These Are the Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog
No matter how much they beg, don't ever give them a slice of your bacon.
As any pet owner knows, the only thing that dogs love more than chasing their own tails and sleeping all day is begging for scraps from the table. Even when all you're doing is drinking a glass of water in the kitchen, your dog will nudge, paw, and whine until you succumb to their sorrow and give them a tasty treat.
And though it's hard to resist those puppy eyes, there are certain foods he or she should never eat. For example, even when you're at your most vulnerable, you should never give your dog the bones from your steak dinner. If you do, you'll be putting their health at risk. Read on to learn about the foods that are bad for dogs. And for photos of adorable pups, check out the 21 Photos That Prove Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs.
Grapes and Raisins
Don't leave a stray grape or raisin on the floor for your dog to clean up later. According to Dr. Danielle Bernal, staff veterinarian with Wellness Natural Pet Food, these human foods are "especially toxic to dogs and can potentially lead to the rapid onset of kidney damage." Though researchers still aren't sure why this fruit—both dried and in its natural state—does such damage to a dog's insides, the fact remains that grapes are definitely one of the worst foods you can feed your dog. And for more ways to be the perfect pet owner, find out these 19 Things Your Dog Is Trying to Tell You.
"While puppy dog eyes may be pleading as you eat your Sunday breakfast, it is important to avoid giving a dog fatty treats such as bacon," says Bernal. "Even in small amounts, they can cause gastrointestinal upsets and pancreatitis." Plus, it's important to keep in mind that dogs are much smaller than humans—so while one slice of bacon won't derail your diet in the long run, that single slice for them "is no small treat," Bernal notes.
Every dog owner is told pretty much as soon as they get a puppy that they should keep chocolate far away from their furry friend. According to a 2001 paper published in Veterinary Medicine, this sweet treat contains methylxanthines, a drug that can cause everything from vomiting and diarrhea to tremors and heart complications. Dark chocolate contains the highest concentration of methylxanthines, so if you come home to a ripped dark chocolate bar wrapper on the floor, make sure to get your dog to the vet ASAP.
The same compounds in chocolate that make dogs sick (methylxanthines) are also present in coffee—specifically, coffee grounds—as well as tea bags, soda, energy drinks, and diet pills. The Pet Poison Helpline notes that while one to two laps of coffee won't do any serious harm to your pet, a "moderate amount" can lead to the same symptoms as chocolate and can even be fatal. And if you want to always make sure that your dog is doing well, read up on the 15 Signs Your Dog Is Depressed.
It's hard to resist your dog's puppy eyes when he or she is begging to gnaw on the bones from your meaty meal. However, Bernal advises against giving these to your dog, seeing as "when they are no longer in a raw state, cooked bones are more likely to splinter as a dog chews them, creating a far greater risk of causing oral injury." If you want to reward your good boy with a meaty snack, the veterinarian recommends something safer like Wellness CORE Marrow Roasts.
Lollipops, chewing gum, and mints are all foods that are bad for dogs. Why? They all contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that, when ingested by our furry friends, "can cause hypoglycemia with symptoms including weakness, vomiting, and seizures," says Bernal.
Puppies rely on their mother's milk in order to grow and thrive—and because of this, they produce an enzyme called lactase that helps them digest milk. However, as they age and no longer need it, dogs slowly produce less and less of this enzyme; the majority of fully grown canines are actually lactose intolerant.
"Dogs have varying degrees of lactose intolerance, so some dogs who drink milk may just experience mild GI distress or none at all, while others will have severe clinical signs," Dr. Heather Brausa, staff doctor at the Animal Medical Center in New York, explained to PetMD. So, though giving your dog a lick of your ice cream cone won't prove fatal, it will upset their stomach and potentially result in a big mess that you'll be responsible for cleaning up. And if you're a pet owner, make sure you check out these 15 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Your Dog.
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