Be Careful About Dog Food

We all love our dogs, and want the best for them. Yet sometimes we show that love in ways which are actually harmful to them - even dangerous. In particular, we feed them food which harms them.

So, which dog food harms dogs? Most manufactured foods produced by responsible pet food companies can be trusted, but even so, it is up to you as a good owner to check the contents of the food to ensure that it's right for your pet. And if a dog food seems to be very cheap, and is manufactured overseas, then it's wise to be cautious. It doesn't seem possible that dog food harms dogs, but it has been known for unscrupulous companies to produce food which is actually dangerous.

It's important that the dog food you buy is right for the age and health of your dog. Your vet , will tell you what food is right for your dog. For example, if your dog is a working dog, he will need high energy food. If your dog is old, then choose a food specially formulated for the older pet, which will have the vitamins and minerals she needs, with a lower ration of calories.

Some common human foods are very harmful to dogs, and should never be fed to them as either meals or snacks. Some of these are quite surprising.

One of the chief problem snacks is chocolate. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, cocoa powder and baker's chocolate, can produce alarming symptoms such as excessive urination, vomiting, diarrhea and can even lead to death. If your dog eats a tiny bit of chocolate by mistake, don't panic, but keep a close eye on your pet. If your dog steals and wolfs down a whole box a chocolates, it's a good idea to get him or her to the vet as soon as possible.

Coffee can produce similar symptoms in dogs and should also be avoided (I once had a dog which loved to drink a cup of tea - no sugar - which is perfectly fine).Onions, chives and garlic contain thiosulphate, which in large quantities is an irritant to a dog's digestive systems, and can cause stomach upsets and even anemia, so definitely something to be avoided, although garlic capsules specially designed for dogs are fine for you to use in the correct dose.

Macadamia nuts which are frequently found in cookies these days contain a little known toxin which is very dangerous for dogs. Make sure you check for this increasingly common nut if you are feeding your dog even a tiny piece of cakes, muffins and cookies.

Raisins and grapes eaten in quantity can cause kidney failure in dogs, and as these are commonly found in baked goods, be on the alert. I had a Jack Russell Terrier who adored grapes, and would steal them if she got the chance. She lived to be eighteen and a half years old, but I was always very careful not to let her get her paws on this favorite food.

It's unlikely that your dog will beg you for avocado, but you might feed it in with leftover vegetables or salad. You should definitely avoid doing this, as avocado can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even heart conditions in dogs.

In general, it's best not to feed dogs with human foods. Many dogs become overweight and unhealthy because their owners indulge them with food, thinking they are being kind. Feed a good quality dog food, and follow the quantity directions on the pack. If your dog is less active than it should be, reduce the recommended portion size just a little to compensate.

If you are concerned that proprietary dog food harms dogs, due to things like genetically modified ingredients, added chemicals to enhance flavor and the like, then create your own dog food using ingredients that you feel confidence in. It's more trouble than just pouring out of a packet or opening a tin, but you will probably have a happier, healthier dog as a result.

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This article was published on 23 Jul 2013 and has been viewed 508 times
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