Everyone loves feeding their dogs treats and when your little furry loved one looks at you with those big pleading eyes it is often hard not to give in and feed your dog some of your “human food”. Whilst most of this won’t harm your dog, there are some big no no’s when it comes to food and dogs.
Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs, but did you know that it would take less than 25 grams of cooking chocolate to cause a severe reaction in a 10kg dog! Chocolate contains an ingredient in the same family as caffeine and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and hyperactivity. As it progresses it can cause seizures, coma and even death. The “dog chocolate” sold as treats is made of carob which doesn’t contain the offending ingredient. So make sure the package clearly states that it is pet friendly before feeding any chocolate product to your dog.
Some other foods that are lesser known but just as harmful to your dog are:
• Garlic – Some people believe feeding garlic to their pets will act as a flea control. In fact, as little as 15g of garlic per kg of your dogs weight can be extremely harmful.
• Onion – Coming from the same family as garlic, it is also extremely dangerous. It can cause blood abnormalities.
• Grapes – As little as 4 or 5 grapes can be enough to put your dogs kidneys out of action. This can often be irreversible.
• Fruit pits and seeds – For the same reason we don’t eat the seeds of fruit such as apricots, peaches and apples, they should also not be fed to your dog. These seeds contain cyanide which is a poison that is fatal to humans and dogs alike, although a dog is unlikely to eat sufficient quantities to meet a fatal dose. Of greater concern, many a dog has ended up on the surgery table with an apricot, nectarine or peach stone obstructing his/her intestines.
• Fatty meats – Especially bacon and ham products can cause gastro or, more seriously, pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis can be life threatening.
• Raw eggs, fish, pork and chicken – Unless extremely fresh, these can contain salmonella or E coli. As a general rule, if you wouldn’t eat it yourself you shouldn’t feed it to your dog.
• All forms of alcohol – They all contain ethanol which dog’s organs are unable to process and even a small amount can quickly become fatal.
Remember, this is not an extensive list - there are many other foods that you should avoid giving your dog, but these are just a few common ones.
If your dog consumes (or is suspected to have consumed) any of these foods please seek immediate veterinary advice or attention. Most of the time, if caught quick enough, making your dog vomit will be all the treatment necessary. Lots of dogs may eat varying amounts of the above and not show any ill effects. The safest thing to do, however, is to avoid the problem foods altogether!
So stick to safe food and treats for your dog and he/she will reward you with years of love and loyalty.