Being a pet owner, you must be aware that some foods that are considered good for humans can be toxic and potentially very dangerous for pets.
This is due to the reason that humans and dogs metabolize foods differently. In simple words, dogs digest foods differently than humans do. Serving wrong foods can lead to long-term health issues in dogs and in extreme cases; it may even lead to death.
In this blog, you will get to know about the best foods for dogs and foods that are very unhealthy and completely dangerous for dogs.
Foods that are safe for dogs
Here is the list of certain food items that dogs can eat as these are safe for their health. However, they must eat them in moderation.
1. Apples: Apples are safe for dogs. They are the best source of vitamins including vitamins A and C. They are also an excellent source of fiber that helps to regulate a dog’s digestion system. Apples are low in protein and fat, thus can be used as a snack for dogs (especially senior dogs). However, whenever you serve an apple to your pet, make sure to remove its seeds and core. Also, don’t give them rotting apples as they can cause alcohol poisoning in dogs. Pet parents can try giving them in frozen form in warm weather. One can also easily find apple-flavored dog treats in the market.
2. Carrots: Carrots are also a healthy food for dogs. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, which helps to regulate a dog’s immune system. Vitamin A also keeps the dog’s skin and coat in good condition. Moreover, chewing on carrots helps to remove plaque from the dog’s teeth while promoting good dental health. One thing to keep in mind here is that carrots should be given in moderation as too much vitamin A can be toxic for dogs’ health.
3. Dairy products: Dairy products like cheese, plain yogurt, and milk are also safe for dogs but in small quantities. Giving dairy products in large quantities can cause digestive issues in dogs. This is due to the reason that dogs usually have low levels of lactase. Lactase is a digestive enzyme that breaks down the sugars present in milk. If your pet is lactose intolerant, then you should avoid giving him any kind of dairy product. Some of the key symptoms that can help you determine that your dog is lactose intolerant include diarrhea or vomiting after consuming a dairy product.
4. Bananas: Dogs can also eat bananas in moderation. Bananas are a rich source of magnesium, which is very important for the good health of bones. They also contain fiber, biotin, vitamins, potassium, and copper. Bananas are low in cholesterol and sodium and make a fantastic low-calorie treat for dogs. However, due to their high sugar content, bananas should be given as an occasional treat for dogs not as part of their main diet.
5. Cucumbers: Cucumbers are also good for dogs, especially for overweight dogs. Since they contain very little to no carbohydrates, fats, or oils, they are considered a safe low-calorie snack for dogs. They even boost energy levels in dogs. Cucumbers are high in vitamins C, B1, and K. They are also a rich source of magnesium, biotin, copper, and potassium.
6. Rice: White plain rice in cooked form is also a safe and healthy option for dogs, especially those who have an issue of an upset stomach. White cooked rice helps to ease digestion and also binds stool. One important thing to note here is that white rice can raise blood sugar levels. Therefore, dogs with diabetes problems must eat it in very small amounts.
7. Fish: Fish including tuna, salmon, and shrimp all are safe options for dogs to eat. These are an excellent source of protein. Tuna and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to keep a dog’s immune system, skin, as well as the coat in good health. On the other hand, shrimp is a rich source of Vitamin B which helps in maintaining a dog’s digestive system while promoting good blood circulation. Before serving fish to dogs, make sure to cook it properly as uncooked fish can contain harmful parasites which are very dangerous for dogs’ health.
8. Peanut butter: Peanut butter which is unsalted with no added sugar or sweeteners can also be considered as a safe food for dogs to eat in small amounts. Peanut butter comprises various beneficial elements such as vitamin B, E, niacin, healthy fats, and protein. Before serving peanut butter to your pet, make sure to check that it doesn’t contain a sweetener called xylitol as this sweetener is extremely toxic to dogs. If in case, you suspect that your pet has consumed xylitol, it is advisable to contact a veterinarian immediately. You can even consult a vet online for immediate advice. The vet may advise you to call an Animal Poison Control Center.
9. Honey: Honey is a safe food product for dogs. It comes packed with various nutrients like Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, and K. It is also high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, antioxidants, and copper. Feeding honey in smaller quantities can help to deal with allergies as it introduces small amounts of pollen to a dog’s system that builds immunity to deal with various types of allergens. Moreover, this sticky substance can also be used as a topical treatment for burns and superficial cuts.
10. Wheat and other grains: Dogs can be given wheat and other grains. Grains like wheat, corn, and others are a rich source of protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids. However, if your dog has an allergy to grains, it is best to avoid giving these food items.
Foods that are not safe for dogs
Here is the list of toxic foods for dogs that are potentially harmful to your dog’s health. Keep away these food items from your dog.
1. Avocado: Dogs should never be given avocados. The skin, pit, and leaves of this fruit contain a toxin called persin. This toxic substance can lead to severe diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. Although the inside (fleshy part) of avocado doesn’t contain much persin, still is can be too much for dogs to handle. Therefore, it is better to avoid including avocado in dog food.
2. Cherries: Dogs should not eat cherries as well. Except for the fleshy part of cherries around the seed, these plants contain cyanide and are highly toxic to dogs. Cyanide can badly affect cellular oxygen transport in dogs, reducing the supply of enough oxygen to your dog’s blood cells. If you suspect any signs of cyanide poisoning like difficulty in breathing, dilated pupils, red gums, etc., immediately contact your veterinarian.
3. Almonds: Though almonds are not toxic to dogs except macadamia nuts, they can block the throat or even tear the windpipe if not chewed properly. Almonds, especially salted ones are very harmful to dogs as they can increase water retention which is fatal to dogs’ health and may even lead to heart disease. Therefore, dogs shouldn’t be given almonds.
4. Chocolates: Chocolates can be a favorite snack of pet parents but these should not be given to dogs. Chocolates contain toxic elements called methylxanthines. These toxic substances are stimulants that can badly affect a dog’s metabolic process. Even if you give chocolate in small quantities, especially dark chocolate, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Giving it in large quantities can cause uneven heart function, seizures, and even death.
5. Cinnamon: Even though cinnamon is not toxic to dogs, it is advisable to avoid it. Cinnamon and the inside oils can badly irritate the dog’s mouth, making them extremely uncomfortable and sick. It can even lower a dog’s blood sugar to an extent it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, high or low heart rate, and even liver disease. Inhaling cinnamon in powdered form can even cause coughing, choking, and difficulty in breathing.
6. Onions: Dogs should never be given onions. Onions along with chives, leeks are part of a family of Allium plants. These plants are highly poisonous to most pets, including dogs. Consuming onions can lead to red blood cell rupture in dogs.
7. Garlic: Dogs shouldn’t eat garlic as well. Garlic is part of the Allium family (onions, chives, and leeks). However, they are much more toxic to dogs as compared to the rest of Allium plants. Consuming garlic can cause anemia in dogs and lead to several side effects such as increased heart rate, pale gums, and weakness.
8. Grapes: Grapes are a big no for dogs. Both grapes and raisins (the dried form of grapes) can be very toxic and harmful for dogs despite the dog’s age, breed, and sex. The toxin levels of grapes can cause acute sudden kidney failure. Therefore, always keep these dangerous fruits out of the reach of your pets.
9. Alcoholic beverages: Alcoholic beverages are also not good for dogs’ health. It can have an adverse effect on a dog’s liver as well as the brain. Consuming alcoholic beverages can cause breathing issues, vomiting, diarrhea, coordination problems, coma, and even death.
10. Tomatoes: Avoid giving tomatoes to dogs. Though the ripened tomatoes are usually considered safe for dogs’ health, the green parts of the plant contain a toxic substance known as solanine. Therefore, it is advisable to skip tomatoes from dog food.
Hope the above guide is helpful for you in choosing the right and healthy foods for your pet.
Pets must be given food on a timely manner. You can use a pet schedule app that reminds you of the right time to serve food for your dog.
To know more about healthy diet options and food items for dogs, you can consult a vet online for better recommendations.