Sharing Food With Your Dog? Good Idea Or Not?

Sometimes we share food with our dogs on purpose; other times it is by accident. Some of the food that we eat is nutritious and good for dogs but, other food is potentially dangerous. So, it is important to understand what your dog should and should not eat. Below are some common foods that are good for dogs and some that are dangerous for dogs; however it is not meant to be a comprehensive list. As always, it is critical that you consult with your veterinarian prior to feeding your dog any new food.

Some Good Foods

o Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is safe treat for your dog in moderation. If you need to give your dog medication, it is a great way to disguise a pill.

o Cheese: Cheese is generally a safe and yummy treat for dogs in moderation.

o Popcorn: Popcorn is another good treat so long as it used in moderation. It is high in fiber. Air popped, without preservatives, is the safest kind.

o Carrots: Raw carrots are very healthy for dogs. Just be careful that they are thoroughly chewed to prevent choking and that your dog doesn’t fill up too much and refuse a well balanced diet.

Some Dangerous Foods

o Chocolate: While it might taste good, chocolate contains theo bromine which is potentially fatal for dogs. It is not a good idea to feed your dog chocolate in any amount. Even if it doesn’t kill the dog, chocolate will certainly cause restlessness and stomach problems.

o Nuts: Some nuts, such as macadamia nuts can cause severe muscle problems that may lead to paralysis. It is best to avoid nuts and nut products (with the notable exception of peanut butter).

o Bones: Cooked bones from roasts or poultry may seem like a good thing to give a dog, however, they can splinter and the sharp edges that splinter off can puncture a dog’s insides and cause significant problems.

o Grapes and Raisins: These healthy human foods may seem innocent enough. However, they can cause acute renal failure in dogs.

o Onions and garlic: These foods contain thiosulphate which is toxic for dogs.

In addition to not purposefully feeding your dog dangerous foods, you must take care not to leave these foods where your dog can get them. That means that children who are snacking on grapes or raisins must be carefully supervised if the family dog is close by and that desserts that are kept on the kitchen counter must be well out of reach.

When in doubt, always err on the side of not giving regular human food to your dog. Your dog gets all the nutrition that he or she needs from his dog food. Human food may be supplemented, however it should be done with caution and it should never be substituted for dog food. It is best used as a special treat or when your dog is not feeling well and needs some encouragement to eat. So, before you share your next meal or snack with your dog, be sure that you are giving the dog food that he or she can enjoy safely.