What NOT to feed your dog
The image of a happy family dog being fed scraps from the table is an endearing one, and many owners enjoy sharing a bit of their food with their beloved pet. However, this is often not the best thing you can do for your pet. In fact, it can be extremely harmful if you are not careful.
Many of the foods you eat are unhealthy for your dog. Human and canine physiologies are very different, and your dog will have a much lower tolerance for carbohydrates and fat than you do. This means that giving them a gravy-covered plate to lick clean or letting them finish off a hamburger will quickly lead to an obese dog.
However, the foodstuffs you really need to watch out for are the ones that are poisonous to your dog. If your pet eats these, you should take them to a vet immediately. Left unchecked, they can do a lot of harm to dogs, and should be kept out of their reach at all times.
The most common offender is chocolate. Dogs will gladly eat this substance, enjoying its sweet taste. However, it can easily be deadly to them. Chocolate, especially the dark variety, contains theobromine. This is poisonous to dogs, and can be fatal. If your dog is vomiting, having convulsions, or has an increased thirst or an unusual heartbeat then they may have eaten chocolate.
Food containing onions, garlic, chives or any other members of that family of vegetables should also be avoided. These can damage dogs’ red blood cells if eaten, and enough can be consumed over a long period of time to do serious damage to your pet.
Similarly, you need to check that anything you feed your dog isn’t artificially sweetened. The chemical xylitol, used in many sweeteners, is toxic to dogs. It has even been linked to fatal acute liver disease and blood clotting disorders, so take your dog to the vet immediately if you think your dog has eaten something containing this substance.
Grapes and raisins are another food to avoid feeding your dog. It is not clear why, but these fruits cause kidney disease in dogs. This can be lethal, so avoid feeding grapes and raisins to your dogs at all costs.
So what can you feed your dog? Well, the best thing for their health is to choose a premium dog food, possibly even one designed specifically for your pet’s breed, and stick to that. This will keep your dog full and in peak physical condition.
However, everyone deserves a treat now and again. A safe option is meat. Dogs love both raw and cooked meat, and can be fed either safely. The only thing you must watch out for is feeding your dogs small, cooked bones. These become brittle, and can be a choking hazard.
The key thing is not to feed your dog anything you aren’t sure about. If you want to feed your dog something off your plate, make sure you have researched it first to check whether or not it will be safe for your pet to consume. That way, you can keep your dog healthy while sharing your food with them.
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