Monday, December 9, 2013

Feeding Your Dog “Human” Treats

If you are anything like most dog owners, you will probably see your pet as a big part of the family. It’s understandable that you may then be tempted to feed your dog the same kind of treats that you enjoy yourself, especially when he or she is giving you the “feed me” look. What dog owner can resist?

Most dogs will happily eat almost anything but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay for them to do so.  While some “human” treats are perfectly safe for dogs to consume, many dog owners do not realize that a lot of them can be harmful or even poisonous for dogs. No matter how much your dog begs for a treat, these foods are not good for them.

Chocolate can be poisonous  for dogs and is a leading cause of canine poisoning. Dark chocolate is the most likely type of chocolate to cause problems but milk and white varieties can still prove poisonous if a toxic amount is consumed. This can lead to symptoms such as seizures, tremors, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.

Grapes and Raisins
These are particularly poisonous for dogs, and even small amounts can be fatal. Kidney damage is a strong possibility. Vomiting and diarrhoea will usually occur within a few hours of ingestion, along with appetite loss, lethargy and passing small amounts of urine or none at all. Vomiting needs to be induced as soon as possible if this type of poisoning is suspected.

Onion and Garlic
It is not too common for dogs to ingest enough onion and/or garlic to become seriously ill but toxic amounts can cause gastrointestinal problems and affect red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. Symptoms can take a few days to become apparent and include weakness, lethargy, exhaustion after even gentle exercise and urine that is tinged with orange or dark red. Seek medical assistance from your vet if you suspect that your dog has consumed toxic amounts of onion or garlic.

Milk and Dairy Products
Dogs find it more difficult to break down lactose compared to humans, and this can lead to diarrhea and other digestive problems.

Eating avocados can lead to vomiting and diarrhea  and in large amounts, they can be poisonous.

Fat and Bones from Meat
Never offer scraps of fat and bones from your dinner. Feeding your dog scraps of fatty meat can cause pancreatitis, while bones can damage or block the digestive system.

Macadamia Nuts
These nuts can be fatal (along with anything that contains them), even if your dog only eats a few of them. Just six macadamia nuts are all it takes to affect your dog’s health. Symptoms can include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, a high temperature and rapid heart rate. Be particularly careful with treats that also contain chocolate.

This post was written by Sally Aquire with Animed Direct, a leading provider of pet medicines and pet care products in the UK and Europe.

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