Training Requires a Healthy Dog – Keeping Your Dog Healthy – Human Foods That Can Kill Him
Training your dog is difficult if he isn’t healthy. Dogs have a different metabolism than humans, and even though you think of your dog as a member of the family, he is still a dog, and there are a LOT of foods dogs just shouldn’t eat.
As a rule, it is best if you don’t feed your dog table scraps. The first reason is because they develop a taste for them and sometimes refuse to eat dog food. This especially happens with dogs that are stubborn, like Beagles. A beagle that has decided he is only going to eat human food will make you feel like he is very hungry within a few hours, and within a day, he will have you believing that he is absolutely starving and losing pounds per second as you watch. This is not the case, but those big eyes and pitiful expression would make you believe it if you aren’t careful.
The second reason is that a lot of the foods that are perfectly healthy for humans are not so for dogs, and some are downright toxic to your pet.
Feeding from the table tends to promote begging and blurs the line between good and bad.
I know you’re probably a softie at heart, and it is so difficult to deny that littlest member of your family, so here are some guidelines and specific foods that Fido shouldn’t have.
Dangerous foods for your Dog
The most dangerous group of human foods contains those that can cause your pet extreme distress, internal organ damage or even death, even in small quantities. Foods in this group include the following.
Chocolate, which contains theobromine. as little as an ounce can kill a small dog, and even a mid sized dog like a beagle can die from two or three ounces.
Caffeine or any beverage that contains it like most carbonated beverages or coffee is just about as dangerous as chocolate. Like theobromine, caffeine is a methylzanthine derivative and can be toxic.
Alcohol shouldn’t even need to be mentioned, because dogs exhibit the same symptoms of intoxication as humans after ingesting alcohol, and I haven’t run into a dog that has made it to legal drinking age yet. Unfortunately, because of their smaller mass coupled with a somewhat higher sensitivity to alcohol, it isn’t difficult for fido to overdose, go into coma and die. By the way, uncooked yeast dough can ferment in the dog’s stomach, causing the same problem.
Keep your dog out of the pantry: baking soda and baking powder are toxic, as are nutmeg and some other spices
Grapes and raisins, fat trimmings, and human vitamin supplements containing iron can all cause damage or failure of liver or kidneys
Salt is a real problem. If you give your dog anything that has added salt, you may put their life in jeopardy. A dog just doesn’t have the mass a human does, and any significant amount of salt can drastically upset the electrolyte balance of their blood and body tissues, leading to swelling of the brain and death. One unnoticed source of salt might be homemade “play dough”, which typically contains a LOT of salt and is tasty to the dog.
Foods that are merely “bad” for your dog
Each of the following foods can make your dog feel bad or cause them distress, but may not actually be life-threatening unless they ingest a large amount. Still, you shouldn’t give them to your dog even in small quantities.
Macadamia nuts, onions, garlic and chives, avocado and even raw potatoes. Any of these can cause diarrhea, gas or bloating, among other symptoms.
Dogs are lactose intolerant because they don’t generate lactase needed to digest milk or milk products. They can causes gas, bloating, other digestive upsets.
Artificial sweeteners are bad for you dog: Xylitol in particular can cause low blood sugar, vomiting, weakness or collapse. High doses can cause liver failure.
Most nuts are also on the “bad” list, but a few are acceptable for some breeds. Best to play it safe and keep all nuts away from your dog. Peanut butter isn’t bad of itself because peanuts aren’t a true nut, but the elevated fat and large amounts of salt in most peanut butter can cause real problems for your dog.
Foods that ARE safe for your dog
Of course, dog food is what you should be feeding your dog. If you must feed your dog human food, you can safely give your dog lean meats, cucumber or zucchini slices, carrot sticks, green beans, cooked white rice or cooked pasta, but in moderation and as a supplement to their regular diet.
Other things to remember
Generally speaking, you should not give your dog any foods that contain small bones, especially fish or chicken. In actuality, they shouldn’t give him other bones either, because the dog can break off splinters that are sharp and can puncture the stomach or intestines when swallowed. You shouldn’t give your dog corn on the cob either, because the cob can break off in large enough chunks to block the intestines. Dogs aren’t known for thoroughly chewing their food, and tend to swallow things in as large chunks as possible. If the chunks don’t break down right away in the stomach, your dog could die from intestinal blockage.
Also, you shouldn’t give your dog sugar or sugary foods; just like in humans these can cause obesity, dental problems or possibly diabetes.
Just like the humans in your household, your dog needs a balanced diet. Most better brands of dog foods provide the necessary nutrients. For popular brands in your area, check with your local vet.
Even if you haven’t fed your dog any of the dangerous or bad foods, you should contact your vet immediately if you see any signs of weakness, poisoning, lack of coordination, lethargy, frothing or any other unusual behavior, as they may have access to them elsewhere. Delay can be fatal so do not hesitate.