Most ‘human foods’ are not safe to feed your dogs, as they contain a number of toxins and ingredients that are not only bad for their overall health, but can seriously harm your fur-baby, if not kill them. However, not all ‘human foods’ are bad for them.
We fed Bodhi – our cocker spaniel – an array of dog-friendly ‘human foods’ from a young age, in the hope we would be able to feed him healthy treats that varied from the normal pet biscuits. Our experience was very positive, as he tried everything we gave him and ended up loving most of the foods (some more than others, but that’s the same with every child).
So what ‘human foods’ can you feed your dog? Here’s Bodhi’s top 10 fave ‘human foods’ to snack on:
1. Carrots – Bodhi’s absolute favourite! Just make sure you peel them and cut off the ends.
2. Blueberries – expensive, but the perfect snack to share!
3. Raspberries – we freeze these when they are on special at Food Lovers Market and feed them to him in summer (and whenever I open the freezer).
4. Strawberries – again, remember to cut off the ends!
5. Eggs – without the shell, I will explain why later.
6. Apples – peeled and without the core.
7. Corn – off the cob. Again, I will explain why later.
8. Bananas – without the skin, obviously.
9. Oranges – peeled and take the seeds out.
10. Cucumber – peeled.
Here are some other ‘human foods’ your dogs can eat:
peanut butter, cooked chicken, cooked salmon, cooked pumpkin, green beans, peas, watermelon, zucchini, baked potato, sweet potato, white rice, pasta, and oatmeal.
Note: make sure that all pits, seeds, leaves, the skin, and stems are removed, as they can cause problems.
Now for the list of foods your dogs should not eat, and the symptoms you should look out for if they do get their paws on them:
1. Chocolate – this deliciously sweet human treat includes theobromine – which is harmless to humans, obviously. However, theobromine will cause your fur-baby to vomit, have diarrhea, and be excessively thirsty. If chocolate is fed to your fur-baby on a regular basis, it will also cause them to have an abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and will lead to eventual death.
2. Onion and garlic – Both of these human foods will destroy your dog’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. The symptoms of anemia are: weakness, vomiting, lack of appetite, dullness, and breathlessness.
3. Avocado – Guacamole or no guacamole, avocado contains persin which, in large amounts, is toxic to dogs.
4. Raisins and grapes – Although a healthy, sweet snacking option for us two-legged mammals, both grapes and raisins cause kidney failure in pets. Symptoms include: repeated vomiting, sluggish behavior and depression (yes, dogs get depressed too).
5. Alcohol – We all know how nice it is to feel slightly buzzed after two bottles of Black Label, however it’s not so fun for your pets. Alcohol – no matter if it is wine, beer, or spirits – has the same effect on a dog’s brain and liver that it has on a human’s, but it takes much less to do so much more damage. Not so much fun after all…
6. Coffee, tea or anything that includes caffeine – Most of us need an extra-large coffee in the morning to get us going, especially on a Friday. However, if your dog ingests large quantities of caffeine, they run the risk of getting caffeine poisoning – which can be fatal and has no antidote. The symptoms include: restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and fits.
7. Dairy products – Sharing your deliciously cold ice cream with your dog on a hot summers day may seem like a nice thing to do, however most dairy products cause your pets to go through severe digestive upset, with symptoms including: diarrhoea. If too much dairy is consumed, there is the possibility of setting up potential food allergies that may show up as a rash or itchiness.
8. Human medicine – This is a huge no, no! Although not a food, I thought this one was a very important addition to the list. Human medicine can be fatal to your dog as certain substances and ingredients will poison your pets. If your dog is in need of medication, take them to the vet and use the medication given to your by your veterinarian – do not self medicate your dog at home as you could make their symptoms much worse, or potentially kill them!
9. Sugar, xylitol products and sweets – Let’s face it, it’s not a good idea for humans to eat food that contain excessive amount of sugar, so why would it be any different for our pets? Sweet things can cause more insulin to be produced and circulated through your dog’s tiny body, which will lead to their blood sugar dropping and their liver to fail. If fed often, sugar can lead to your pet gaining too much weight, a number of dental problems and bad breath, and possibly diabetes. Symptoms include: vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, seizures, and eventual liver failure within just a few short days.
10. Salt – Salt can cause excessive thirst and urination in pets, as well as lead to sodium ion poisoning. Too much salt will cause: vomiting, have diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even lead to your pet’s death.
11. Raw fish and meat – Raw fish and meat can lead to food poisoning from bacteria. Additionally, certain types of fish carry a parasite called “fish disease” or “salmon fish disease”. The symptoms of fish disease include: vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. To avoid your pets getting the disease, however, you can thoroughly cook the fish. The cooking process will eradicate the disease, making the fish safe to feed to your fur-kids.
12. Fat, raw hide bones and bones – Fat – another food that isn’t particularly healthy for humans to eat in large quantities – can cause pancreatitis in your pets. When it comes to bones – which have been portrayed for many years as the perfect snack for your pets – it it unwise to feed them to your dogs because they can easily choke on them if they try to eat them too fast, additionally there is a chance of them splintering and puncturing your dog’s stomach and intestine, or cause a serious blockage in their system (which is the same for a corn cob! See above).
13. Raw eggs – Raw eggs could cause possible food poisoning from bacteria, meaning their is a chance your pet can suffer from Salmonella or E. coli. Secondly, there is an enzyme in raw eggs that can interfere with the absorption of a particular B vitamin (leading to problems with your fur-baby’s coat and skin). Lastly, if raw egg is fed to them inside its shell, there is a chance that the sharp edges will cut your dog’s intestines and stomach lining causing internal bleeding and a scary trip to the vet.
Looking after our fur-babies is a top priority, and controlling and monitoring what they eat will ensure that they lead a long, healthy and happy life. Have you given your dogs any of the ‘human food’ mentioned above? If so, what is your pet’s favourite ‘human snack’? I would love to know, so leave me a comment in the box below.
All the images in this article were downloaded from pixabay and the information sourced from Pets WebMD.