Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Would You Eat Your Dog’s Food?

We love our pets and want to make them happy and we know that we shouldn’t feed them scraps, but most of us give in once in a while. We may think that it isn’t doing our doggies or kitties any harm by giving them a human food treat, but we are really doing more harm than we may think. Although some foods are much more toxic for animals than others, here is a list of human foods that you should never give to your dog:
  • Grapes and raisins can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys. Ingesting 4-5 grapes or raisins is said to be potentially poisonous to a 20 pound dog.
  • Onions and garlic contain N-propyl disulphide which destroys red blood cells and results in hemolytic anemia called Heinz body anemia. Kidney damage may follow. This poisoning can occur with any form of onion or garlic, raw, cooked or powdered. This is true for cats as well.
  • Chocolate or cocoa contains theobromine which can adversely affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, and central nervous systems of dogs and cats. Any type of caffeine has a similar effect.
  • Macadamia nuts are not fatal but tend to affect the muscles, digestive and nervous systems causing illness.
  • Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis
  • Large amounts of liver can cause vitamin A toxicity which affects the bones and muscles.
The foods listed above should also NOT be fed to cats, some others include:
  • Green tomatoes, green/raw potatoes contain a bitter, poisonous alkaloid called Glycoalkaloid Solanine which can cause lower gastrointestinal disorders. The leaves and stems are especially toxic.
  • Salt can cause electrolyte imbalances if eaten in large quantities.
  • Mushrooms can contain various toxins that affect multiple body systems, cause shock and possible death
  • Milk contains lactose which can cause stomachache, cramps, gas and diarrhea since cats are lactose intolerant.

IMPORTANT for both cats and dogs—Do NOT feed them each others’ food. Dog food is for dogs and cat food is for cats. Why? Cat food contains taurine, which cats need, but is toxic to dogs. Cat food is also too high in protein and fats for dogs. Likewise, consumed regularly, dog food can cause taurine deficiency and heart problems in cats.
Also--NO raw meat for pets as it can cause food poisoning and parasites and NO Junk food (read: anything with sugar, salt caffeine or anything fried).

This is not to say that all human foods are harmful to dogs, in fact some are very good for them. For instance:
  • Bananas and sweet potatoes are high in potassium, fiber, magnesium and vitamin B6 all of which aid the metabolism and regulating the blood. Serve mashed and mixed with dog food.
  • Flax seeds contain ALA and Omega 3 fatty acids which are excellent for a dog’s coat, skin, bones and brain function. You can add ground seeds or a tsp. of flax oil to your dog’s regular food.
  • Salmon is also high in Omega 3 fatty acids and is a great source of protein. Best if served cooked, plain and in chunks.
  • Yogurt contains probiotics which can improve gut function and keep harmful bacteria away from your dog. Only give dogs, plain low fat yogurt.
Cats can safely eat:
  • Plain, trimmed deboned meats
  • Canned tuna for the Omega 3 fatty acids and protein. Although this should only be an occasional treat, too much can cause malnutrition.
  • Barley, oat or wheat grass (also known as cat grass) aids digestion and is full of vitamins and mi

*I’d like to thank SOJOS Natural Pet Food for the inspiration for this article

1 comment:

  1. The way of your expressing the above information is unique and appreciable. I was always searching for a blog like yours so that i can get some knowledge about dog food.