There comes a time in every dog’s life when they get the chance to enjoy a little bit of what’s on our dinner plate. Some crumbs, or even a small spill gives their “vacuum” like instincts a chance to dine on some treats. But dogs don’t know what can hurt them. Several foods that we consume daily are potentially dangerous or even fatal for dogs.
Dogs should already be on a quality dog food diet. Table scraps and human food should be avoided because they can contain heavy grease and fats that can lead to many health and weight problems. Later in life, dogs may experience problems such as pancreatitis from these foods. Dog foods, particularly “lean” brands can help to avoid these issues.
Another problem with human foods is that we tend to flavor them with salt. While salt is still part of a dog’s daily diet, the excessive amounts that we tend to use can cause them kidney and liver problems. In addition to this problem, dogs will instinctively lick salted areas and foods, much like a horse would. Avoid giving your dog any foods that are heavily salted, or even allowing them to lick up some excess salt that you may have spilled while cooking.
Troublesome foods for your dog
Your dog’s overall health shouldn’t be your only concern, however. There are many foods that can actually cause immediate problems. Among the well-known hazardous foods for dogs is chocolate. While very tasty and a sweet we tend to celebrate with (Valentines, Easter, Christmas), chocolate contains a chemical known as theobromine, which quickly accumulates in their body. It actually does the same for us, but we can metabolize it quickly enough to prevent any danger. Dogs cannot do this, so poisoning can result, which can even become deadly.
Keep these sweets away from your dog. Other items that contain this chemical are some types of favored drinks. Tea and coffee can also cause poisoning, so be sure to properly dispose of old grounds or tea bags.
Another popular, yet often overlooked food item is the grape. These simple fruits don’t appear to be harmful, but can actually cause kidney failure in dogs. This also applies to raisins, which are basically dried grapes, and of course, wine.
Though you wouldn’t give raw eggs to your dog, there are many ways they can get ahold of this food. When cooking eggs, we usually throw the shells into trash cans, or there could also be some spillage on the floor or countertops. Egg is an ideal breeding ground for salmonella, which is toxic to dogs as well as humans. Be sure to clean up and properly dispose of your trash.
For those who have a garden, tomatoes are a very popular item to grow. This fruit is tasty and adds flavor to various meals. But for a dog, it can be dangerous. Tomatoes can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias, and can be difficult to diagnose. While the tomato is dangerous, the plant itself can be deadly. Because dogs will naturally eat plants, avoid growing these in your garden, or allowing your dog access to that area.
Apples, cherries, and peaches all contain seeds and pits. Astoundingly, these very nutritious fruits can be potentially dangerous to your dog. Unlike humans, dogs will consume the entire fruit, seeds and all. The seeds in these particular plants actually contain trace amounts of cyanide, which is why we don’t eat the core or pits. If your dog wants to enjoy some apples or similar fruits, be sure to slice the cores out of them, and just feed them the meat.
Avocados are a completely different story, however, as every part of this fruit is deadly for a dog. It can lead to difficulty of breathing and the accumulation of fluids in their chest. Do not allow your dog access to any form of avocado, including dips.
While most nuts would naturally be okay for a dog to eat, the macadamia nut contains chemicals which can cause weakness, muscle tremors, and even paralysis. These nuts are popular in chocolate dipped products and even trail mix snacks. Don’t let your dog sneak from your snack bag while you’re out on the road, camping, or traveling.
A quality dog diet should consist of dog food and supplements that you discussed with your vet. While dog food seems like a bland food, and you’re tempted to spice it up with some of your own daily portion, be sure that you avoid giving them anything that can potentially hurt them.