Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Foods that are good to Humans but not to our Dogs

We consider our dogs as our best friend, but that doesn't make them human. Many of us dog owners make the mistake of thinking that a healthy diet for us is also a healthy diet for our pet. Although a few table scraps every once in a while won't hurt, there are a few things that should be treated with caution.  

credit to owner


Dogs (and cats) are carnivores and they need the essential amino acids and not the calories.
No dog should ever be given cooked bones, as they become brittle and splinter. These splinters can get caught in your dog's throat or intestines.
When changing your dog's diet, be sure to do it gradually. Mix in the new food with the food your dog is used to, and gradually start increasing the amount of new food. In my dog's case, it's very hard for him to feed with dog food, he loves eating what we are eating.  In that case, I took the precaution of not giving him what he shouldn't have.
Here are some things you shouldn't feed your dog.

Alcohol

Just because alcohol may be all fun and games for you, doesn't mean it is for Fido. You may find it entertaining to watch your dog get drunk and stagger around, but because they get drunk quicker than humans, they can consume enough alcohol to cause alcohol poisoning unexpectedly fast. It is recommended that no alcohol at all should be given to your dog (not even beer).
When drunk, dogs may become disoriented and possibly cause themselves and/or others injury. They may also throw up. 
If your dog drinks too much alcohol and gets alcohol poisoning, he or she may slip into a coma or even die. It's not worth it.



Anti-freeze

It may seem strange to include anti-freeze on this list, but dogs love the taste of it. Obviously, it has some serious negative effects, including kidney damage, so be sure to keep it out of paws' reach.



Avocado

Avocados are high in fat, and so, may cause an upset stomach, vomiting, or in extreme cases, pancreatitis 
The other dangerous element in avocado is persin. This can be more harmful than the fat content, and causes heart and lung damage. This warning also applies to guacamole.


Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the least dangerous things on this list; it only harms dogs when it makes up more than 10% of their diet. After that, the isothiocynate in itcauses a upset stomach.



Caffeine
Caffeine can be harmful to humans as well as dogs. Canines, however, can react to caffeine not only by getting hyper, but can also develop a rapid heartbeat, tremors, and even seizures. So be sure to store your caffeinated pop, tea, and coffee carefully.







Chocolate
Chocolate can easily become deadly for dogs. The risky ingredients in chocolate are caffeine and theobromine. If ingested, it can cause hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination, rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, and seizures.
Just because your dog doesn't react right after he or she has eaten chocolate, doesn't mean there isn't going to be a problem. Many times, there aren't any visible effects for hours. Since death can occur within 24 hours, it's better not to take any risks. Bring your dog straight to a vet.
Wondering what amount of chocolate can be harmful for dogs? See this post: Chocolate toxicity

Dairy

Like lactose-intolerant humans, dogs lack the enzyme to digest dairy. Dairy causes gas build-up and will be extremely bad smelling. It can also cause just as fragrant diarrhea.








Eggs (Raw)
As you may already know, salmonella thrives in this kind of environment, and that can be harmful for your dog. The other danger of raw eggs is the avidin in it. This deprives your dog of a B vitamin: biotin. Biotin deprivation can lead to weakness and hair loss, or worse, retardation of growth and skeleton deformity.









Fatty Foods

Dogs vulnerable to pancreatitis can have attacks triggered by fatty foods. Dogs with weight problems, of course, should avoid them. Other than that, dogs can usually handle more meat and fat than humans are used to. Consult your vet if you're not sure.













Grapes and Raisins
Just six grapes can put your dog in serious danger. Although no one has determined exactly what makes dogs sick, it has been documented to cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, lethargy and kidney failure. It is not unusual for dogs to die from grape or raisin consumption.
If your dog has eaten them, induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal. Hospitalize the dog immediately.



Liver

Liver does not sound like it should be included here, but it can actually be pretty damaging for dogs. Liver contains a ton of vitamin A, and too much of it causes hypervitaminosis A: vitamin A toxicity. To avoid this, no more than three servings of liver should be given to a dog, and never raw. If your pet is already taking vitamin A supplements, he or she shouldn't have any.
Vitamin A toxicity leads to loss of appetite, weight loss, and deformed bones.



Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts' effects on dogs also have not been thoroughly researched, but it has been determined that dogs may react after only 6 nuts. Some reactions can be fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, swollen limbs, muscle weakness (especially concerning the hind legs) and paralysis in the hind legs. Luckily, dogs recover without treatment and with no long-term effects.


Medications

Just like humans, dogs shouldn't be given any medication not prescribed to them. Even drugs like aspirin and Tylenol shouldn't be given to him or her unless a vet has recommended it.


Mushrooms (Wild)

Some kinds of mushrooms can be poisonous. If you allow your dog to eat the wrong kinds he or she can experience abdominal pain, anemia, and liver and kidney damage, so keep an eye out while you're walking him or her.





Moldy or Spoiled Food

Make sure to keep your garbage cans tightly sealed, because food that's gone bad is also harmful for dogs. If they eat the wrong foods, they can get diarrhea, start vomiting, have seizures, and damage internal organs.


Nuts/Nutmeg

Even when they are not macadamia nuts, the high phosphorus content can leave your dog with bladder stones.  Nutmeg acts as a hallucinogen in large amounts, and can have serious consequences, including tremors, seizures, and even death.



Onions (and Garlic)

One small onion can contain enough thiosulphate to prove fatal for your dog. Although small amounts can be used safely in dog food, too much onion or garlic (but especially onion) can cause loss of appetite, vomiting, confusion, diarrhea, anemia, and increased heart rate.





Plants

Lilies, daffodils, and foxglove may look good in your garden, but they sure don't go well with a dog's diet. Some more of the dangerous varieties of plants are oleander, rhododendron, azalea, yew, rhubarb leaves, and cycads, but it's best not to let your dog nibble any houseplants.

Potatoes (Green)

Cooked potatoes are actually healthy and nutritious for dogs, and even raw potatoes aren't usually dangerous, but if the potato is a green colour, it probably contains solanum alkaloids, which can be harmful. This is pretty rare, as these alkaloids are not easily absorbed, but it is still something to watch out for.

Salmon (Raw)

Salmon Poisoning Disease is a serious disease that can kill your dog in a matter of days. If he or she eats raw salmon, some reactions from it can include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, bloody diarrhea (which may also be bright yellow) and death. If you have a suspicion that your dog may have had raw salmon, get in contact with a vet immediately.

Salt

Too much salt is bad for humans and dogs. In the latter, it may cause pancreatitis, stomach problems, and bloat (this can occur when dogs drink a lot of water too quickly after having salty foods, which traps gas in the intestines and may ultimately kill them).
Keep in mind that play dough, especially the home-made variety, contains a lot of salt and may cause salt poisoning if your dog gets into it.

Sugarless Gums and Candies

Watch out for the sugar substitute "xylitol". If a dog eats much of it, it can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar as well as liver damage.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain atropine, which can negatively affect your dog. Ripe tomatoes are the least dangerous of these, followed by unripe. The most unsafe part of the plant are the leaves and stem.

Yeast Dough

As yeast dough is designed to rise, it can do so in your dogs intestines. When the yeast dough expands, it can create uncomfortable gas, and even rupture your pet's stomach or intestines. Even small amounts can rise dangerously.

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Some other things to watch out for are corn cobs, which can be choked on, and any fruit with seeds or pits that can be swallowed. Some of these pits and seeds contain toxins, such as arsenic in apple seeds and apricot pits.
Although it's good to keep your dog hydrated, he or she shouldn't be allowed to drink stagnant water, as it may contain parasites and harmful bacteria.

Miscellaneous Feeding Tips

Plastic dishes may seem like a good choice, as they can't be broken, but they can cause allergic reactions on a dog's chin. These dishes can also harbour bacteria and hold onto to odours. Picky dogs may reject their food because of this. Metal or ceramic dishes are a safer choice.
Bloat can be painful and even life threatening, so if your dog is susceptible to it, be sure to raise his or her dog dish onto a stand or table so it is at shoulder level. This way, a lot less air will be swallowed.
Let your dog have some time to digest his or her meal before exercising.
None of this should stop you from letting your dog enjoy a variety of foods, but make sure to research the possible consequences before changing his or her diet.

source: Everything2.com
photos: credit to respective owners



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