7 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog
Whether you're a first-time parent or a seasoned dog owner, we have all made mistakes when it comes to doggy care. There are some mistakes that you would never want to make, so before you readily share your dinner with your dog, it's important to know what your dog can't eat, and why. Here are 7 foods you should keep far away from your pooch.
1. Grapes & Raisins
Most dog owners would be familiar with this one. But do you know why? Apparently, scientists are stumped too. Grapes and raisins are known to cause lethargy, vomiting, dehydration and depression in dogs. Severe cases have led to kidney failure. Though the exact component that causes such a reaction is unclear, one thing's for sure, steer clear of these silent killers.
This includes tea, coffee, colas, drinks such as Red Bull and of course, chocolate (which is much more complex actually and will be discussed further later). In large enough quantities, the effects could be dire, for example, causing palpitations, fits, bleeding, breathlessness, and eventual death. No known antidote exists.
This one should be another no-brainer; even non-owners should be familiar. But why exactly are chocolates harmful to dogs? Research has shown that aside from the caffeine, the most toxic substance found in cocoa is theobromine. This chemical (which is found in dark, milk and white chocolate) causes a plethora of health problems for dogs, including vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, muscle tremors and even seizures. As a general rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate, the more deadly.
Avocados may be healthy for humans, but they contain a substance known as persin which, when consumed in large quantities, may poison your pup. You should also keep your dog away from avocado plants as the persin can also be found in the leaves, seed and bark of the plant.
Dogs have something akin to lactose intolerance (as do cats), so any food with high lactose content such as milk are a no-no. This is because dogs lack the lactase enzyme that breaks down lactose. Interestingly, cheese and yoghurt are digestible by dogs as they in fact contain very little quantities of lactose. You may refer to the table below from dogfoodadvisor.com for a proper comparison.
If you would like to play it safe, there are pet-safe milk brands such as Cosi Lactose-Free Pet's Milk
which make a great calcium supplement to your pet's diet.
6. Onions & Garlic
This one might surprise you, especially since you might not consciously think of feeding your dog these vegetables. With garlic being the stronger of the two, these deadly foods can destroy your dog's red blood cells and cause anemia if ingested in large quantities. Most basic symptoms include weakness, vomiting, loss of appetite and breathlessness. In the worst case scenario, your dog might require a blood transfusion, so be careful when serving your pup home-cooked meals.
7. Macadamia Nuts
Our lucky number 7 is another rather peculiar food, probably because we would never expect the kind of effects a tiny harmless nut has on dogs. Once again, the specific harmful chemical has not been identified, so the only information we have are the after effects: weakness, inability to walk especially in the hind legs, vomiting, staggering gait, tremors, and in severe cases, hypothermia. So there you have it, things you should never feed your dog. It is your duty as a dog owner to take care of your dog's diet, and now since you know a little bit more of what they can and can't eat, prevention is better than cure, don't you agree? - Melanie (Feature Image: Moimir)