Many humans labor under the assumption their canine companions can eat anything they can. In some cases, this is true, but in others, it can prove dangerous to our four-legged friends to serve them people food. How can we be sure the treats we give our puppers won’t end up making them ill?
We as humans have the responsibility to ensure our pets remain healthy. In order to do so, we need accurate information about what they can and cannot eat. Here are 10 common foods owners often feed to their dogs as well as whether or not they should.
1. Give Grapes and Raisins a Pass
Although scientists yet to understand exactly why, grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs. There is no magic number which is safe — simply refrain from feeding these fruits to your pup.
Signs your pooch has ingested grapes or raisins accidentally include lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration and pale gums. Left untreated, grape poisoning can lead to kidney failure and death as ingestion causes canines to increase urinary output. If you suspect your fur baby may have eaten grapes or raisins, contact your veterinarian immediately.
2. The Same With Anything Salty
Grapes and raisins aren’t the only foods which can dehydrate your dog and lead to death through kidney failure. Any salty food can prove problematic for your precious pooch. This is complicated further by the way dogs will eat nearly anything — including leftovers on an untended plate.
Many processed foods contain an enormous amount of salt. In fact, 70 percent of human sodium intake stems from processed foods, not from salt added to meals. If you have four-legged friends at home, be sure to scrape your plates and place them in the dishwasher when you finish eating to protect their health.
3. Chocolate Is a Big Time Bad
Keep those chocolate bunny ears to yourself come springtime. Chocolate contains a substance known as theobromine, which humans can metabolize. Dogs, on the other hand, pass this substance through their bodies much more slowly, and depending on the size and weight of the pooch, small amounts can prove toxic. The primary symptom of accidental ingestion is hyperactivity, so if your chihuahua starts acting like they quieres Taco Bell big time, a call to the vet is in order.
4. No Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado Sandwich
Okay, TBH, lettuce isn’t too bad for Fido in small quantities, but if they make off with an entire head of romaine, call the vet. Tomatoes contain a substance known as solanine, which in large amounts can cause gastrointestinal and cardiovascular upset. Avocados contain persin, which can cause diarrhea in canines. If you’re doing the vegetarian thing, good for you, but resist the urge to share your sammy with your Samoyed.
5. Some Nuts Are Okay in Moderation
Certain nuts, such as peanuts which are technically legumes, contain healthy fats which benefit your pooches’ skin and coat. Feel free to feed your dog these in moderation, keeping in mind too many may lead to weight gain and tummy trouble. Avoid feeding your beloved pup black walnuts or macadamia nuts, which cause gastrointestinal upset.
6. Oatmeal Is Dandy
Oatmeal is low fat and healthy, making it a popular filler in many commercial dog food brands. It’s fine to feed Fido oatmeal, but pass on feeding them leftovers seasoned with nutmeg — the herb is considered toxic to pets in large quantities. Otherwise, plain oatmeal can help remedy mild gastrointestinal distress in dogs.
7. Carrots and Broccoli Brush Pupper Teeth
Most people don’t think of giving Fluffy a carrot to munch on the way they would a horse, but these foods act as natural toothbrushes for canines. These veggies scrape bacteria and food particles from the surfaces of teeth where it can lead to decay and gum disease. Like in humans, peridontal disease in dogs can lead to sepsis and death in extreme cases.
8. Cheese Is Okay in Moderation
Some sensitive Scottish Terriers may get runny poo from ingesting too much cheese, but in moderation, many canines handle this dairy product well. Cheese is high in sugars, though, so feeding in moderation makes sense to avoid weight gain. If your precious pooch suffers gastrointestinal upset after chowing down on a hunk of cheddar, though, it’s safe to refrain — dogs can get the nutrients they need through other means.
9. Peanut Butter Is Your Friend
Anyone who’s ever tried to give their pupper a pill knows peanut butter can make the process easier. Celery is also safe for dogs, so feel free to tuck their medicine in between and let the crunch scrape some of the sugar off your canines’ teeth.
However, exercise caution by reading the ingredient label. Xylitol, a common artificial sweetener used in some commercial peanut butters, is highly toxic to dogs. Even minute amounts of the substance can cause seizures in a 30-pound dog, so keep brands containing the substance out of the house to avoid accidental poisoning.
10. Meat Is Back on the Menu
Meat products benefit dogs with a protein boost, so don’t hesitate to share your leftover steak with your Great Dane. Do exercise caution when feeding chicken by taking it off the bones first — pooches wolf down their food and small bones can splinter and choke your pup. Do the same with fish, and if chowing on mud bugs, remove the shell before tossing a bit of the meat to Rex.
Feeding Your Dogs Healthy Treats
Some human foods are safe for Fido, but others prove dangerous, even fatal. By taking the time to educate yourself as to what your pupper can and can’t eat, you can save a fortune in vet fees and keep your canine companion healthy for life.