People have been sharing their table scraps with dogs from the dawn of time... It's okay to give your dog a treat every now and then, but it's good to know the difference; what's okay, and what's not okay to feed your Canine friend? Some foods can be very deadly for dogs- so it's good to be educated about it if you're going to go that route...
Here at Fort Fido, we personally don't recommend doing this because it has too many risks. Yes, there's foods that are safe, but no guarantees that it'll sit right with your pet. Since we know this is a pretty common occurrence among households with dogs all around The World, we thought it was an important topic to bring up.
9 Surprisingly Dangerous Foods for Dogs
- Popcorn: High levels of fat and sodium can lead to dehydration short term, and obesity long term.
- Avocado: The skin and leaves can cause respiratory distress, congestion, fluid around the heart, and even death to non-human mammals.
- Macadamia Nuts: Causes vomiting, Ataxia (the loss of control of body movements), weakness, and depression.
- Grapes: One of the people foods that's "most toxic." It can lead to Kidney failure and Death.
- Onions and Garlic: Whether it's fresh, cooked, or dried, it can damage a dog's Red Blood Cells, decreashing Oxygen flow, and can also lead to Anemia.
- Tomato Plants (Raw Potatoes, Too): Ripe tomatoes aren't on the dangerous list, but if your dog ingestes a green, unripe tomatoe, or any part of its leaves or stem, watch out... Unripened Tomatoes can cause distress, lethargy, weakness, and confusion.
- Coffee, tea, and other Caffeinated things: Another one of the more dangerous, anything Caffeinated can cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, and an increased heart rate.
- Dairy (even cheese): It isn't as dangerous as others, but short term effects can cause constipation, diarrhea, and gas. Long term effects are obesity and lasting gastrointestinal issues.
- Sugar Free gum, anything sweetened with Xylitol: Xylitol is a naturally occurring substance that's popular to use as an alternative sweetener to gum and candy... Although, if it's ingested by a dog it can cause dangerously low blood sugar.
9 Human Foods dogs can eat
- Melons: Watermelon, Cantaloupe and Honeydew are all healthy options for your pup.
- Berries: Blueberries, Blackberries, and Strawberries contain free-radical fighting antioxidants. They're good for dogs for the same reason they're beneficial for us! (Lots of dogs like them frozen)
- Apple Slices: Dogs can eat this yummy fruit, just make sure you take out the seeds, they contain Cyanide naturally. Oranges are good as well, they just can't eat the rinds.
- Baby Carrots: Crunchy vegetables are really good for your dogs teeth and it's a bit easier not to overfeed with veggies, since they're a low-calorie food.
- Peanut Butter: This is a food for dogs that many people use, to hide pills in. Peanuts don't appear to cause allergic reactions in dogs like it does to people.
- Bananas: They contain Phytonutrients that are very healthy for your canine friend, just like us!
- Green Beans: This is a veggie that fills dogs up and is often used a lot, in weight management programs. An entire can of Green Beans contains 70 calories.
- Cooked Chicken: If you run out of your dogs regular kibble, Chicken is a great alternative. Doesn't matter if it's boiled, baked or served rotisserie-style.
- Sunflower Seeds (Shelled): In moderation, this is a great treat for your dog. Remember, treats should not be more than ten percent of your dogs daily calorie intake.
Now that you know the differences between good and bad human-foods for your dogs, keep in mind to "go slow." Don't overfeed your dog with a bunch of human food they're trying for the first time...
What I mean by that is, a dogs digestive system can be very sensitive. Like British Columbia vet Grant Nixon points out, "If you ate nothing but bread and water and then someone gave you a steak out of the blue, it'd upset your stomach too." Remember that next time you want to give your dog a little bit extra.
It's best to start in moderation, and slowly work your way up to adding more. Although, every dog is different and it also depends on the breed. You'll learn what portions are good to feed your pooch and if you aren't sure, talking with your local Veterinarian would be a great resource.
Another thing to watch for if you start giving your dog human food, is their stool. Is it firm? Is it chunky, or runny? You'd be surprised at what you can learn by watching your dogs poop. If your dogs poop is normally super firm and slowly changes to a pancake consistency, or even Diarrhea, odds are whatever you're feeding them isn't agreeing with their stomach...
Watch the fat. It's essential for a proper diet, but too much can cause harm. I would also advice to stay clear of any bones... Cooked bones can cause choking and intestinal tearing. Raw bones are popular among certain breeds, but many experts think it's too much of a risk. Marrow bones are considered "safe", although they must be two inches long to avoid splintering.