We’ve all done it. You’re sitting at your table, having a snack, and your lovable sidekick gives you the puppy dog eyes. You cannot resist. You give him some of your food, which he happily snaps ups.
Or, perhaps you can’t quite finish your dinner, but there isn’t enough to save for later, so you scrape the leftovers into your dog’s bowl. What could be the harm you ask?
Well, dogs have completely different digestive systems to humans, and so, cannot process many of the foods we enjoy. Many dogs are lactose intolerant. This means they cannot properly digest anything with milk in it, such as cheese, yogurt, cream or ice cream. While these foods may cause your dog discomfort, we wouldn’t consider milk toxic for dogs. However, many other human foods are poisonous if consumed by a pooch. As dog owners, it is our responsibility to be aware what foods are dangerous, and should be kept out of reach from our pets.
For whatever reason, it seems be a widely known fact, that chocolate is poisonous for dogs, yet still every year, we hear reports of dogs that managed to wolf down an entire box of milk tray or a whole selection box. This can be particularly dangerous at Christmas, when people may have boxes of chocolates wrapped underneath the Tree. Darker chocolate is worse, so be extra vigilant when you have these in the house.
Perhaps a much more surprising toxin for dogs, are grapes and raisins. Vets are unsure as to why they are so dangerous for dogs, but what we do know, is that they can cause kidney failure. Raisins are present in lots of human breads and cakes, so we must be vigilant when we are serving these in our home.
Unbaked dough? How could unbaked dough be poisonous for dogs? Well, when ingested, the dough expands in the warm, wet environment of the dog’s stomach, and this can cause the stomach to bloat and expand, which can kill the dog. I’m sure not many people would willingly give their dog unbaked dough, but if you are making bread in your house, be very careful the dog is unable to snatch some for himself.
I doubt very much that very many dogs would eat an uncooked onion, or a raw clove of garlic, but I wonder would many eat the left overs of a shepherd’s pie? Or a lasagne? I’m sure plenty of dogs would adore to get their teeth into such a yummy dinner, yet these human meals will contain onions and garlic, both ingredients that are highly toxic to dogs.
It can be hard navigating through all the foods that are poisonous, and unhealthy for dogs. So, here at Dogs Trust, we have a very easy method to help you remember. The only food you need to give your dog is...dog food!
If the food is bought in a pet shop, and is for dogs (never give a dog cat food), then you can rest assured that it is perfectly ok for them to eat. Don’t give them snacks from the table, give them specially made dog treats. Don’t give them any cooked bones(these can choke a dog). Buy them bones from your pet shop. That way, you and your pet will stay happy and healthy and well fed.