We all know this look.
What are you eating?
It’s pretty hard to resist.
I smell bacon.
While old-school dog wisdom was: never feed your dog people food, new-school rules have changed.
Feed a raw diet! Cook for your dog! Beware of additives, preservatives and everything non-organic!
Personally, I grew up with dogs who ate whatever was on sale. Sometimes we’d slip them a treat from the dinner table. Overall, they did okay.
As an adult, I worked at a veterinary hospital and my eyes were opened. I saw obese dogs suffer from arthritis. Every holiday season, we’d see a handful of very sick little dogs who’d eaten an entire box of See’s candy.
No chocolate for you, Denali!
Needless to say, what is okay and not okay to feed your dog can be confusing. And no matter what your personal preferences are with “dog food” versus “people food”, there are some hard-and-fast rules that can help you make an informed decision.
Because, after all, they are definitely worth it!
WHAT TO AVOID FEEDING YOUR DOG AND WHY:
Avocados – these have a fungicidal toxin called persin, which is not only in the fruit but in the leaves, bark and seeds. No guacamole bites!
Onions/garlic – destroys red blood cells, which leads to anemia. Watch out for onion powder in baby food, which is recommended sometimes for sick pups.
Grapes/raisins – researchers aren’t sure what they contain but studies show them to cause kidney failure in high quantities.
Macadamia nuts – like grapes and raisins, contains an unknown toxic element – as few as six can be fatal.
Xylitol – an artificial sweetener found in gum, mints and other products, it can spike insulin levels and eventually lead to liver failure.
Chocolate – contains varying amounts of theobromine, a chemical that is toxic in concentrated quantities. Milk chocolate has a little, baker’s chocolate has a lot – in general, the smaller the dog in body weight and the higher in concentration the theobromine, the more dangerous the chocolate!
Fat & bones – fatty, rich foods can overwhelm your dog’s system and lead to pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. Bones, while safe in many instances, can sometimes splinter in your dog’s stomach and perforate the digestive tract – or create a blockage that might require surgical removal. Feed with caution!
Stone fruits – peaches, avocados, plums, etc., can be dangerous because the swallowed pit can cause an obstruction. Also, in some cases, the stones contain toxic elements like cynanide.
Raw eggs – besides the danger of e-coli or salmonella, raw eggs can block the absorption of vitamin B.
Unrised dough – don’t leave that dough to rise unattended! Ingested dough can rise in your dog’s tummy and cause a very unhappy situation.
Other common substances to monitor:
Advil/Ibuprofen: very toxic to dogs. Be sure to store these in a safe place and not to drop any on the floor.
Antifreeze: leaky antifreeze puddles on the garage floor or driveway can be very tempting to lick since it tastes sweet. Clean spills up immediately and store in a high cabinet/shelf.
That covers the basics of dog ingestion safety. In an emergency or if you’re ever in doubt, call your local veterinarian, emergency center or the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 1-888-426-4435 (note a $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.)
But before I sign off, the dogs at WOOF wanted to make sure I gave you another message.
BY ALL MEANS, GIVE YOUR DOGS SAFE AND TOLERATED TREATS!
Eating is one of your dog’s main joys in life. Don’t deprive them of things they love – so long as they’re not overweight, can tolerate the treat with no tummy upset and it’s not on the no-no list.
Because life should be enjoyed.
And as Martha Stewart would say, that’s a good thing.
Vickie Jean @ WOOF