:: Stanislaw and his brother apologize for the late posting. Their humans' internet connection decided to take a vacation, and so the blogging had to go on hold. The feasting, however, continued full-force. ::
Some people say that if you don't know what something is, you shouldn't eat it.
Well I disagree.
How are you supposed to find out what something is without eating it? Whether it's a piece of fuzz on the floor, some wet bread someone threw to a pigeon, or a month-old Cheez-It that got trapped under the stove, the only way to really know if it's food is to eat it. What's the worst thing that could happen? If you consume something that turns out to be a piece of paper, just spit it out. If I went through life avoiding random things that I found on the ground, I would've missed out on some good in-between-meals feasting. Like that old chicken tender I located by the dumpster, the Skittle in the elevator, or the dead frog out on the trail. My point is to always be on the lookout for potential food that you can find exploring your hallway or neighborhood. Who knows? You may one day stumble upon a piece of raw goat meat some human dropped in the lobby. Trust me, if you don't eat it, some other dog will. And you will still be hungry.
big brother at least sniffs things sometimes...
While the threat of missing a feast is something that keeps me awake at night, sometimes just diving in and munching away can do more harm than good. I don't like vets, and I'd rather avoid visiting them in their lairs of cold tables and poking fingers. Your human can also help you avoid that scary place by keeping things that will make you sick out of your feasting reach. And so, as a continuance of my post about dog first aid, here's some info about foods and plants to stay far, far away from. If you stick to this, then you can keep far, far away from that vet!
We all know that chocolate, despite the fact that it smells delicious, is poisonous to dogs. It contains a chemical called Theobromine that cannot be processed by us. Humans are able to metabolize this potent chemical quickly enough that the low levels found in certain foods do not hurt them. Dogs and most other animals are not so lucky. We are not able to process the chemical and get it out of our bodies fast enough, and so we are highly susceptible to threobromine poisoning. The early symptoms of this are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, which soon progress into heart arrhythmias or heart attacks, seizures, and eventually death. Tea and sodas also contain theobromine, and must obviously be avoided.
Grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts will cause kidney failure if we eat enough of them. While the reason for this toxicity is not completely understood, amounts as low as 9 ounces have been lethal. Unfortunately, most dogs are not treated in time because grapes are not viewed by many to be so toxic, but if you cannot stop vomiting, cease drinking and urinating, and/or if your breathing becomes irregular -- these can all be symptoms of grape toxicity. Tell your human to never toss grapes into your veggie blend!
As we've discussed before, cooked bones are extremely dangerous for our stomach and intestines, as are high amounts of certain organs, like liver, which can cause us to suffer from an excess of vitamin A. Hypervitaminosis A can damage the bones and muscles.
Alcohol is a big no-no for reasons I'm sure your human will understand. Caffeine is also a bad one, and can be fatal if ingested at around 150 mg per pound of body weight. One teaspoon of instant regular coffee contains 60 mg of caffeine, so it's very easy to reach those toxic levels. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include hyperactivity, increased breathing and heart rate, cardiac arrhythmia, muscle tremors and bleeding. Pretty much anything that gives your human a jolt of energy is never to be given to an animal, and these items include energy drinks, coffee, tea, soda, energy tablets, and medications.
Onions can cause a dog to become anemic. Garlic in high enough doses will do the same thing. While both of these items can be consumed safely in small amounts, us dogs love strong tastes and would probably feast on a whole container of crushed garlic if given the chance. Garlic is one of those tricky ones to deal with, because in moderate doses it is good for a dog. Just have your human use their best judgement.
Always avoid mushrooms, sugar and sweeteners (like xylitol). Refined sugars, while not exactly toxic, are just not a healthy or necessary additive.
We pups love things that are sweet, and unfortunately anti-freeze and some medications have that great taste. If you lick up some anti-freeze, your human needs to be aware that there is a small window of time during which they can rush you to the vet and you can be saved. Once the chemical begins to do damage, it is too late. As for the medications -- humans should never allow their dogs to eat anything that's prescribed or over the counter for people. Stick with what your vet recommends. Never let your humans medicate you without a vet's instructions.
The lesson learned here is that we've got to stick to our tasty raw meats, and keep everything in moderation. Watch what you put in your mouth, because it may be dangerous even if it smells delicious. If your human suspects that you may have gotten into something harmful, they need to call their vet, the local emergency clinic, or animal poison control immediately. And remember, sniff it before you eat it.
This post only touched upon a few of the items that need to be avoided by a dog. For additional items please view the following lists:
Information for this post is taken from The Humane Society, Healthypet.com, and Vetinfor4dogs.com