Those who own dogs, work with dogs, or even know a dog, will have noticed that they eat pretty much anything they can get their paws on, and that they seem constantly hungry. Those people will also know that the food typically found in a doggie bowl is rather unappealing. It's completely natural to want to treat your dog every so often, whether that be with the leftovers from your plate after dinner, or with a tasty treat cooked up especially for your furry pal. But have you ever wondered whether or not these delicious ‘’treats’’ are any good for them?
Whilst many human foods are perfectly fine to feed to your dog, some must be avoided. Here’s a list of the food that you must avoid feeding your dog, as well as the food that is fine for sharing.
FOOD TO AVOID
Most dog owners are probably already aware of a few types of food that shouldn’t be fed to dogs. Most notably is probably CHOCOLATE. Chocolate contains methylxanthines; a compound that can have serious health implications for dogs when consumed in large amounts. If you think your pup might have treated themselves to a few chocolate nibbles, classic signs of consumption include vomiting, excessive panting and diarrhoea. More serious side effects include tremors, seizures and an abnormal heart rhythm. If you know or even think that your dog has consumed a large amount of chocolate, seek medical advice. Methylxanthines can also be found in CAFFEINE, so ensure your dog is kept away from coffee, tea and any other food or drink that contains it.
Another type of food that many dog owners may be aware is bad for dogs are GRAPES (and raisins). Grapes are toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure, although the reason for this has remained largely unknown. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, weakness, dehydration, tremors and in extreme cases, seizures and coma. If you suspect a large amount of grapes have been consumed by your dog, try and induce vomiting immediately. If this fails, consult your vet.
NUTS are another type of food that are best avoided with dogs, especially those high in fats and oils, such as almonds and walnuts. Typical signs of ingestion are vomiting and diarrhoea. Ingestion of MACADAMIA NUTS even in small quantities can cause symptoms after 12 hours, and can last up to 48 hours. These signs include vomiting, depression, weakness, tremors and hyperthermia.
ONIONS, GARLIC and CHIVES are another group of foods to watch. Whilst being consumed in small quantities they are fairly harmless to dogs - but if consumed in excess they can kill red blood cells in dogs and cause anaemia. If you think your dog might have accidentally gotten hold of a whole onion, signs of consumption are vomiting and diarrhoea.
Although sharing a glass of wine at the end of the day with your pampered pooch may seem like a perfectly good idea - it’s not! Unfortunately, ALCOHOL is very bad for dogs. It has the same effect on dogs as it does on humans and with dogs being a lot smaller than humans, alcohol consumption can be disastrous. Side effects are similar to those in humans, including vomiting, diarrhoea and breathing and coordination problems. Excessive consumption can cause coma and even death, so stick to drinking with two legged friends only!
XYLITOL is a sugar alcohol that's used as a sweetener in many products including chewing gum, toothpaste, baked goods and sweets. Xylitol causes a release of insulin in dogs. Excessive consumption can cause liver failure. Signs of consumption can progress from vomiting and tiredness to more extreme symptoms such as seizures, so make sure you keep the family toothpaste out of reach of your pup.
Other notable mentions in the avoid category are:
- MILK AND DAIRY
- SALTY SNACKS
- YEAST DOUGH
- CORN ON THE COB
- PEACHES AND PLUMS
FOOD TO SHARE
It’s not all bad. There's plenty of human food that is actually beneficial to your dog. Let's start with vegetables. Dogs absolutely loves CARROTS. And good job too; carrots are full of vitamin A and are high in fibre, not to mention being great for dogs’ teeth and low in calories. GREEN BEANS are another great source of vitamins that dogs find delicious. Again, low in calories, they are the perfect treat, but make sure they are either fresh or canned with no added salt.
Other tasty and healthy human treats for dogs include PEANUT BUTTER and PLAIN YOGHURT. Why not try covering their favourite bone in peanut butter or dipping their plastic chew toy is some yoghurt? They are both very high in protein, which is essential for dogs constantly on the go. Just be sure that the peanut butter does not contain Xylitol as this is harmful to dogs.
So how about meat and fish? Many people would associate feeding CHICKEN to dogs and fish to cats. Yes, chicken is great for dogs - both raw and cooked, but you might be surprised to know that it's also a great idea to feed your dog SALMON. Salmon is a great source of omega- 3 fatty acids, which is great for a dog's immune system and leaves their coat shiny and smooth. If feeding your dog salmon, make sure it's fully cooked, as raw salmon carries harmful parasites.
Other food that's beneficial for dogs include:
- SWEET POTATO
Illness caused by feeding your dog the wrong food can be avoided - so stick to this guide and there will be smiles all round!