This Article is About
dogs
low calorie diet
supermarket shelves
mum and dad
diet food
heart palpitations
strict instructions
dog foods
cup of tea
Foods Dogs Can't Eat
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Foods Dogs Can\'t Eat

My parents have kept dogs most of their married lives. They are now elderly have no dog of their own, but occasionally they look after mine. My dog loves staying with them, and there is a good reason for this – he gets fed treats. Now usually this would be OK, but he’s on a strict low calorie diet and is not allowed treats apart from the odd raw carrot. Carrots are not what he’s getting at my parents! When I leave the dog with mum and dad, I weigh his diet food out carefully and leave strict instructions about what he can, and more importantly, what he can’t eat.

The trouble is trying to get my parents to stick to the feeding regime. In their day dog nutrition was not as high on the agenda as it currently is with most pet owners. They did not have a plethora of commercial dog foods lining the supermarket shelves to choose from. Very often their own dogs were fed human leftovers. Things have certainly changed since then. They loved their dogs and would never have done anything to harm them, but the internet and improved living standards has meant people now take more notice of what they feed their dogs.

Occasionally, I catch them giving my dog treats that are simply bad for him. The odd bit of beef stew that has lots of onion. The small piece of pizza with cheese and garlic. We have had some difficult conversations about the dog’s diet simply because they are not aware that dogs can’t eat certain foods. Now there is a long list of foods that are bad for dogs. However, these are some of the ones that are commonly kept in the house and should not be included in a dog’s diet:

Caffeine

My dad used to give his dogs a cup of tea in the morning! Caffeine is a stimulant, and it has the same effect on a dog’s body as it does on humans. Unfortunately, it can prove fatal to canines. It’s found in the obvious tea and coffee, but also in chocolate, cocoa and colas. If dogs ingest too much caffeine they can develop breathing problems associated with heart palpitations.

Some dairy products

I can remember when I was little giving ice cream to the family pet. Many years later, as a much more informed dog owner, I would never dream of doing such a thing. Dogs have difficulty breaking down the lactose in milk. Milk products can cause diarrhoea. Just like humans, some dogs are allergic to dairy products and develop skin problems.

Onions and garlic

In any form, onion and garlic can cause dogs to become anaemic because they destroy red blood cells.

Grapes and raisins

Mum is a diabetic, and no longer has these products in the house, but in the past she has been known to give her dogs the odd grape. Thankfully, none of her pets suffered, but for some dogs eating one grape is enough to kill them. For reasons not fully understood, they cause kidney failure in dogs and should be avoided. The early signs of a problem are vomiting and lethargy.

Some types of nuts

Raw Macadamia nuts can be fatal to a dog. It acts like a poison and the symptoms include sickness, weakness and even paralysis.

Chocolate

Chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to a dog. There is more of it in dark chocolate. Unsweetened baking chocolate also contains large amounts. If dogs eat enough chocolate it can be fatal. Symptoms to look out for include sickness, diarrhoea and seizures.

Salt

Dogs need to avoid salty foods such as chips and pretzels. It causes them to become very thirsty and they urinate excessively. Too much salt in their diet can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and seizures. At its worst, it can be fatal.

Seeds and pips

The seeds of most fruits can cause inflammation in a dogs gut because they contain cyanide. The stones in fruit if swallowed by the dog can block intestines. Fruits such as apples, pear, cherry, apricot, peaches and plums should be avoided.

Sugar

Simply put, sugar should not be part of a dog’s diet. It causes them to put on weight and it’s not good for their teeth. Given too much sugar, a dog can go on to develop diabetes.

Sugar free products

Mum often has sugar free baked products in the house because of her diabetes, but some contain a sweetener called Xylitol which can be fatal to a dog. It drops their blood sugar levels and can cause liver failure.

Vegetables

Broccoli and mushrooms to name but a few can cause gastrointestinal problems in canines. They act as an irritant to the gut.

Fat trimming and bones

High fat foods can cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. The onset of pancreatitis is characterized by vomiting and severe pain the stomach.

Added to all this are other common household food products which can be problematic for dogs. Take for example spices used in cooking. While cinnamon and dill seeds are safe, nutmeg, onion powder or garlic salt are not. Baking powder, sodas, avocado and yeast dough are also to be avoided. The list goes on and on. The plain fact is dogs love to eat what we eat; it’s just that some human foods are harmful to dogs.

My parents were under the misconception that dogs can eat anything. But, I am getting the message through that some foods are dangerous. The dog has recently developed arthritis which has been linked to his obesity. This has upset my parents greatly. They love the dog, and I’m glad to say they are finally taking the weight reduction seriously. Apart from the odd blip, the bad treats are under control. Some might say, why leave the dog with my parents at all? It’s because when we are away, that’s where he’s the happiest.


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