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Human Food and your Dog

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February 1, 2015 / International / By
Nicola

As humans, we tend to take a lot of care over the foods that we eat, much more so than any other animal. In fact, we tend to spoil the four-legged members of our families somewhat, by serving them all sorts of 'human' food. However, not all 'human' food is safe for dogs - after all, we've had thousands of years to adapt to it, whereas other animals haven't! So, which popular 'human' foods are ok to give to your canine companions, and which are best avoided? It goes without saying that you should check with your vet before serving your dog any of these foods, but generally speaking this should give you a good guideline to follow.

Safe: Peanut butter

This is one of the more surprising foods that are safe for dogs to eat, as you wouldn't normally consider peanuts to make up a dog's diet! However, dogs go mad for the stuff. It contains a large number of nutrients which are very good for the heart, so it's more than just a tasty treat. Peanut butter can be added to homemade dog biscuits, or stuffed into chew toys, both of which will keep your dogs happy and busy for hours!

Safe: Boiled chicken

As long as the chicken is plain, without any extra flavourings, seasonings or oils, then it's perfectly safe to feed your dogs. In fact, many dogs who suffer from colitis actually benefit from eating plain, boiled chicken for a few days. Its bland flavour helps to settle their digestive systems, while still giving them all the energy and nutrients that they need.

'boiled chicken' by stu_spivack

Safe: Cheese

A small number of dogs are actually lactose intolerant, so it's worth checking with your vet whether your dog is in this minority. However, if you get the green light, then your dog will be in seventh heaven! Remember that just like humans, dogs can put on weight if they eat too much cheese, so keep it to small pieces for a special, high-reward treat.

Safe: Oats

Oats are a fibrous, long-lasting source of energy for humans, and the same goes for dogs. This is a particularly good alternative to normal food if your dog is suffering from constipation or any other bowel irregularities. Just be sure to cook the oats properly first, and leave them to cool for a little before serving!

Avoid: Chocolate

Chocolate is the most famous 'human' food that dogs should avoid, but still too many people aren't aware of the risks. Chocolate contains chemicals which can be toxic for dogs, causing severe illness and even death. No matter how irresistable your puppy dog's eyes are, don't give in and share your chocolate! You'll end up with a healthy dog, and the best part is that there'll be more for you to enjoy yourself!

Avoid: Grapes

The dangers of grapes and raisins have only become clear fairly recently, so nobody's quite certain exactly why they're so dangerous for dogs. However, what we do know is that they can cause kidney failure in dogs, making them very poorly or even killing them altogether. This is entirely avoidable, however, so don't let your dogs snack in your fruit bowl!

Avoid: Onions and garlic

Strong foods such as onions and garlic can be toxic, especially if your dog consumes them in large quantities. They don't cause the same kind of nausea that some of the other foods on this list cause; instead, they damage the red blood cells in dogs, causing anaemia. If you spoil your pooches by cooking them 'human' food for their meals every day, then this is something that's definitely worth remembering. Just because it's flavoursome and tasty for us doesn't mean it's the same for dogs!

Avoid: Alcohol

You'd think this was common sense, right? It might seem like a funny idea to try see what your dog looks like drunk, when your dog passes out, falls into a coma or dies, it won't be so funny anymore. Alcohol is seriously poisonous for dogs, so avoid it at all costs!

'DSC_0025' by Diriye Amey

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