With the silly season upon us, gatherings, barbeques and dinners are in full swing so it is a good time to remind everyone about the foods (human foods) that you should not be feeding your canine friend.
As much as we love to share with our dogs and think we are just being nice by sharing, it really is best to avoid feeding them human foods that they do not typically eat. Changes in diet can make your dog sick with some foods not being able to be digested by dog’s like they are by humans.
Overfeeding your dog certain foods like meats or vegetables won’t always cause concern however it could result in gastric symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation or stomach pain. Although they may not be life threatening and may pass on their own it can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort to your dog.
There are some foods that will cause little to no harm if shared in moderation and then there are others that can be extremely dangerous, causing severe illness, even being fatal. Foods that you should not be sharing with your dog include;
* Ham – is very high in fat and salt causing vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst and urination and can result in severe pancreatitis and even death.
* Turkey or chicken skin – once again high in fat and can lead the vomiting, diarrhoea and pancreatitis.
* Bones – cooked bones become brittle and splinter causing possible obstructions, irritation and perforations throughout the entire digestive tract.
* Raisins, grapes, sultanas, currants – can be toxic, even in small quantities, causing vomiting, diarrhoea and sudden kidney failure.
* Christmas pudding, fruit cake, mince pies – contain dried fruits (raisins, sultanas etc), alcohol and can be high in fat so they are a combination of a number of different dangerous foods.
* Chocolate – contains theobromine and caffeine which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle twitches, seizures, heart problems and even death.
* Macadamia nuts – poisonous to dog’s causing them to become weak and wobbly (particularly in hind legs) lethargic, muscle tremors, vomiting, hyperthermic and they are also a choking hazard.
* Onion and garlic (often in stuffing) – toxic causing damage to the red blood cells resulting in weakness, lethargy, excessive panting, pale gums and anaemia.
* Gum, mints, sugar-free candy – contains xylitol resulting in vomiting and lethargy. Xylitol causes a release of insulin and then a drop in blood sugar, can cause liver damage and even death.
* Alcohol – dog’s are more sensitive to the ethanol in alcohol than people, similar symptoms to a drunk person, wobbly, lethargic, hypothermia, seizures and death.
If you see any signs or symptoms, your dog is unwell or you are concerned that they have ingested any of the dangerous foods please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for advice and/or treatment.
Another very important thing to keep in mind when feeding your dog or sharing foods with them is the amount you are giving them. Dog’s are generally a lot smaller than us humans and therefore their required food consumption is a lot less than a person, relevant to their size and weight. For example, giving a 10kg dog one sausage is the equivalent of an 80kg human eating 8 sausages, so yes a little excessive.
So this Christmas (and always) keep your dog safe by not sharing your food. If you just can’t resist those puppy dog eyes (like me) please avoid the dangerous foods mentioned and only share in moderation. I suggest buying some dog treats, maybe a few different varieties, and have them in a tin or container where you can grab one out as a healthy safe treat for your furry friend so they don’t feel like they are missing out.
One other thing to remember is make sure you secure any rubbish, dogs are scavengers and will happily rip open bags to find that great smelling ham scraps, turkey bones or dessert and you often don’t know until it’s too late.
Wishing you all (two-legged and four legged) a very safe and happy Christmas.
Until next time,
Vet-n-pet Direct have a large range of dog treats available for your dog that are tasty and specially designed for them, check them out here >> www.vetnpetdirect.com.au/dog-supplies-shop-vet-meds/Treats-and-Rewards-for-Dogs