April 17, 2012
A majority of veterinarians are against feeding table food to dogs, however, I fall within the minority and don't have a strong objection against table food as long as it is healthy table food.
Most people feed table food that are leftovers from a meal (fats, bones, carbohydrates like rice and pasta). That can often cause obesity, upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. Throughout my school years I was taught that people food was not good for animals. However, having studied nutrition from a health/bodybuilding/fitness point of view, I am of the belief that once people food is balanced and healthy (that is lean meats, grains, vegetables, fiber), it is okay to feed to your dogs.
If you are interested in adding people food or fresh food to your dog's diet, it is recommended that you gradually add the food to your pet's diet. This is because most dogs have sensitive stomachs and will vomit, have diarrhea, or have lot of gas/flatulence. Also, slipping foods to your dog from the table while you are eating is a sure way to create a begging nuisance. So feed your dog only from his own dish at his own mealtime.
There are some foods that we eat that should not be given to dogs because they are either outright toxic or unhealthy for some reason.
o Chocolate: In large doses it is toxic for dogs and can cause tremors and heart arrhythmia. But chocolate in any dose, even a single Oreo cookie is junk food, and not healthy for dogs.
o Macadamia nuts: As little as one ounce of these nuts can cause temporary paralysis.
o Tomatoes and tomato plants: Contain Atropine which can cause dilated pupils, tremors and heart arrhythmia.
o Onion and garlic: Eating large amounts can cause hemolytic anemia. So be aware of the old wives' tale of feeding garlic to combat fleas.
o Grapes and raisins: For unknown reasons, eating grapes or raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.
o Any food that has mold or may be even slightly spoiled. Dogs can get severe food poisoning from molding or spoiled foods. Any food that is not fresh enough for you to eat, isn't fresh enough for your dog either.
o Raw meat or raw bones: They can make a dog sick. I would prefer that you parboil them before feeding them to your dogs.
o Cookies, cake, ice cream and candy: Have no nutritional value, makes dogs fat and may make them vomit or have diarrhea.
o Sugarless gum, certain desserts that have Xylitol (sugar sweetener) can cause liver disease and hypoglycemia.
o Fried, greasy or fatty foods: High fat foods can trigger pancreatitis, and should be avoided or given in very small quantities.
o Beer or alcoholic beverages: Should be totally avoided. If it does occur, it is considered to be animal abuse.
o Corncobs, apple seeds: Never underestimate a dog's ability to swallow things whole and have them get stuck somewhere in the digestive tract.
o Dr. Basil Sands can be contacted at the Central Animal Hospital at 325-1288.
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