Being a dog owner is a tremendous responsibility. Though he doesn't always have to eat all-natural dog food without any tasty treats ever, you need to be wary of what your dog is eating, and owners have to practice self-restraint in denying their puppy or dog human food treats for good behavior. It's not about controlling body weight through quality dog food, either.
What may seem like a healthy treat for us isn't necessarily a healthy treat for your furry family member. Veterinarians in Atlanta—and much of the rest of the world—agree there are plenty of treats you should never give to your dog. Because most dogs will gobble up anything that resembles food, there is a certain paranoia that should come with making sure certain food is not left where your dog can eat them. Here are foods and treat ingredients you should never feed your dog.
Meats and Treats with Lots of Fat
Dog owners should avoid feeding their pet foods and treats that have high-fat content. These include bacon, ham, or any other dog treat that contains fatty meat trimmings. This may seem surprising to some dog owners’ because of the popular dog treats that promote a bacon-like product whose commercials we’ve all seen. Dogs love these kinds of meat trimmings and treats, but the reality of the situation is that foods high in fat can cause pancreatitis in dogs which can take years off their life.
Meats and treats high in fat are also high in salt. This is a bad combination for your dog as treats high in fat and salt may cause your dog to have an upset stomach which can lead to them drinking too much water and becoming bloated. Bloating in dogs is not like bloating in humans because it can result in death in more extreme cases.
Treats with Lots of Salt
As mentioned above, it’s important to avoid feeding your dogs any food high in salt. Dogs that eat too much salt can develop sodium ion poisoning which leads to many problems for a dog’s health. These include, but are not limited to, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, bloating, excessive thirst, and urination. Salt in small amounts is OK for dogs, but make sure you keep the salt content of their diet low to avoid potential health issues.
Raw Meat, Eggs, and Fish
This should be a no-brainer since eating raw meat, eggs, and fish can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. These can be devastating for dogs because they not only cause skin problems but also can lead to food poisoning.
There is a rather interesting trend of dog owners adopting a raw meat diet for their pets. This is highly discouraged by vets because of the reasons mentioned above and because the diet is very risky and a lot can go wrong. Just because wolves, coyotes, and other wild animals are able to eat meat raw that is not the case for dogs.
Another rather surprising treat unhealthy for dogs is any kind of dairy product. The reason for this is dogs don’t have the specific enzymes required to break down dairy products such as milk, cheese, and ice cream. In fact, most dogs are actually lactose intolerant and eating any kind of dairy product can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other stomach-related illnesses. Also, since most dairy products are high in fat, treating your dog to these types of snacks can cause deadly pancreatitis.
Feeding your dog any kind of chocolate product is extremely bad for their overall health. The reason for this is chocolate contains theobromine which equates to feeding your dog poison. This can cause your dog to suffer from dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, and more serious health problems such as seizures, abnormal heartbeat, and even death. Most dog owners should know chocolate is one of the worst treats you can give your dog.
Candy and Peanut Butter
Dogs can’t catch a break when it comes to sweet tasting treats. Not only can they not have chocolate, but sugary candies and peanut butter are also a no-go for. The reason for this is they contain xylitol. This hard to pronounce substance, when ingested by dogs, will cause a massive insulin increase which leads to low blood sugar and liver failure.
There are some peanut butter products which don’t contain xylitol, but unless you know for sure, it should be avoided. Also, sugary foods cause the same health problems in dogs as they do in humans such as dental problems, lethargy, and obesity.
Raisins and Grapes
Raisins and grapes are a somewhat unfamiliar danger to dogs, but they can cause many problems. Dogs who eat raisins and grapes can suffer renal failure, triggering their kidneys to shut down which eventually leads to death.
Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic are, in large doses, terrible for dogs. Treats which contain these ingredients should be avoided as they can cause your dog’s red blood cells to be destroyed. This leads to a lack of iron in the dog’s blood, causing anemia. Dogs suffering from anemia display a lack of interest in their food, general tiredness, and pale white unhealthy gums. It’s best to avoid these foods altogether because even in small doses over time can cause the problems mentioned above.
Some other treats that should not be given to dogs include avocados, which not only pose a choking risk for dogs but contain toxins which are harmful as well. Alcohol, caffeine, apple cores and raw potatoes are also bad for dogs.There are surely many other treats that dogs need to avoid, but this list is the worst of the worst.
Vets in Atlanta and around the world agree that watching what treats you give your dog is something you should think about on a daily basis. Having a dog is a major responsibility, but the love and companionship they provide is something which cannot be replicated.