You might enjoy sharing a snack with your favorite pooch, but think twice before you give in to those big, begging eyes. Though we share some common dietary needs with our canine companions, many “people foods” are very difficult for dogs to digest. Some are poisonous, while others cause diarrhea or vomiting. Even some fruits and vegetables that are considered health food staples for people are unhealthy for dogs.
Always check to be sure that treats and tidbits are healthy for dogs before extending your hand and consider the following:
1. Meats and eggs: Cooked portions of chicken, beef, fish, and eggs are safe for dogs, but beware of raw foods. In spite of the trendy “raw diets,” uncooked or undercooked meats and eggs can contain salmonella and E. coli that wreak havoc on both pets and people. Be sure to keep bones out of reach, as they could splinter and become lodged in your dog’s digestive system.
2. Alcohol: Protect your pet from party people! While they may happily sip a cold brew or mixed cocktail, your dog will not share the enjoyment. Results can include vomiting and diarrhea, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, and even death.
3. Milk and dairy: These products can cause digestive problems in pets that lead to discomfort and dehydration. A dog’s body doesn’t produce enough of the lactase enzyme necessary to break down lactose found in dairy products.
4. Chocolate, coffee and caffeine: Methylxanthines, a substance found in these products, can cause digestive disorders, excessive thirst, altered heart rhythms, tremors, and even seizures in pets.
5. Nuts: Nuts contain a high volume of oils and fats, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even pancreatitis in dogs. Macadamia nuts are especially toxic, as weakness, depression, and hyperthermia can occur within 12 hours.
6. Fruits and vegetables: While many are great to share with your dog, such as apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and celery; others are not recommended. Some people approve of giving oranges to dogs, but the stems, leaves, and peels contain citric acid and essential oils, which can cause digestion and central nervous system depression. Also avoid grapes and raisins, avocado, tomatoes, and mushrooms.
7. Flavoring items: Avoid giving onions, garlic, and chives to dogs. Ingesting these foods can lead to red blood cell damage or digestive upset. Xylitol, a sweetener found in many processed snacks, could cause insulin release in dogs, which can lead to liver failure.
8. Salt: Large amounts of salt can create thirst and excessive urination. Avoid sharing salty snack foods with your dog, including salted popcorn.
Make sure to store all foods away from your dog to prevent an accident. If your dog should ingest substances that produce digestive disorders, lethargy, problems moving or breathing, excessive urination, or any unusual behaviors, consult with your veterinarian immediately or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for direction.
Any “people food” given as treats should be kept to a minimum and chosen wisely. A high-quality dog food, such as CANIDAE®, contains all the protein, vitamins, and nutrients your dog needs to thrive. Browse our selection of CANIDAE® Grain Free PURE formulas made with meat or fish and paired with whole foods like sweet potato, peas, and lentils – never wheat, corn, or soy.