One common mistake dog owners make is to feed their dog anything and everything. Dogs seldom say no to scraps and snacks, including things that are actually really bad for them.
Should I Feed My Dog Scraps From The Kitchen?
We can all be susceptible to our furry friend’s puppy dog eyes willing us to give them a treat from our plate or chopping board, but you must resist the temptation as most dog illnesses are induced by poor diet or incorrect feeding. Giving your dog scraps will also encourage him to scrounge, which in the end will cause you more irritation and stress than pleasure.
Keep food intended for humans out of reach of dogs, and avoid giving them table scraps
Leftovers Can Make Your Dog Ill
Avoid giving your dog leftover food and avoid giving him processed food that is made for humans. Dogs can become very ill when given something that they struggle to digest. Onions disagree with dogs, and things like French fries and chocolate can make him very sick. It is also very difficult to know if some foods contain substances that are toxic to dogs – some candy, for example, contains artificial sweetener xylitol, which is highly poisonous.
These Foods Are Toxic For Dogs
- Alcohol - Not a food, we know, but it’s something people are often tempted to let a dog try, particularly if its beer. Beer is made from barley, it's cold and refreshing on a hot day – surely that’s okay for dogs? Wrong! Alcoholic beverages and any food product containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and central nervous system depression. In some cases it can lead to breathing difficulties, tremors, coma, and even death.
- Avocado - The skin and stone are toxic, so make sure they’re disposed of properly, and not put at ground level in a garbage can or recycle bin that your dog can raid.
- Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine - These products all contain toxins called methylxanthines. They can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, and in extreme cases can result in tremors, seizures and even death. Note: dark chocolate is the most dangerous, as it is the most unadulterated type of chocolate.
- Citrus - These can cause diarrhea and possibly central nervous system depression, if eaten in large amounts.
Some foods are toxic for dogs - do not feed any of these to your pet dog
- Coconut and Coconut Oil - These can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
- Grapes and Raisins - These innocuous looking fruits can cause kidney failure in dogs, so avoid at all costs.
- Milk and Dairy - Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other dairy-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.
- Nuts - Nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, contain high amounts of oils and fats. The fats can cause vomiting and diarrhea if eaten to excess, so it’s best to avoid them. Macadamia Nuts are the most toxic for dogs and can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia.
- Onions, Garlic, Chives - These cause gastrointestinal irritation if eaten in large amounts. Dogs will steer well clear of raw ones, but they tend to be in many cooked foods. Once again, if you avoid feeding your dog table scraps, you’ll minimize the chances of them eating anything undesirable.
- Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones - Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to dogs. See “Other Foods” for more advice on feeding them bones.
- Salt and Salted Snacks - Large amounts of salt can produce vomiting, diarrhea, an even seizures or death of consumed in excess. Avoid feeding them any snacks like potato chips, pretzels, peanuts, or salted popcorn.
- Xylitol and Other Artificial Sweeteners - These are found in countless products, from candy and processed foods to toothpaste and soft drinks. Some of them can cause liver failure.
- Yeast Dough - Be careful if you’re leaving dough to rise, and make sure it’s not within reach of the dog. It will continue to ferment in the gut, causing painful gas and bloating, and also producing small amounts of toxic ethanol. In extreme cases it can cause the gut or stomach to twist, which is a life-threatening condition.