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Things You should never feed your Dog
Unfortunately, there are a number of household items which we tend to take for granted that are potentially very dangerous to your dog's health. It is especially important to be aware of this because as you know, dogs are essentially scavengers and will often eat just about anything they can sink their fangs into.
I would say that my own dog is more like a mobile garbage disposal. It is also very important to be aware of these items since their sense of smell is so well developed that your pooch will be able to find what you may think is well hidden.
One of these dangerous household items, it turns out, is simple chocolate. While chocolate has been reported recently to be high in human-friendly antioxidants, it appears to be potentially lethal for our pets, and particularly for our dogs. Cats are mostly unaffected since they do not care for the taste of chocolate, but dogs tend to be crazy about it. Certain breeds of dogs react differently to chocolate. The root of the problem is that chocolate contains various chemicals which are called methylxanthine alkaloids (some types have more of these chemicals than others) Sadly, relatively miniscule amounts of these chemicals are capable of causing such serious problems as constriction of the arteries and an increased heart rate. Large amounts may cause even more dire symptoms and a pound of milk chocolate could possibly kill a sixteen pound dog.
If you find that your dog has eaten chocolate then by all means take note of the it's type and try to estimate the amount eaten. Then get on the phone with a veternarian or an emergency facility. Be sure that your children know how important it is to keep chocolate out of your dog's reach. If you are not aware that your dog has consumed chocolate, the consequences could be severe. If consumption is not found within 4 to 6 hours without the right treatment, cardiac failure, seizures, coma and death could result, according to veternarian Dr. Jane Bicks.
In addition to seemingly innocent chocolate, there are a number of other common household items that may seem safe for our dogs but that can be downright dangerous.
Some mushrooms, for example, can produce abdominal pain, liver and kidney damage and amenia. So be aware of wild mushrooms when you are out walking your dog in wooded areas. Garlic may seem benign but can cause vomiting, liver damage, anemia and diarrhea so do not give your pet baby food since it can contain garlic. Anti-freeze can shut down your dog's kidney and they tend to love the taste. Miscletoe can cause vomiting, abdominal pain and depression.
Onions can cause liver damage, anemia and diarrhea. Onion can also sometimes be found in baby food. Cats are actually somewhat more sensitive to this one so keep out of the reach of both. Coffee, like cocoa, is especially dangerous, and may cause heartrate increase, diarrhea, seizures, coma, death. Caffeine just does not have the same effect in dogs. When outside be careful around apple and cherry trees. While the fruit is safe, the leaves and roots are not. And be very careful about Moth Balls. it's primary chemical naphthalene is extremely toxic to dogs and can result in tremors and seizures.
Concerning dog food, you should be looking for dyes and other chemicals, according to Dr. Jane BHA, for instance, which is one of the main synthetic antioxidant preservatives used to prevent food discoloration, has been observed to cause cancer in laboratory rats at certain doses. Small doses are as yet unclear but since dog food is eaten every day caution is advised. Many conventional dog food brands have large quantities of sodium to make them palatable, and this can be quite harmful to a dog.
Aaron Wilmont is an author and researcher in the fields of human and pet health. For more info. go to www.dog-food-nutrition.com