There's a lot of information floating around about what you can and cannot feed dogs. Everyone knows chocolate is awful for dogs, but what else should be on that list? And why?
We're here to help you get started on understanding your pets' dietary needs better.
Many diet foods or food that claims to be sugar-free are usually loaded with xylitol as an alternative to sugar, and while humans are okay consuming it... it's awful for your dog. Xylitol can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver problems. Be sure to read that ingredient list before you offer your dog a small snack.
Onions and Garlic
These two, or any in their family (chives, spring onion and the like) are no good for dogs. In small quantities, there's typically no danger. However, a lot can cause poisoning, killing your dogs' red blood cells and leading to severe anaemia.
Grapes and Raisins
Humans love 'em. We make wine, we cover raisins in chocolate and we enjoy it with good cheese. But for dogs, even a small amount of this deadly fruit and its dried version can cause kidney failure. If you think your dog may have eaten grapes or raisins, keep an eye out for symptoms like vomiting, changes in bowel movements and lethargy. Get your dog to the vet right away!
While probiotic dairy products like yoghurt and low or lactose-free dairy products like cheese are usually safe, most milk and milk-based products can cause digestive issues. And over time, it can also make your pooch open to food allergies. Thankfully food allergies are manageable, and allergen-free food is widely and easily available. But it's always better to be safe than sorry because allergic reactions are no fun at all.
It may seem natural to give bones to a dog, but small bones from your plate or cooked chicken bones are likely to splinter and cause some severe problems. Choking and internal bleeding being some of them. If you want to give your dog bones to chew on, go for large uncooked bones that are good for gnawing or can be chewed properly.
Salt & Sugar
This one is a little more common sense. Too much salt or sugar is awful for dogs in the same way it is awful for humans. Except, the healthy amount for dogs is far lower than that humans need. Which means salty snacks like chips have over and above the amount of salt your dog can safely consume. With time and too much sodium or sugar, your dog could fall gravely sick. Diabetes, heart problems, sodium poisoning are all very real possibilities of giving your dog human portions of sugar or salt.
Being a responsible pet owner means you have to take an active interest in your dog's diet and keep a watchful eye when you are out together. But no matter how careful you are, your dog is bound to find and swallow something they shouldn't. Or if your dog is one of the naughty, clever little ones, they may very well be swiping food they shouldn't!
As a preventive measure, be sure to keep all dangerous food items out of your pets reach. Should they ingest something they shouldn't, inform your vet and make a note of quantity ingested if you can. Keep an eye out for symptoms like loose motions, vomiting, sluggishness and consult your vet as soon as possible.