What NOT to Feed Your Dog

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm going to be test driving some new dog treat recipes soon and thought I'd share some of them here but before I get into the GOOD THINGS I thought I should talk about the BAD THINGS first.

"When In Doubt, Don't" is a good rule to follow before offering your dog an unfamiliar people food. I found this list some time ago at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center site and I've included this information in the brochure I hand out with my dog treats. I frequently hear customers express surprise at the some of the foods on the list.  I was surprised at a couple of them myself. Who knew grapes and macadamia nuts were on the bad list? I didn't. I looked at countless lists when I was searching for this information but especially liked this one because it tells you why the specific foods are harmful.


Some of these are no brainers but take a look to see if there's anything here that you aren't aware of.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ~ can cause intoxication, coma and death.

AVOCADO ~ has high fat content can lead to Pancreatitis.

CHOCOLATE ~ ALL FORMS contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline which can be toxic to the heart and nervous system. I've read some articles that say white chocolate is ok I'd rather use yogurt chips for icings.

COFFEE ~ ALL FORMS can be toxic to the heart and nervous system.

FATTY FOODS ~ cause Pancreatitis- includes fat from steak, roast, chicken skin, etc.

MACADAMIA NUTS ~ contains toxins which can affect the muscles, digestive & nervous system.

MOLDY / SPOILED FOODS ~ could contain multiple toxins.

ONION / ONION POWDER ~ contains sulfoxides & disulfides which can damage red blood cells causing anemia.

RAISINS / GRAPES ~ contain toxins which can damage kidneys, cause kidney failure and lead to death.

YEAST DOUGH ~ unbaked dough can expand in the digestive system causing bloat leading to death. I once made a frantic call to our local Animal Emergency Hospital when DisGrace snarfled a small amount of unbaked dog treat dough I was working on when I left the kitchen for a moment. Fortunately, she didn't get enough to make her sick but it could have been a disaster had she eaten more. If you're unfamiliar with Canine Bloat please learn more about it. Bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus" ("GDV")  is second only to cancer as the leading killer of dogs. Bloat can kill in less than an hour so recognizing it and having an emergency plan can save your dog's life.

GARLIC ~ similar to onions except garlic is considered to be less toxic and safe for dogs when used in moderation. Often used to flavor food or treats but best used sparingly. FYI: I use 1/4 t. granulated garlic in my Chicken Treat recipe which yields 100 small treats so I'm comfortable that the actual garlic amount per treat is miniscule... just enough to add some taste.

PRODUCTS WITH XYLITOL ~ this commonly used artificial sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar resulting in depression, loss of coordination and seizures.

BABY FOOD ~ can contain onion powder, refer to onion info above... this one also surprised me. Onion powder in baby food? Why?

CHICKEN OR FISH BONES ~ can splinter, causing lacerations and serious obstructions. My Vet told us to never give a dog any kind of bone that has been cooked because of the risk of splintering. He explained further that beef cattle are bred for maximim meat and the bones are soft. Makes sense to me.

CHERRY, PEACH, PLUM, APRICOT PITS / APPLE & PEAR SEEDS ~ contain cyanogenic glycosides which can result in cyanide poisoning. Avoid all pits & seeds unless you know them to be safe. I avoid them all...period.

GREEN POTATO SKINS ~ contains a toxin, solanine, which is only found in green tubers and green potato skins. Cooked potatoes are safe and nutritious for dogs.

MILK / DAIRY PRODUCTS ~ like some people, some dogs can be lactose intolerant.

MUSHROOMS ~ depending on the particular mushroom, toxic effects can include damage to the heart, liver or kidneys causing death.

TURKEY SKIN ~ the high fat content can cause Pancreatitis. (this one surprised me- probably just because I love it)

RAW SALMON ~ if you feed your dog a raw diet, avoid raw salmon, which can contain a parasite which causes an illness (SPD - read more here) which has a 90% mortality rate.

RAW EGGS ~ best to avoid since raw egg whites can cause a depletion of biotin and raw eggs can be contaminated with salmonella.

SALT ~ Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.

SUGAR ~ bad for teeth and could contribute to the onset of diabetes.

TOMATOES/TOMATO PLANTS ~ contain toxins known to cause dilated pupils, tremors, irregular heartbeat. Tomato plants are the most toxic, followed by unripe and ripe tomatoes.

WALNUTS / MOST NUTS ~ Walnuts are poisonous to dogs. Many nuts are not good for dogs in general; the high phosphorus content is said to possibly cause kidney stones. NOTE: Remember peanuts are legumes, not nuts. I use a good quality natural peanut butter for my Peanut Buddier treats.


I've shared this list you to make you aware that some "people foods" are not good for dogs and can cause serious illness or even death. I'm not a canine nutritionist or an expert by any means. I am simply sharing the guideline I adhere to with my own dog and in the preparation of my dog treats. Self- education, common sense and good judgement are our responsibilities as pet owners.  A visit to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center site is a good place to start. It's just not foods that can be toxic. Household products, insecticides, antifreeze, plants and medications contributed to the more than 140,000 cases of toxic substance exposure the APC Center handled last year.

When in doubt, CALL YOUR LOCAL VET IMMEDIATELY or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 24 Hour Emergency Hotline 888-426-4435.
This is a toll free call but according to their site a $65 fee MAY be charged.





                                        

22 Comments:

Andrew's Mom said...

We're investigating dogs again. My baby says everyday I wish I could have a dog. A friend has a pure bred German shepherd and we're going to have Andrew spend some time with him. If that looks okay, I'll have my sister send me a puppy. Keeping our fingers crossed and I'll keep this post handy.

BevB said...

If it happens (H to the O to the P to the E) let me know. I'll be sending you a copy of this and a Welcome-to-the Family box of treats!

Packrat said...

It is interesting what "they" say not to feed dogs. Our vet said that dogs eat the dry dog food because it has so much garlic in it!

Also, we have fed our dogs table scraps forever. Our dogs have all lived to be old, old, old, but I am more careful now about what I give them.

I have a funny story - if I may? Grandma and Grandpa had a grape vine that finally decided to produce. It was loaded with grapes, but as the grapes ripened they disappeared. Grandma was so mad. She was blaming the deer and the raccoons, so one evening she waited and watched. It was my Australian shepherd! Sweetie was picking the grapes, eating them and spitting the seeds out.

BevB said...

You're right -that is a funny story!
Our black lab, Stu, once ate a whole batch (9x13 pan) of chocolate & walnut fudge and lived despite my threats to kill him myelf. This is the same dog who commandeered a whole turkey that was supposed to be dinner for the crew on the AK fishing boat he was living on at the time.

Packrat said...

Oh dear! A whole turkey and fudge...

I think dogs are somewhat like people. Some can eat certain things, others can't. My son worked with a lady whose dog was allergic to chicken.

Oh, our dogs eat walnuts all the time. The dogs pick them up off the ground.

Daily Freebies said...

I love your blog!!

BevB said...

LOL Thanks- I think.....I've noticed you've posted the same comment to several blogs Ive visited. Good taste or spam?

Andrew's Mom said...

BevB - THANKS TO YOU...I checked out that site you sent me - and we are adopting/buying a goldendoodle - it will arrive on 2/13! I posted a picture of "Panama" (Jim insists - VanHalen fanatic) on facebook. Andrew is so excited. I know we shouldn't have told him - but he has been every day crying and talking about getting a dog "Maybe one day in heaven"....so we showed him the picture and we're counting down the days. xoxo

Andrew's Mom said...

Dailey Freebies -- a comment is a comment - LOL

Update: Andrew gets to name the dog - I twisted Jim's arm - Wishbone.

A Wedding Story said...

The dog treats are just precious!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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