Friday, September 3, 2010

Harmless foods you should avoid giving your dog to prevent health problems

Everyone seems to have a horror story about a dog that would eat anything. We all know about a time that a dog got into the chocolate cake, or the onion soup, or the garlic chicken. Most of these stories result in
harrowing trips to the emergency vet, terrifying vet bills, and huge amounts of worry and stress for everyone involved.

But what about the foods we choose to feed our dogs? Of course we wouldn't feed them an onion off a cutting board, but what about other vegetables? Most dog owners have no problem with throwing their dog some scraps as a treat, or even as they cook. Unfortunately, some innocuous and seemingly healthy foods can also be the beginning for one of these pet horror stories. Read on to find out which harmless sounding foods you should avoid giving your dog to prevent health problems.

1. Cat food.

Many dogs co-exist peacefully with their feline friends, but make sure to curb your dog's tendency to munch on your cat's leftovers. Dogs like cat food because it is higher in fat and protein, which makes it much tastier than their normal food. However, over time this habit can lead to a serious imbalance in your dog's diet, which can result in major health problems (and vet bills) in the future. Make sure to protect your dog by keeping your cat's bowl somewhere out of reach when they are not using it. Even better, find a spot for your cat's meals that allows them some privacy in addition to protecting your dog. Your entire fur-family will thank you.

2. Avocados.

It's easy to assume that most vegetables and fruits are good for your dog. After all, dogs eat grass outside, so why are vegetables any different? Many dogs owners develop a habit of feeding their dog small vegetable treats as they prepare dinner or snack on them, but you need to be careful what you're feeding your dog. Avocados contain persin, which can cause both vomiting and major stomach upset for your dog. Do your dog, yourself, and your carpet a favor and research the vegetables you feed your dog online.

3. Mushrooms.

Another seemingly harmless vegetable, and another dangerous food for your dog. Mushrooms contain a toxin that can both send your dog into shock, and in extreme cases cause death.

4. Raisins.

Raisins are a relatively new food on the radar, and the toxin that causes a reaction in dogs has yet to be identified. What is clear is that raisins and grapes, even in small amounts, can cause extreme kidney damage to your dog.

5. Fish.

Dogs are frequently fed fish because many pet owners assume that if something is safe for cats, it must also be safe for dogs. Dogs that are fed large amounts of fish of any type, in any form (raw, cooked, canned) frequently show a lack of vitamin B. This can lead to seizures, loss of appetite, and in very extreme cases, death.

Dogs love people food, and there's no reason not to indulge their tastes within reason. If you're not completely sure that a food is dog friendly, remember to research it online first before you feed it to your pooch. Your dog and your wallet will thank you!