Thursday, August 16, 2012

One Treat Too Many – People Food Dogs Should Avoid

While many of us like to spoil our pets with tasty treats from the table, and it’s incredibly tough to resist those puppy dog eyes we all know to well, it’s important to be aware of the dangers in feeding “people food” to our dogs.
Here’s a list of a few foods we enjoy but should avoid letting our dogs get their tongues on:
Ice Cream
While summer’s heat makes it tempting for us to share our tasty treats with our dogs, ice cream and other dairy products should be avoided, as they can cause digestive issues and diarrhea.
Beer is a staple at summer cookouts, but should never be shared with our pets. Alcohol (beer, wine AND liquor) affects dogs’ brains and livers just as it does ours. Even small amounts of beer, wine or liquor can cause vomiting, diarrhea and difficulty breathing.
While many know to keep chocolate away from dogs, it’s worth another reminder. Theobromine, the toxic agent in chocolate, [yes, all kinds of chocolate] can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and death.
Potato Chips
While a couple of plain chips may not be a problem, salty chips and dips like guacamole can cause serious issues for dogs. Salt consumption can cause excessive thirst and urination, and can ultimately lead to sodium ion poisoning. Guacamole contains a substance called persin, which can be toxic to dogs.
Many of us love tossing our dogs a treats like grapes or other fruits. While it isn’t clear why, grapes have been known to cause kidney failure in dogs. Even a small amount can cause vomiting, lethargy and depression.
The most common cause of poisoning in dogs is a reaction to a drug commonly prescribed for humans. Even the common ingredients in cold medicine and pain relievers can be deadly for your dog. Never give your pets over-the-counter meds unless your vet approves.
Our dogs are very curious creatures. No matter how careful we are, they may still get their mouths on something they shouldn’t. If you think your dog has consumed something toxic or harmful, get emergency help immediately.
The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center can be reached at (888) 426-4435.
For more information on what foods to avoid, and a list of foods your dog can enjoy safely, visit