Eating High on the Dog
By Abe Lerner
Human Food that is Toxic for Pets
Dog is man’s best friend. Shouldn’t it stand to reason then, that one can share his own food with his dog? Take Kelly for example. Never one to resist her chocolate cravings, a stash of 3 Musketeers bars is constantly at her disposal. Kelly is very generous with sharing her chocolate, true to the 3 Musketeers motto that, “All for one and one for all.” It feels better to add boatloads of calories in a group setting, as guilt is diminished when everyone else is joining in the fun too!
Along comes her dog Buster. He jumps onto her lap while eying the desired object currently being devoured by Kelly. Buster displays that puppy look, clearly indicating that he’d like a piece of the action (literally.) Of course Kelly should share her chocolate bar with Buster, right? Are you kidding me? Absolutely not! Chocolate contains varying amounts of methylxanthines that can lead to vomiting, seizures, and even death when ingested. According to the ASPCA, as little as 4 oz. of chocolate can result in methylxanthine poisoning in a 10 lb.dog.
Hector is a big guacamole guy. Isn’t everything better with avocado? As demand is high, there is an abundant supply in his house. All guacamole, all the time. Hector routinely leaves open containers of the tangy dip around the kitchen. Hey! Why exert any energy to open the fridge door when you can simply spoon up a mouthful from a bowl on the counter (fingers notwithstanding)? Hector! Take a step back. Your beloved dog Kara roams throughout the house. She loves sampling human food, especially the green stuff that smells really good. Although some larger animals are more sensitive to the persin found in the avocado fruit and pit, the ASPCA cautions that large quantities of persin can trigger an upset stomach in dogs as well. Swallowing of the pit can lead to an obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract. Take an extra second and return the guacamole to the fridge, beyond Kara’s reach.
Brian is all pumped up about the upcoming NFL season. His Jets are looking strong on defense and he likes the new head coach. Every Sunday throughout the campaign, Brian hosts a game day party, complete with food and beverages. He wears his Jets green paraphernalia and his lucky sock, and stocks up on wings and chips. His buddies coming over to watch the game are armed with additional snacks. Eyes glued to the multiple TV screens set up to catch all of the action from around the league, Brian and Co. are oblivious to anything else going on in the world other than football.
Emotions running high with each play, many chips land on the floor, resulting from a passionate pumping of the fist or a slamming of the remote device on to the couch. While being orderly is perhaps the last thing on their minds during a game, the guys should really be cognizant of the stray snacks strewn all over the room. Sonny, Brian’s dog, has a soft spot for salty snacks. He has a tendency to help “clean up” the mess left over from the party. According to Peteducation.com (Drs. Foster and Smith), salt eaten in large quantities can lead to electrolyte imbalances and seizures. While imposing cleanliness restrictions throughout a game is virtually impossible, keeping Sonny out of the room during the game and vacuuming the floor immediately following the game is certainly doable.
Kelly, Hector, and Brian all truly care about their dogs. A lack of awareness combined with distraction though, can really lead to catastrophic damage to their dog’s overall health. As we approach National Dog Week (last full week in September), let’s make an effort to become more familiar with the do’s and don’ts of pet eating…
Abe Lerner is a member of the pack at NutralifePet, a division of Nutralife Health Products, Inc., which has been selling high quality dietary supplements since 1996. NutralifePet, the manufacturer of Ultra Joint & Liver Support with SAM-e for dogs and cats, caters to the individual needs of each pet. NutralifePet…caring about animals, one pet at a time…