There are many doggylicious foods we can give our four-legged friends. More often than not, our dogs are often by our feet, eagerly awaiting any crumbs that may fall and we need to be aware of which foods are safe and which may be harmful to our canine friend.
Avocado - Avocados contain the compound 'Persin' which seems to be harmful to dogs can damage the heart, lungs and other tissues. Whilst some dogs have reported no affect when eating avocados, the Animal Poison Control Center report that for some dogs it can affect breathing, the abdomen and the heart.
Chocolate - The chemical compound 'Theobromine' is a nerve irritant and when our divine dogs consume chocolate, it typically affects the cardio vascular system, central nervous system and kidneys. If your dog has consumed chocolate, please contact your veterinarian immediately for advice.
Caffeine- Caffeine can have very similar affects on dogs as chocolate does, affecting the central nervous and cardiac system. Make sure they don't get their paws on any coffee beans. If they would like a cup of tea, brew them a delicious cup of kelp or apple cider tea (see recipe in Pupcakes: Honour the Divine Dog).
Cooked Bones - Whilst we know how beneficial bones are for our dogs health, including their teeth, cooked bones are a big no no! When cooked, they can easily splinter which can cause all sorts of trouble when chewed and swallowed. Fresh is best!
Fruit seeds/pits - Fruit seeds and pits from apricots, apples, pears, peaches, plums and cherries contain cyanide which is highly toxic. In small doses they may not cause any issues, but over time, cyanide poisoning may occur if given on a regular basis.
Garlic - Garlic can be harmful to dogs when fed in large doses. Whilst garlic does come from the same vegetable family as the onion, and does contain smaller amounts of the compound which can destroy healthy red blood cells, it has been used for many years to improve the health of our canine friends when given in small doses. Dr Ian Billinghurst, recommends no more than 1% of fresh garlic is served to your dog in combination with raw meat and vegetables.
Grapes/ raisins - Whilst we would love to share a grape or two with our mate, grapes (dried included) negatively affect our dog's kidneys and in more severe cases, death. Make sure they don't get their paws on any of the grape family member.
Xylitol - This known sugar replacement is toxic to a dog's liver. If a dog ingests xylitol, there blood sugar drops quickly which can cause seizures, depression and loss of coordination. It can also be fatal. There's no need to make your dog's food any sweeter, give them a bone and they'll be happy!
Onion/ onion powder- Onions are high in sulfoxides and disulphides which can destroy healthy red blood cells. Some experts advise that onions can cause cumulative damage even if given in small doses. Avoid foods that contain onion powder also.
Macadamia Nuts - It has been said that the high phosphorous content in these nuts may cause bladder stones weakness, muscle tremors and paralysis.
Mouldy food - Do I need to say anymore? If it doesn't look safe for you to eat, why feed it to your dog?
Nutmeg - Nutmeg is reported to be unsafe for dogs and can cause tremors and seizures and can be fatal. Make sure your dog has a sprinkle of carob powder, rather than nutmeg on its dog nog for Christmas (see dog nog recipe in Pupcakes: Honour the Divine Dog).
Processed Pet Foods - I have seen great benefits to converting my dogs from a heavily processed pet food diet, to one of raw and natural ingredients. Dr Ian Billinghurst, founder of the raw dog food movement, believes that 'Artificial Pet foods pose an Extreme and Constant danger to the long-term health and well-being of our cats and dogs!' Remember to change your dog's diet gradually as they will most likely experience a detoxifying affect.
Sugar - Yeast and cancer cells just love sugar. Studies have found that candida yeast overgrowth can occur when dogs are fed foods that contain sugar. Sugar also depletes dogs from essential vitamins and minerals and damages the pancreas.
Tomatoes (green) - Other than ripe tomatoes, the tomato plant is posonious to both dogs and humans (including green tomatoes). The toxic alkaloid called 'Tomatine' disappears as the fruit ripens. Clinical signs of tomatine poisoning include lethargy, hyper-salivation, breathing difficulties, inappetence, gastro disturbances, widely-dilated pupils, paralysis, cardiac effects, central nervous system effects and fatality.
Walnuts - Dr Ian Billinghurst advises that the biggest issue with walnuts is "the fungus or mould that attacks walnuts after they are wet". It has also been said that the high phosphorous content in walnuts may also cause bladder stones weakness, muscle tremors and paralysis.
The material on this website is only general in nature and is not intended to replace proper veterinary medical advice or assistance. The author provides this information, and the reader accepts it, with the understanding that any application of the recommendations set forth on this website is at the reader’s discretion and sole risk. It is strongly advised that the reader at all times seeks out the best veterinary resources available, in order that informed decisions on the care of dogs is obtained at all times. Readers should consult professionals in matters relating to health and particular symptoms or complaints or concerns which may require diagnosis or professional attention.