even small amounts can be hazardous.
13. Corn on the Cob
While small amounts of corn are generally safe for dogs like Scottish Terriers, the ingestion of corn along with the cob can be dangerous.
The cob can cause gastric obstruction, gastric rupture, intestinal volvulus, or intussusception (telescoping of intestinal segments).
Signs in your Scottie may include profuse vomiting, abdominal pain, and a gas-filled stomach.
Avoid giving your dog cob at all costs.
14. Cooked Bones
While raw bones can be suitable for dogs, including Scotties, cooked bones should be avoided. Cooking removes the collagen and nutrients, making the bone brittle and prone to breaking into pieces that can cause obstruction in the stomach or intestine.
This can lead to acute gastroenteritis, marked by severe gastrointestinal ulcers, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea.
The obstruction caused by the bone fragments may also result in gastric distension, necrosis (cell death), and endotoxic shock, a life-threatening condition for your Scottish Terrier.
15. Lemons and Limes
Lemons and limes are generally not harmful to dogs, including Scottish Terriers, in small quantities.
However, these fruits contain citric acid, and consumption in large amounts can disturb the acid-base balance in your Scottie’s body. This can lead to mild stomach upset, marked by colic and diarrhea.
16. Raw Yeast Dough
Scottish Terriers should never consume raw yeast dough as it’s toxic for them. The fermenting yeast disturbs normal gut flora, creating an acidic environment in the stomach and leading to tympany.
The fermentation also produces ethanol, resulting in signs of alcohol toxicity like CNS impairment and tremors.
Symptoms in your Scottie may include nausea, retching, colic, difficulty breathing, excessive salivation, and disorientation.
17. Raw Potatoes
Boiled potatoes in moderate amounts may be suitable for dogs like Scottish Terriers, but raw potatoes should never be given. Raw potatoes contain solanine, a compound that’s toxic for dogs.
Solanine inhibits the nervous system by blocking the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Solanine poisoning in your Scottie can cause stomach upset, breathing difficulty, arrhythmia, liver damage, muscle weakness, and tremors.
To safely feed potatoes, be sure to boil them to remove the solanine content.
18. Unripe Tomatoes
Unripe green tomatoes, as well as their plants and leaves, should never be given to a Scottish Terrier or any other dogs. They contain toxins like solanine and tomanine that are harmful.
Signs of toxicity in your Scottie may include hypersalivation, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, incoordination, and tremors.
It’s wise to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding tomatoes to your dog all together.
Cinnamon is safe for Scottish Terriers in small amounts or as an occasional treat. However, its essential oils, if ingested in large quantities, can irritate your Scottie’s mouth, throat, and digestive system.
This can lead to mild to moderate stomach upset and even liver disease. Be cautious with the amount of cinnamon you give your dog.
20. Fruit Pits and Cores (Peaches, Apples, Plums, etc.)
While it’s safe for Scottish Terriers to enjoy fruits like bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and watermelons, avoid giving them the seeds and core parts of peaches, apples, plums, and similar fruits.
These parts contain toxins such as amygdalin, a form of cyanide. Although a substantial amount needs to be consumed to reach a toxic dose, there is still a risk.
Cyanide toxicity in Scotties can cause symptoms like rapid breathing, fainting, and a cherry-red coloration of the mucous membranes.
Additionally, the pits and cores pose a choking hazard, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Something They Shouldn’t
Whether you own a Scottish Terrier or another breed, accidents can happen, and your dog might ingest something harmful.
If this occurs, the first and foremost step is to remain calm and act quickly.
Remove the item from your Scottie and immediately call your veterinarian or the ASPCA poison control hotline at (888) 426-4435.
A veterinarian may induce vomiting or perform gastric lavage if the ingestion is recent. They may also administer a dose of activated charcoal to inhibit further absorption of toxins, provide specific antidotes, and offer supportive therapy and IV fluids.
Remember, don’t wait for your Scottish Terrier to start showing symptoms. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. A prompt response on your part can likely save your dog’s life.
As a responsible pet owner, make sure to avoid these hazardous foods in the future and keep them out of your Scottie’s reach.