Friday, February 19, 2016

4 Common Things You Should Never Feed Your Dog

Luckily you found this article before you served your dog his favourite dish of braised lamb with a sour orange marinade containing garlic.
I know what you’re thinking: just throw it out, and start again. It’s not too late to start preparing the marinade again, it will turn out just fine without the garlic, and besides, this time you’re better prepared to juice the sour oranges. The marinade will only need to sit for two to four hours in the fridge, and once you begin searing the leg of lamb – wait a minute, that has a bone. Cooked bones are the second item on the list.
So, now you’ve scrapped the braised lamb and the marinade, but at least you can serve your furry friend his favourite dessert.  Your dog loves the blend of creamy and crunchy, sweet and salty, and that delicious pretzel crust you use for your peanut butter cheesecake. Wait, is peanut butter okay? There’s no way that peanut butter of all things could be dangerous for your dog.  Shit, it’s number three on the list. Now, the poor little mutt is starving, but at least you have some rawhide in the closet. Everyone gives their dog rawhide. Let him snack on one of those while you figure out what you’re going to feed him! Just make sure that.. – yep, it’s number four on the list, rawhide is a no-no too.
Naturally, you’re now wondering if there’s anything that’s not dangerous for your dog.  Maybe you should hold off on the gourmet meal prep until after you’ve read our blog.

1. Garlic
Garlic is considered a super food for humans, and perhaps this is why it’s become an increasingly common ingredient in dog foods. While small amounts of garlic aren’t likely to affect your dog, long-term consumption can lead to haemolytic anemia, which is the premature destruction of red blood cells. Like onion, garlic is a member of the Allium family, which contains a chemical compound that is harmless to humans, but not to dogs. The symptoms of anemia may not be present until significant damage has been done, so unless the animal has ingested a large quantity in relatively little time, you likely won’t see signs of anemia early on.

2. Cooked Bones
Raw bones can be a great addition to your dog’s diet, provided they aren’t  fish or bird bones, and are large enough for the dog they’re given to. However, cooked bones of anykind can easily crack and splinter, posing a threat to your dog. This is because high heat and soaking will actually ruin the structural integrity of the bone tissue, thereby weakening it.

3. Peanut Butter
While the peanuts themselves aren’t the problem, they do, more often than not, contain a type of fungus, which produces a toxin linked to certain types of cancer. Furthermore, the hydrogenation process that peanut butter undergoes during processing alters the fat, causing the formation of trans fats, which are an unhealthy type of fat. Hydrogenated fats, such as palm oil, are often added to peanut butter to increase creaminess and because they are cheap to obtain. Many brands also add sugar to their product. One sugar, xylitol, is especially popular in low-calorie products, and is toxic to many animals, dogs being one of them. To lower the risks associated with peanut butter consumption in dogs, if you must feed it, choose raw peanut butter, with peanuts as the only ingredient. Give your dog peanut butter sparingly, and freeze it, to make it last longer in your dog’s toys. 

4. Rawhide
These cheap chew toys are a popular choice among dog owners because of their low cost and palatability. Rawhide seems harmless because, after all, it is just animal skin. The problem isn’t the skin itself, but the processing involved: rawhide is a by-product of the leather industry, as such, it’s treated with numerous chemicals (like formaldehyde) and dyes in order to render it imperishable and prepare the skin for leather working. These chemicals are unsuitable for consumption, being highly toxic. Unusable strips are made into various products, one of which is rawhide chew toys for dogs.
In some cases, enthusiastic chewers may consume the toy faster than is healthy, posing a risk of compaction in the digestive system or choking hazard. 

Like many things that aren’t healthy, occasional ingestion of any of the foods listed here isn’t the end of the world, the same way a single cigarette won’t significantly affect the average person. As the saying goes, everything in moderation!

Thoughts and comments are always appreciated. Let us know what you think in the comments and we’ll get back to you. Want to hear more on this topic? Do you have any specific questions about whether certain other foods or supplements might be a good or bad idea to feed your dog? Let us know!

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