Fido and Wishbone might come sit at your feet during dinner, drooling over what you and your family are chowing down on. You might be tempted to toss your pup a scrap of meat, and little Johnny might sneak down his veggies. Instead of scraping dishes, maybe you plop them on the floor and let the pooch lick them clean. ‘Better than a dishwasher!’ you might exclaim.
But the truth is people need be very careful about what they feed their dogs. Many seemingly harmless foods can be deadly, or gravely serious, to the average dog’s liver, kidneys, or heart. When Spot looks at you with those heart-wrenching, tacitly begging, eyes, it can be hard to resist! (Does the term “puppy dog eyes” mean anything to you?) But loving your pets means knowing what’s good for them, and doing what’s right, even if that means playing the tough parent sometimes.
Chocolate is at the top of the list to withhold. Caffeine and bromethalin, both present in chocolate, are toxic to your dog. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated the poison. Don’t forget, caffeine is in coffee, tea, and cocoa as well, so they’re on the list to avoid too. Watch for signs of staggering and labored breathing, followed by a fast heartbeat or palpitations, and stomach pain and vomiting. Severe chocolate poisoning ends in seizure, coma, or the death of your dearly beloved.
Tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, and garlic are all on the off list. That awesome pizza you ordered Friday night is NOT sharable… unless you’re prepared to subject your pooch to liver and kidney damage (from the mushrooms,) tremors and heart arrhythmia (from the tomato,) and red blood cell damage (from the seasonings)—just a sampling of the effects these foods can cause.
As you keep yourself healthy with fruit, restrain from sharing grapes and raisins, due to the potential for acute renal failure, and avocados, which cause fluid buildup in your dog’s organs. Certain fruit pits and seeds contain cyanide, a pretty well known poison. If you’re planning on sharing pears, plums, peaches, apricots or apples, just remember your dog always doesn’t spit out seeds and pits like you do.
The artificial sweetener xylitol is a more modern killer to be wary of. Dogs experience a dramatic drop in blood sugar, leading to depression, loss of motor skills, seizures, or liver failure.
Beware of macadamia nuts, walnuts, nutmeg, excess salt, animal fat, and fried foods. From paralysis to pancreatitis, these all hold the power to harm.
Many of these foods have a direct effect on a dog’s stomach and digestive system. Diarrhea and upset digestion are unfortunate, but common side effects. If your dog should accidentally consume any of these foods, be prepared with biodegradable dog waste bags, dog poop bags, doggie poop bags like those found at www.911savebeans.com.