Boston the British bulldog licks his chops at a few of the tasty treats off the menu at Lights in the Attic cafe in East Hawthorn. Picture: David Caird
Boston the British bulldog licks his chops at a few of the tasty treats off the menu at Lights in the Attic cafe in East Hawthorn. Picture: David Caird

Don't feed your dogs these foods

We often hear horror stories of what dogs have managed to find and eat - from socks and underwear to knives and fish hooks, and more everyday foods such as bananas, apples and grapes.

Some human food can be just as traumatic to a dog as a fish hook, leaving many unsuspecting owners at a loss.

Dr Gerardo Poli of the Animal Emergency Service said toxicity could come in two forms.

"First, from rotten food causing food poisoning - this is where rotting food contains bacterial or mould toxins - and secondly from ingestion of toxic foods, for example, chocolate, xylitol-containing products, grapes/raisins, macadamia, onions and yeast dough. These foods can cause a variety of problems," he said.

Boston the British bulldog licks his chops at a few of the tasty treats off the menu at Lights in the Attic cafe in East Hawthorn. Picture: David Caird
Boston the British bulldog licks his chops at a few of the tasty treats off the menu at Lights in the Attic cafe in East Hawthorn. Picture: David Caird

There are a few obvious things like chocolate that is dangerous for dogs to eat but some others are also quite surprising.

CAN DOGS EAT GRAPES OR RAISINS?

The short answer is no. Eating these can lead to kidney failure in some dogs that are sensitive to the toxin.

It's not exactly known what it is about these plump little fruits that can cause sickness, but all experts agree never to feed your dog this toxic treat and to be careful with products that contain grapes or raisins, such as hot cross buns.

CAN DOGS EAT AVOCADO?

Ingestion can cause stomach upset in dogs as it contains a toxic agent known as persin.

The seed is the most dangerous as it can cause intestinal blockages that may require surgery to remove. Luckily, this type of poisoning is quite rare in dogs.

WHAT ELSE IS BAD?

Macadamia nuts are by far the worst, however due to their high fat content it is advised not to allow dogs to consume nuts of any variety.

Fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis in dogs and are very damaging to their digestive systems. They can also lead to an overweight and sick pet. Foods to avoid include bacon, trimmings and gravy.

Milk, onion and garlic can also cause stomach irritation.

 

Pepper the border collie looks at food that’s bad for dogs. Picture: Stewart McLean
Pepper the border collie looks at food that’s bad for dogs. Picture: Stewart McLean

 

SO WHAT HUMAN FOOD CAN MY DOG EAT?

If you're short on dog food, there's some stuff your pets will be fine with.

Raw carrots are great for their teeth and peanut butter is OK too, as long as it's xylitol free.

Sugar replacements found in gum, soda and cakes are highly toxic to dogs.

Other foods that are safe for dogs to eat are cooked chicken, eggs, low-fat cheese (if your dog isn't lactose intolerant) and salmon.

CAN DOGS EAT BANANAS?

Packed with nutritional benefits and easy to eat on the go, bananas are the perfect snack for man's best friend. While other fruits contain harmful toxins, every part of the banana is edible and safe to digest. However, for younger puppies, it's best to check with your vet as the yellow fruit may interfere with a diet necessary for growth and development.

CAN DOGS EAT APPLES?

Apples are another fruit ideal for dogs, providing a healthy source of fibre and carbohydrates. When preparing apples to feed your pet, be sure to wash thoroughly and remove the stem and seeds. If your dog has a sensitive digestive system, try peeling the apple to reduce the extra fibre and cutting it into small chunks.

CAN DOGS EAT STRAWBERRIES?

While strawberries can be included in your pet's diet, the portion size should be moderated. Strawberries may be delicious for humans, but the high quantity of sugar isn't ideal for our canine pals.

Purina senior nutritionist Jan Dempsey recommends introducing dogs to strawberries slowly.

"Some dogs might not know what to do with the new texture of strawberries. So you can try feeding them as frozen treats," Ms Dempsey said.

However, pet owners should absolutely avoid strawberries packaged or stored in syrup. Artificial sweeteners are often found in these products and could be fatal for dogs.

 

Avoid being too indulgent with feeding your dog snacks. Picture: AAP Image/Claudia Baxter
Avoid being too indulgent with feeding your dog snacks. Picture: AAP Image/Claudia Baxter

 

CAN DOGS EAT ORANGES AND LEMONS?

The fleshy part of oranges is safe for consumption, while the skin should not be fed to dogs.

"It's extremely important to remove all traces of skin, pith and seeds as these parts may contain toxic compounds," Ms Dempsey said.

One reason dogs love to eat oranges is due to the high natural sugar content. The sweet fruit can be delicious but should be avoided for overweight pets or diabetic dogs.

Other citrus fruits, such as lemons and limes, have little benefit in a dog's diet. The high concentration of citric acid can cause issues for dogs and their systems can't handle large quantities.

"All citrus fruits contain essential oils and a chemical compound that are toxic to dogs. These are found in the plants, tree parts, the skin and the pithy white parts," Ms Dempsey said.

Dogs can also detect sour and bitter flavours. It's common for dogs to associate acrid tastes with poisonous food and will often respond negatively to citrus fruits.

Ms Dempsey recommends including fruit in your pet's diet, if prepared properly.

"Try rotating different foods that are good for dogs like apples, bananas and carrots to help keep the flavours and textures new and special," she said.

She also warns against overindulgence.

"Treats you feed your dog should make up no more than 10 per cent of his total calories for the day," she said.

What's your dog's favourite snack? Comment below


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