As a dog owner it’s hard to resist those pleading eyes staring at you when you are trying to enjoy a snack. People tend to think, how can one little piece hurt? One little piece cannot only hurt, but can send your canine companion into seizures.
One important thing to remember when it comes to the health of your dog is that not every dog is the same. Just because doggy down the street can tolerate a tootsie roll treat from his owner, it does not mean that your dog will be able to tolerate the same bad food. What seems to work fine for the dog down the street could in fact be fatal to your particular dog.
Everyone knows, or should know by now about the dangers of feeding chocolate to dogs. Most think it has something to do with the caffeine contained in the cocoa; that is partially true as caffeine can cause a dog’s heart rate to elevate. Another toxin found in chocolate is theobromine and between the two toxins a dog can experience vomiting, abdominal pain, seizures, tremors and even death.
Other foods that are toxic to dogs are grapes and raisins which can cause kidney failure, and moonshine or grain alcohol which will cause vomiting and could cause coma. Hops which are used in making beer are poison to a dog; any dog that has ingested hops should have immediate emergency care. Macadamia nuts are another toxic food which can cause stomach problems and may require pain control from a vet. Onions and garlic can cause damage to red blood cells, and avocados contain persin which is known to be toxic to dogs as well as birds and horses. If you feed your dog apples, be sure to remove the core and seeds as the seeds are toxic and the dog could choke on the core.
Xylitol is a relatively new toxin to the list, as it is found in toothpaste, mints, sugar-free cookies, gum, and dental washes. Even very small amounts can cause a dog to experience liver failure, seizures and death. Emergency care should be sought immediately if your dog ingests any amount of this chemical.
When feeding your dog any new type of food, even dog food it is best to take it slowly and gauge any reactions before going whole hog. Try new foods one at a time, spaced out by a few days just in case your dog has food sensitivities. If you switch dog foods add the new food to the old food a little at a time until the old food is eliminated; switching foods slowly will help to avoid stomach issues such as diarrhea.
Feeding any type of dairy product should be done slowly as some dogs are lactose intolerant. Low-fat cottage cheese, or plain yogurt can be good for a dog due to the protein and calcium but their reaction must be monitored. A small piece of cheese is a good way to hide a pill, if necessary.