There has been a lot of controversy surrounding dog food since the dog food recall in 2007. The recall was attributed to melamine contamination which caused the death of numbers of dogs and cats. Many folks distrust commercial dog foods now so they’ve turned to home cooking or supplementing their dog’s food with human food. To say that there has been a lot of angst among devoted dog owners around the feeding issue is putting it lightly. However before home cooking, one should know there are some human foods that are unhealthy; even potentially fatal to feed a dog. This article lists these foods according to three categories; foods that must never be fed to a dog, unsafe foods, and unhealthy foods best to avoid feeding routinely.
*Foods that one must never feed a dog
1. Chocolate, even in small amounts can kill a toy breed dog. The darker the chocolate, the worse it is. It increases blood pressure, causes cardiac arrest, and its severe diuretic action throws off electrolyte balance which all leads to heart failure. If you suspect your dog has ingested chocolate, immediately call animal poison control center at 888 426 4435. There may be a $60.00 consultation fee which can be paid with a credit card. Keep hydrogen peroxide on hand as you may be asked to give it to your dog to induce vomiting.
2. Fish bones, poultry bones or cooked bones from any other meat source can cause an obstruction in the throat or bowel, and lacerate the bowels causing hemorrhage.
3. Raisins and grapes cause renal (kidney) failure, though experts do not yet understand why.
4. Bread dough continues to rise in the dog’s stomach and causes bloat http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1571&aid=402 a life threatening condition which requires immediate medical attention.
5. Xylitol an artificial sweetener used in many foods, candies and chewing gum even in small amounts can cause liver failure in dogs.
*Unsafe foods to feed a dog
1. Salt not only throws off electrolyte balance, but also collects in the kidneys and damages them. Foods high in salt are pizza, burgers, cheese and soup.
2. Raw eggs contain Avidin which decreases the absorption of Biotin in the body eventually leading to death.
3. Alcohol can lead to intoxication, coma and death. Don’t leave alcoholic drinks within reach of your dog.
4. Night shade vegetables especially onions cause red blood cells to burst leading to anemia. Other night shade vegetables are shallots, chives and leeks. According to Dr. Wendy Waller DVM http://jlhweb.net/Boxermap/onions.html this condition can be reversed if caught in time. She also states that garlic in small amounts is okay though it does fall into the night shade category.
5. Raw fish can have Fluke larvae which will hatch and live in the dog’s digestive tract http://www.DognPuppies.com the symptoms resemble Parvovirus or Distemper, so many dogs receive improper treatment.
*Unhealthy food for dogs
1. Greasy foods including fat trimmings, fatty meats like bacon and dark meat turkey can cause a very serious, often life threatening condition called Pancreatitis, http://www.caninepancreatitis.net Veterinarians see an increase in the number of cases at Thanksgiving.
2. Apple cores contain apple seeds and apple seeds contain small amounts of Arsenic. Though one apple core may not cause any serious problems, the affects of Arsenic are cumulative over time. Arsenic is used in rat poison.
For great information on preparing home cooked meals for your dog, this sitehttp://dogaware.com will give you the most complete information about diet and nutrition for your dog. Though most human fare is safe and even beneficial to our canine friends, one must be aware of balancing a good diet to meet all your dog’s nutritional needs, while avoiding unhealthy, unsafe, and potentially life threatening foods.