Dietary No Nos – What Not to Feed Your Dog

We've all encountered an untrained dog that will stop at nothing to get at whatever food is on the kitchen counter. A recent dog sitting experience for a friend's two terriers found, upon my return home, that a gift bag of Easter candy which had been sitting on the counter was divvied up, unwrapped, scattered about the house and ateen. Luckily these dogs were wise to the fact that chocolate (especially dark chocolate) is poisonous to dogs and they did not touch one of the foiled wrapped chocolate eggs, but the bubble gum was a different story. They devoured every last piece, with thankfully, no adverse side effects.

This is not always the case with 'trips' that dogs find around the house and yard. Another friend's playful Labrador managed to retrieve a box of raisons from a kitchen cupboard left ajar. Other than being annoyed with the dog's naughtiness, no one thought anything of it since people often give their dogs grapes or raisons for deeds. In general, most dogs will vomit up grapes or rains with no ill side effects but in some cases the dogs are poisoned by the fruit and, in extreme cases, can suffer kidney failure. If you find that your dog has managed to get a hold of a bunch of grapes or raisons, induce vomiting and check with the Animal Poison Control Center in your area.

Here's a list of some other foods to avoid feeding your dog:

– raw liver

– milk and other diary products – dogs are lactose intolerant

– cat food can cause metabolic imbalances

– tea, coffee and cola type drinks (similar to chocolate in terms of poison)

– bread dough

– turkey skin

– raw fish especially salmon

– some mushrooms

– raw eggs

– walnuts and macadamia nuts

Many vegetables and meats are OK for your pet but if you are making your own dog food, it's advisable to do a little research first, specific to your breed, on your choices of food.

If you want to go the organic or natural dog food route but are not inclined to make your own pet food from scratch, some companies offer pre-made food mixes. You may just have to add water and other suggested food items. Or you can purchase raw, frozen or freeze dried pet food usually made of 100% meat products with no mixing required.