Good Dog, Bad Food

August 26, 2016 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

Good Dog Bad Food

If you consider the family dog, well, family—and are apt to toss him a piece of your food now and then—proceed with caution. Some foods meant for human consumption can be dangerous, and even deadly, to your dog.


Among the foods you want to withhold from your dog are:


  • Raw meat, which can contain E. coli, Salmonella, or other harmful bacteria. If you’re making hamburger patties or setting out steaks and chicken breasts for a barbecue, for instance, make sure they’re well out of reach of your counter-surfing canines; you’re not doing them any favors by tossing a chunk or two. Don’t handle raw meat and then give your dog a treat unless you’ve washed your hands first.
  • Grapes, raisins, and currants can cause kidney failure in some dogs. Not all dogs are affected, but if you think you’re handing your dog a healthy snack, you could be disastrously wrong. But what about other fruits? For instance, can dogs eat apples and bananas? Yes—just make sure that with apples, you don’t feed your dog the core or seeds.
  • Fried and fatty foods can not only give your dog a stomach ache, but can also cause a potentially life-threatening disease called pancreatitis. Even if your dog is eyeing the fried chicken with longing, resist the temptation to give him his own piece to chew on.
  • Moldy foods are not something you would feed your family, and your dog shouldn’t eat them either. If you put moldy cheese or bread in the trash can, make sure your dog doesn’t then get into the garbage. By the same token, if you have a compost heap and it’s the first place your dog makes a beeline for, be sure the moldy scraps are well out of reach.
  • Onions, garlic, and chives (as well as onion and garlic powder) can be harmful to your dog, especially in large amounts. If you’ve put a lot of onions and garlic powder in your salsa, marinades, or beans, don’t let your dog get into the leftovers.
  • Salty snacks, in large quantities, could also cause problems in your dog. Feeding a potato chip or pretzel here and there probably won’t do any harm. But if your dog gets into a whole bag of them, he could get really sick. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water at all times, especially if he gets into salty snacks.
  • Chocolate and other products that contain the sugar substitute, xylitol, can be deadly. Xylitol is found in sugarless gum, candies, oral products, and even some peanut butters. Be sure to check the ingredients on these treats before feeding them to your pet.


So what about cats? Cats are far pickier eaters than dogs and do not often get into trouble by eating foods that will harm them. However, cats are super-sensitive to onions, garlic, and onion and garlic powders, so make sure your cat has no opportunity to eat foods made with these ingredients.

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