Find out which ’treats’ could be poisonous to your dog
It‘s a deal that’s been sealed over thousands of years between people and their dogs. A pet gives devotion, love and loyalty. All they ask in return is a cosy bed, plenty of walkies – and food.
Dogs love dinnertime but (much like their owners…) they also enjoy snacks and treats. And while this can prove extremely useful during training, it also means you need to be careful about what foods you’re offering your pet.
The most obvious danger is overfeeding. A chubby pup will not only find it harder to do normal doggie things like racing about on walks, but obesity is linked to a variety of dangerous health conditions like heart problems, and diabetes. Training treats can be tiny and still do the job – but chunky snacks quickly add up to excess calories your dog doesn‘t need.
Despite the pleading, puppy-dog eyes that are so hard to resist, some foods that we humans eat quite happily should never be given to your dog, as they pose serious health risks.
Did you know that onions and garlic damage a dog’s red blood cells? Or that salt and spices, including nutmeg, are also dangerous? Dairy foods aren‘t advisable either, as they can cause diarrhoea and allergic reactions.
And because these basics form the basis of so many of our meals, it‘s not advisable to give your dog leftovers from your own dinner. That counts for special occasions like Christmas too, no matter how much you want him to ‘join in’ the fun. Stick to the food recommended by your vet, and resist the temptation to give your pet more than the amount suitable for their weight and breed.
Chocolate contains a compound that‘s potentially fatal to dogs, so avoid it at all costs by making sure the box of Celebrations is kept out of your pet‘s reach. The sweetener xylitol, present in everything from chewing gum to cakes, is toxic. Similarly, avocados contain poisonous persin; grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure – and macadamia nuts may lead to a high temperature, tremors and even death.
Fat – whether cooked or raw – can damage your dog‘s pancreas, so it‘s a big fat no to your breakfast bacon rind. And, contrary to popular belief – although raw bones are softer than cooked ones, you should never feed your dog either as splinters may perforate the intestine, causing potentially fatal injuries. If you know your dog is a kitchen bin-raider, take turkey leftovers straight to the outside dustbin.
But you can still enjoy treating your dog to occasional extras, like lean cuts of cooked (not raw) meat, slices of raw apple, carrot sticks or green beans. And of course your vet or pet shop will stock appropriate treats and chews.
A suitable diet and plenty of exercise is the best way to keep your pet happy and healthy, and insurance is also a great way of caring for them. Petplan’s Covered For Life ® policies give you peace of mind if things do go wrong, providing ongoing cover well into your pet’s old age, so you and your dog can relax and enjoy each other‘s company through Christmas and beyond!