This week we turn to Coops And Cages blogger, Jordan Walker, for tips on what human foods should be on—and off!—your list to feed your pup.
Every dog owner knows their furry friends come equipped with some irresistible weapons–their pleading eyes. When you are captivated by it, you’re likely to get hypnotized and be swayed by giving your pup anything he wants—especially food. But don’t be! Your act of kindness might just result in a catastrophe, as giving your dog certain food or treats could possibly be toxic or harmful to them. It’s important to know what dogs should and should not eat!
Foods that could go bad
Some people think that they could feed their dogs with anything humans eat. Just because foods are okay for human consumption doesn’t mean they are okay for dogs. Here is a list of everyday foods that are especially dangerous to your dogs:
Chocolate. Though chocolate is a favorite treat for humans, dogs must absolutely avoid eating these because it contains ingredients like caffeine and theobromine which could result to chocolate intoxication. The darker the chocolate is, the more harm it is.
Coffee. Just like chocolate, coffee contains a great deal of caffeine. People drink coffee to help them keep awake, or others drink it for its antioxidant capabilities; however, the effect is different in dogs. Large caffeine intake could lead to restlessness, heart palpitations, seizures and bleeding.
Grapes and raisins. These berries can cause kidney failure in dogs. When your dog has eaten too much grapes and raisins, it would experience repeated vomiting, lethargy, as well as depression.
Macadamia nuts. Eating around six pieces of macadamia nuts could affect your dog’s digestive, nervous, and muscle systems; hence affecting your dog’s locomotive activities which could result in having swollen limbs and muscle tremors.
Onions and garlic. The onion family also poses health dangers to dogs since it contains toxic components called disulfides and sulfoxides. These could damage the red blood cells if ingested in large amounts. However, smaller amounts of garlic may also be used to get rid of dog fleas.
Xylitol. Xylitol is a non-caloric sweetener commonly used to make candies, gums, or baked goods. However, when ingested by dogs, xylitol causing a decrease in blood sugar levels, disorientation, and seizures. Ingestion of large amounts could also lead to liver failure which could be fatal.
Dogs could accidentally eat these foods, especially during holidays where there are feasts. To prevent your dog from picking up loitered foods, temporarily keep your dog in a safe shelter. This would help you keep them in check during the holidays.
What your dogs could eat
On the brighter side, there is still a lot of “human” food that has proven to be beneficial for your dog. Aside from the nutrient-rich commercially packed dog foods, you could also include the following foods for an extra dose of goodness.
White rice.White rice is the perfect solution when your pet has an upset stomach. It could be easily digested by your dog which makes it as a good source of energy. White rice is also recommended for older dogs with poor metabolism.
Oatmeal. Like white rice, oatmeal could also help treat a dog’s bowel issues since it is a great source of soluble fiber. Dogs that are allergic to wheat could eat oatmeal instead. When preparing oatmeal for your pup, be sure not to add sugar or other flavorings.
Lean meat. Dogs also love the taste of meat such as chicken, turkey, beef and pork. But to keep the cuts of meat healthy, remove the fats and skin. Lean meat would be an excellent source of amino acids and B vitamins.
Eggs. Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods that you could give to your dogs because they are a rich source of protein. They also contain naturally occurring vitamin D which makes bones and teeth healthy.
Squash.Yes, dogs could eat squash too because they are practically omnivorous. Squash is rich in beta carotene which could improve your dog’s eyesight. To make squash more appealing to your dog, you could mash it first then mold it into bite-size pieces. Freeze them and give them as a treat.
Parsley.Parsley is known to improve dog breath. Add chopped parsley to your pup’s next meal to for added color and flavor.
Other safe and healthy foods that could be given to your dog are liver, cottage cheese, peanut butter, peas, apple slices, salmon, carrots, and many more!
What to do if your dog happens to eat bad food
If your dog happens to eat bad food, call your local vet immediately. If your vet could not be reached, call the animal poison hotline instead. In cases of needing immediate treatment, try to assess what your dog has ingested and determine if it’s safe to induce vomiting or regurgitation to your dog.
While the list of bad and good foods in this article only represents a few, it is still better to consult your dog’s vet to know what foods your dog should or should not eat. Every physique of our dog is unique, so it’s natural that all would have different nutritional needs.
Author: Jordan Walker
Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages as well as a couple of other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for ‘attempting’ to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter: @CoopsAndCages