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Tasty and Toxic Food for Dogs

Tasty food for dogs

Unfortunately, the list of things that are good for your dogs to eat is much smaller than the list of bad things your dog might get into.  The reasoning behind this is that the food for dogs that’s already out there has most of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals your dog needs to live a healthy life.  If you’re already giving your dog a high-quality food like the ones we suggested, there’s no need to supplement their diet with anything else.  If you’re looking for a healthy treat, visit our truth about dog treats page for more detailed information and suggestions to go along with other food for dogs.  Otherwise, here’s a list of “people food” alternatives that are safe and tasty for your pet.

  • Lean meat – cooked lean meat is a great source of protein and is, of course tasty to your dog.  Make sure to trim any fat from the meat and remove all bones before giving to your dog or adding to any food for dogs.
  • Some fresh fruits – apples, melon, mango, banana, papaya, blueberries, and cranberries are all tasty and beneficial to your dog.  There are, however some fruits to avoid.  Also, remove all seeds, stems, and pits before giving them to your dog.  Scroll down for more information on this.
  • Vegetables – leafy greens, sweet potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, celery, carrots, green beans, potatoes, and yams are all great as well.  Make sure to cook potatoes before giving them to your dog.
  • Cooked, white rice and pasta – excellent way to combat gastrointestinal problems.  If your dog has stomach problems you might want to try this to settle his tummy.

Toxic food for dogs

Dogs explore their doggy world with their noses and mouths.  They don’t necessarily choose the right things to eat just as we don’t.  We, as loving pet parents need to monitor what kinds of things are going into our food for dogs just as much as we need to monitor the little extras our dogs are getting into.  Some things are absolutely toxic to our dogs and should be avoided at all cost.  These things include:

  • Avocado – it contains something called persin which is harmless to people, but highly toxic to animals.  If you have an avocado plant in your yard make sure to keep your dogs away from it.  The bark, leaves, seeds, and stems also contain persin.
  • Onions and Garlic – in all forms: cooked, raw, powdered, and dehydrated these are very bad.  These things can destroy red blood cells and cause anemia.  Even one large quantity can cause poisoning.  If your dog gets onion or garlic in small quantities over time it can do the same thing.  Garlic is a supplement that can be suggested by your veterinarian.  Always consult with them first before adding either of these items to any food for dogs.  Symptoms of anemia include little interest in food and vomiting, breathlessness, and weakness.
  • Grapes and Raisins – Many dogs love these sweet little treats, but beware.  They not only present a choking hazard, but can cause kidney failure in dogs.  Researchers are not sure why grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, but it’s best to keep them out of arm..or mouth reach of your pet.
  • Some fruits – Plumbs, peaches, and persimmons are all dangerous to have around dogs because of their pits and seeds.  Persimmon seeds can cause all kinds of intestinal problems like intestinal inflammation an obstruction.  Peach and Plumb pits can not only get stuck in a dogs throat or intestines, but they also contain cyanide which is highly toxic to both humans and animals.
  • Dairy products – Milk and ice cream sure are tasty and our pets love them, but these dairy products can cause diarrhea and upset stomach as well as food allergies leading to skin problems and more.  If it’s hot outside try the Ice Pups we talk about in our Truth About Dog Treats page.
  • Raw eggs – there are many bacterial possibilities that can occur when adding raw eggs to your dogs diet or any food for dogs.  Salmonella and E. Coli are a few.  There is also an enzyme in raw eggs that affects the absorption of a specific B vitamin that dogs need.  Without it, their skin and coat are negatively effected.
  • Gum and other candies – gum and most candies (as well as people toothpaste) contain a substance called xylitol which can cause a drop in blood sugar, eventually leading to seizures and even liver failure or death.
  • Yeast Dough – yeast rises when cooked and it does the same inside your dog’s tummy.  This can cause extreme pain and discomfort in the abdomen.  Additionally, fermented yeast creates alcohol which can lead to alcohol poisoning!
  • Alcohol – has the same effect on dogs as it does humans.  The only difference is it takes far less to receive the same effects in a dog than it does in a human.  Alcohol consumption in dogs causes vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system issues, depression, lack of coordination, breathing problems, and so much more.  Alcohol may go great with some people food, but when it comes to appropriate foods for dogs, lets leave out this side item all together.
  • Caffeine – in large amounts, caffeine can be fatal to pets!  It can be found in tea and coffee, ground or in bean form, any caffeinated soda, and cocoa.  There is no antidote for caffeine poisoning.  The symptoms of caffeine poisoning include rapid breathing, muscle tremors, heart palpitations, restlessness, and even bleeding.
  • Chocolate – okay, we all know chocolate is bad for dogs.  Some of us think it’s only milk or dark chocolate that will hurt our furry friends.  Wrong!  Chocolate in all forms, including white chocolate as well as all of the other forms is very bad for dogs.  It has caffeine in it as well as a component called theobromine which can cause abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and even death.
  • Nuts – All nuts contain fats, which can lead vomiting and diarrhea. Foods that are high in fat can also lead to pancreatitis. Many of the nuts we buy for ourselves are salted and if your pet eats too many it can pose a risk for the development of a sodium ion toxicosis. Walnuts and macadamia nuts are known to be toxic to dogs so avoid giving them to your pet at any time.  As few as six macadamia nuts can be fatal to dogs.  Almonds and Brazil nuts are not currently known to be toxic to pets.
  • Pantry items – Many things found in a typical pantry are awful to have around dogs.  Baking powder and baking soda are absolutely toxic to dogs.  Nutmeg and other spices are as well.  In general, it’s a good idea to keep your dog’s wandering nose out of the pantry.
  • Salt – Many of our favorite snack foods contain salt.  As with people, salt can cause your dog to become severely dehydrated if eaten in large enough quantities.  Of course, it takes far less salt to negatively affect your dog than it does to affect you.  Too much salt in your dogs diet can cause sodium ion poisoning so lets keep the salt to a minimum if any at all.
  • Medicine – Though not really considered food for dogs, we thought we should mention that many dog owners take it upon themselves to self diagnose and treat symptoms they might see in their dog.  Some dogs with allergies get benadryl to help cope, while others get aspirin for pain.  It is NEVER a good idea to give your dog any human medicine without consulting a veterinary professional first.  You may under or over dose your dog, give them the wrong type of medicine, or a medicine with toxic side effects.  Dogs should never have acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen, or human cold medicines.  These all have high quantities of toxins for dogs and can absolutely be fatal

If you think your dog may have ingested a substance that is toxic, immediately call ASPCA poison control center at 1-888-426-4435 or contact your nearest emergency vet clinic.

For any other information, questions, or concerns about your food for dogs, feel free to contact us!  We’d be more than happy to help in selecting the best food for your furry friend.