SCARY FOODS NOT TO FEED YOUR PET
By Evan Price
Happy Halloween BARFers! Right now, many of you are preparing to greet the neighborhood children with scores of sweet treats. While the impact of candy on the health of children is debatable, it is disastrous for pets. The digestive systems of dogs and humans are very different. We would not consume raw meat, but our pets thrive on it. In the same way, there are foods that we eat that can have serious negative health effects on our loved ones.
- Alcohol – Let’s get one of the obvious ones out of the way. Alcohol has many of the same effects on dogs that it has on humans, but it takes far less to accomplish the same result. Loss of coordination can occur, along with dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and death. This doesn’t have to be as malicious as fratboys having the house dog do a kegstand…it can be as simple as leaving a wineglass unattended.
- Avacado – Many of us (except me) love guacamole. Avacados are a great source of healthy fats for humans. For dogs, they are a great source of vomiting and diarrhea, caused by Persin (harmless to humans). Keep the pit away too, as this can be a choking hazard.
- Dough – Dogs have no biological requirement for carbohydrates in their diet. What makes dough so much more dangerous is that it can rise while inside your pet. This can lead to gas, extreme pain, and can even cause the stomach or intestines to rupture.
- Chocolate – Another obvious one. Even a few pieces of chocolate are enough to lead to tremors, rapid heart rate, and death. The darker the chocolate, the higher concentration of methylxanthines, which are the catalyst.
- Coffee & Tea – In the same family as chocolate (methylxanthines), coffee and tea are a bad idea for dogs. The caffeine present can lead to excessive thirst, tremors, abnormal heartbeat, hyperactivity, seizures, and death.
- Onions - Onions contain a chemical that does damage to red blood cells, and can lead to anemia. They can also irritate the GI tract.
- Grapes & Raisins – While the exact compound responsible is unknown, grapes and raisins are extremely potent. They lead very quickly to kidney failure.
- Sugary foods – I have an uncle (a medical doctor) who believes sugar to be a “modified poison”. If sugar is that bad for humans, how bad must it be for dogs? Answer…really bad! Dogs who ingest high amounts of sugar, especially artificial sweeteners, run the risk of liver failure. Sugar, and its variants, can induce loss of coordination, seizures, depression, and trigger a sudden drop in blood pressure.
- Macadamia nuts – Even just a few nuts can cause a serious reaction. Symptoms include vomiting, tremors, and depression.
- Salt – Last weeks article touched on this important fact. Excess salt in the diet leads to sodium poisoning, elevated body temperature, excessive thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, and death.
- Mushrooms – Even edible species of mushrooms may contain toxins that may lead to liver and kidney damage.
- Human vitamins – Many people think that their own supplements can be used for their dogs. This is a common mistake. The real danger comes from feeding supplements with high concentrations of iron, as this can damage the lining of the GI tract, and lead to liver and kidney failure.
Have a happy and safe Halloween, and keep these foods out of the reach of your pets. Until next time…happy BARFing!
Evan Price is a Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc. He is a true dog lover at heart with a particular interest in Daschunds. Evan is also an avid sports enthusiast and bridge player. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet weekly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.