Any dog owner knows that familiar look dogs make when they want a sample of human food. After all, it looks and smells so good. However, puppy dog eyes and enthusiastic wags of the tail don’t always mean it’s safe to give a dog a piece of what the owner is eating.
Although many human foods can be eaten by dogs and even provide good nutrition for them, there are also quite a few foods that dogs should never eat. These foods can be toxic to them, resulting in severe illness and even death. Knowing what those foods are is critical to protecting a pet and owner from unfortunate consequences and emergency trips to the vet.
Common Foods that are Dangerous
Some of the foods that many owners have in their homes that dogs should not touch include grapes, raisins, chocolate, coffee, onions, and garlic. Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs and can result in acute kidney failure. Although some dogs have been able to recover from eating a small number of grapes or raisins, anything with these ingredients should be kept away from them. This includes items like raisin bread or bagels.
Chocolate is another problematic food that can be toxic to dogs. The chocolate can halt a dog’s metabolic process, resulting in diarrhoea and vomiting in more mild cases. In more severe cases, seizures and death can be an unfortunate outcome.
Some chocolates and chocolate varieties can also contain caffeine, which is another toxic substance for dogs. Besides coffee, any food and drinks with added caffeine should be kept away from pets. Caffeine can impact a dog’s heart and cause excessive thirst or urination.
Onions and garlic are problematic for dogs. These foods can impact the dog’s intestines and damage red blood cells. If a dog consumes too many onions or garlic, an emergency trip to the vet is usually warranted to check for toxicity levels and administer treatment.
Some human foods won’t necessarily result in a life-threatening situation, but they are best avoided. These foods can cause irritation and mild to moderate problems in a dog. Foods like ice cream, dairy products, fat trimmings and bones from meat, raw meat and eggs, and sugary foods should not be given to dogs.
Ice cream and dairy products can result in digestive issues, including vomiting and diarrhoea. While dogs can safely have a few bites of cheese, problems like lactose intolerance can lead to uncomfortable and even painful situations for animals. Fat trimmings and bones from meat can be harder for dogs to digest and the bones can become stuck in the dog’s throat or stomach. Obstructions can mean emergency surgery to relieve the discomfort and save the dog’s life.
Consuming raw meat and eggs can result in food poisoning, the same way they can in humans. Although some dogs enjoy small amounts of cooked eggs and meat, it is best to feed these sparingly if at all. Some dogs can develop digestive problems from eggs. In addition, dogs that are regularly fed human food may develop an aversion to eating their normal food.
Sugary foods, including candy, cake, and other treats, can lead to the development of diabetes. Dogs that eat these foods can also develop problems with their weight. While it can be tempting to feed a dog these treats as a reward, it is better to find alternatives that are made especially with dog’s nutritional needs in mind.
Foods to Check
Foods like peanut butter and pumpkin are normally thought of as being okay for dogs to eat. However, some of these foods need to be checked for harmful ingredients or should only be consumed in small amounts. For example, some varieties of peanut butter can have artificial sweeteners like xylitol that can be toxic. It is best to check the label on these types of foods to ensure that there are not any added ingredients that could put a dog in danger.
Pumpkin is also a human food that some owners use to calm or treat digestive issues in dogs. Typically, most dogs like the taste of pumpkin and it is a flavor that has even been added to natural dog foods. However, when given in large amounts, pumpkin can result in vitamin A toxicity. It is best to feed these foods in moderation or consult a vet for dosage recommendations.
Added ingredients in pumpkin, like cinnamon, can be problematic. Even though cinnamon is not toxic, it can cause problems with a dog’s blood sugar levels and irritate the inside of a dog’s mouth. This can result in liver disease or sickness. Any foods with added cinnamon, like pumpkin pie, should not be fed to dogs, even as a small treat during the holidays.
Even though dog owners have to remain vigilant, the good news is that there are several human foods that dogs can eat. Many of these foods are also good for dogs to eat, either as a part of a natural diet or as an occasional treat. Small amounts of honey, carrots, quinoa, and cooked salmon can be excellent additions to a dog’s diet.
Small amounts of honey, for example, can provide necessary vitamins and nutrients like potassium and calcium. Honey can also be used to help alleviate allergies in dogs or be used to alleviate pain from small cuts or burns. Vegetables like carrots can be added to a dog’s diet to help clean their teeth or give them something cold to crunch on. Since carrots contain high amounts of vitamin A, it is best to feed these in moderation.
Before feeding a dog any food, whether it is human or manufactured for pets, it is best to consult with a vet. Some dogs can benefit from natural diets and natural supplements. Natural diets and supplements can prevent nutritional deficiencies in dogs. A natural diet may also be optimal for aging pets or those with chronic diseases. Find out more from vetnaturals.com or from a local vet office.