Pet foods are specially formulated for your individual dog’s needs. The food we eat, however, is largely formulated for taste. Ideally, you should never give your dog scraps from your table. Your dog’s health and behavior will reflect his diet so always pay close attention to what you feed him. In fact, certain foods can make your dog very ill and should always be avoided.
The snack black list
- Fatty foods. Feeding your dog excessively rich or fatty foods can trigger pancreatitis (inflammatory disease of the pancreas). Pancreatitis is more common in dogs than in cats and signs include vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and loss of appetite.
- Raw meat. Never feed your dog raw or undercooked meat. It may contain bacteria such as Salmonella or E. Coli which, when consumed, can cause vomiting and diarrhea. It is as dangerous for your dog as it is for you.
- Moldy foods. Moldy foods should also be avoided because they may contain certain mycotoxins, which, if ingested, can cause tremors, shaking, or seizures. If you wouldn’t eat it, he shouldn’t either.
- Chocolate. Never feed your dog chocolate. Chocolate can cause increased heart rate, tremors and excitation, depending on the type and the quantity ingested.
- Onion and garlic. Garlic and onion, regardless of form: raw, cooked, or powder, can cause damage to your dog’s red blood cells, which could result in anemia.
- Some nuts. Do not give your dog macadamia nuts. These can cause muscular weakness and tremors.
- Uncooked dough. Rising bread dough can be life threatening to your dog. Your dog’s body heat will cause the dough to rise in his stomach. Alcohol is produced during the rising process and the dough may expand to several times its original size. Signs seen with bread dough ingestion include: severe abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, lack of coordination, and depression.
- Raisins and grapes. These fruits have been shown to cause kidney failure in dogs when eaten in large quantities. The connection between grapes or raisins and kidney failure is unclear but is being studied closely in the veterinary community.
Your dog’s health depends upon your good judgment. Try not to feed your dog excessively from your table — but if you do treat your dog to table food, avoid foods that can make him ill.