What Not to Feed Fluffy

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Normally at JGA Network we focus on human health, but for many of our readers, the health of their pets is just as important. We all know that chocolate is bad for dogs, but does anyone know why? While feeding our dogs and other animals with specially formulated food is easy, we often share our own food with them as well. Here are a couple things to look out for before you decide to hand off your scraps.

1) Chocolate.

Chocolate is well known as the nemesis of dogs, and yet many think that it’s ok to sneak a cookie now and then. The chemical theobromine, as well as caffeine, that is present in chocolate is toxic to dogs after a certain amount. That amount varies by dog breed and size, so it’s better to just avoid your dog getting his nose into any chocolate. Symptoms can range anywhere from diarrhea and vomiting to death in as little as 24 hours.

2) Grapes.

Grapes and their sundried cousins, raisins, have been linked to kidney failure in both cats and dogs. While the chemical culprit remains unknown, be sure to keep these fruits away from your pets. Symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy can occur within the first day, while kidney failure is a slow and drawn out process.

3) Macadamia Nuts

These nuts, found in cookies and candies, cause severe symptoms in dogs such as depression, tremors, pale gums, vomiting, weakness, and joint pain. Again, research has not yet shown what causes this toxicity in canines.

4) Xylitol

Xylitol is a sweetener found in many products, so it takes careful attention to ensure that you aren’t feeding your pet something that contains it. Some products that include xylitol are candy, gum, baked goods, and toothpaste. Xylitol causes insulin release that can trigger hypoglycemia and eventually lead to liver failure.

5) Garlic, Onions, & Chives

While we use these foods to flavor our dishes, in our pets they can have a disastrous result. They all contain chemicals that can cause gastrointestinal irritation and possibly red blood cell damage. Cats are more at risk for these effects, but in large amounts, dogs can be susceptible too.

This article was provided by Harriet Ganger, happy owner of two golden labs and contributing blogger for Silver Lining Herbs, a manufacturer of natural dog and equine supplements.