How did it go for Thanksgiving with your guests feeding your dog or cat? Well, even with all of my warnings and doggy treats (for guests), my mom still snuck food to Simon.
What I realized that I did not do, other than tell folks not to feed Simon from the table, is to tell them why. So here is why so that you can also use this with your guests.
Why is it bad to feed our pets human food?
- Salt is essential in our diet but on average, human’s consume about 6 grams of salt per day (a level teaspoon). This is at least two and a half times more than we need, and excess consumption can lead to an increase in blood pressure.
- Fat content. To make our food tastier, some type of fat (oil, butter or margarine) is used. Our food contains too much fat. All that extra fat can be dangerous because it causes our pets to be overweight, which then can result in our pets developing pancreatitis, osteoporosis, arthritis heart disease, cancer and type-two diabetes.
- Preservatives. Not all foods contain preservatives, but all our processed food does. Like too much fat, preservatives are accused of being harmful to humans like formalin used in noodles, nitrates in meats, sulfites on fruit and vegetables, and benzoate in ketchup and soft drinks. We do not want to pass this on to our pets.
- Toxicity. This is the main reason why folks have been told NOT to feed human foods to animals. Often times, folks think that if I can eat it so can my pets. NOT true. Here is a list of the foods that you should NEVER feed your pets:
- Alcohol. Remember seeing the movies where dogs drink beer? Not a good idea. Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, poor breathing, abnormal blood acidity, coma and death, just like in humans. The difference is that our pets are much smaller and are more susceptible to intoxication.
- Avocado. The substance Persin can cause vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes heart congestion.
- Onions, Garlic, & Related Root Vegetables. Onions contain a substance (N-propyl disulphide) which destroys red blood cells in animals, causing a form of anemia called Heinz body anemia. Garlic contains a similar substance in a lesser amount.
- Green Tomatoes, Green (raw Potatoes). These foods are members of the Solanaceae family of plants, which includes the Deadly Nightshade, and contain a bitter, poisonous alkaloid called Glycoalkaloid Solanine, which can cause violent lower gastrointestinal symptoms. The leaves and stems are particularly toxic.
- Chocolate. Theobromine is the offending substance here. It can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, pant excessively, urinate frequently, develop a great thirst, have seizures, show hyperactivity, get an abnormal heart beat and possibly die. The negative effects depend on the dosage, the size of the dog, and the type of chocolate.
- Caffeine/Coffee. This is the same warning as for Chocolate. Like Thebormine, caffeine contains a methylxanthine derivative with similar effects on dogs.
- Grapes and Raisins. These foods’ toxicity has mainly been found in dogs, in quantities of varying amounts. The ASPCA advises: “As there are still many unknowns with the toxic potential of grapes and raisins, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center advises not giving grapes or raisins to pets in any amount.”
- Macadamia Nuts. These nuts both raw and roasted contain an unknown toxin that can cause the following problems: weakness, panting, tremors and swollen limbs. The danger of macadamia nuts is baked cookies so be careful what you feed your dog.
- Milk. This was a surprise to me, but milk is bad for our pets because they lack the lactase enzyme to process milk. Drinking milk may lead to bloating, gas, diarrhea and other digestive upsets.
So, these are the reasons to give your guests for NOT feeding human food to your pets. Christmas dinner is fast approaching so start brushing up on how to convince your guests to refrain from feeding your pets.