The recent weather here in the Puget Sound area is a great reminder that fall has arrived. With popular holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving coming up, we have to watch out for our canines and their sensitive tummys. The candy left by the front door will have Fido all over it, while turkey bones sound like a great treat until they send our pets to the vet.
Of course we all know how difficult it is to resist the needy eyes of our companions. Let’s just face it: dogs are excellent beggars, and have been for over 15,000 years. They will gladly perform every trick they know to get one tiny morsel from your plate. Most table scraps will be harmless, while others can be deadly and wrack up hundreds, if not thousands in veterinary bills.
Dogs themselves are not aware of what is and is not safe to eat. You can often find them searching the kitchen floor and tables for any scraps of food left behind. When you aren’t looking, they will quickly snatch up the bag of chips you left open on the coffee table the night before. The terms “obesity” and “diabetes” have no meaning to them until it starts affecting their daily lives.
It is perfectly fine to give our dogs treats to show them we care, but it should never consist of more than 10% of their daily diet. In celebration of the season, here are a few common food items to keep away from your pets.
Chocolate and Caffeine
A chemical found in chocolate, coffee, and caffeine called methylxanthines can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal hearth rhythm, and even death if your dog eats enough of it. The smaller the dog, the more danger they will be in.
Cookies and Candy
Just like us, too much sugar can be bad for our pets. Aside from dental problems, dogs can suffer from obesity and diabetes. Watch out for some types of candy and baked goods sweetened with xylitol. It can increase the amount of insulin in your dogs system and cause their blood sugar to drop to critical levels in which liver failure can occur. Watch out for vomiting, lethargy, or a loss of coordination, and if you feel that something may be seriously wrong you should contact your vet immedietely.
Salty Foods and Dips
Too much salt can be a bad thing and possibly lead to sodium ion poisoning. If you notice your dog drinking more than usual, vomiting, and having diarrhea, contact your vet. Even the avocados in guacamole has a substance in it that can be dangerous. Persin, though harmless to humans who aren’t allergic, can be highly toxic to dogs who have consumed a large enough amount.
Lastly, though alcohol is a must during most celebrations, it should never be given to your dog. It takes a lot less alcohol to damage a dogs liver than it does our own. Just a can or two of beer can cause vomiting, diarrhea, intoxication, and even death.
Here are a few things you can safely feed your dog from the table: Baked bread, plain cooked rice or pasta, carrots, seedless apples, shelled sunflower seeds, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and peanutbutter. If you want to learn more about safe foods you can feed your pet you can check out these sites here and here. Remember that if you are ever unsure of what you may or may not safely feed your pet, always double check first to make sure.