8 foods dog owners shouldn’t feed their pets

Dog owners: we’ve all done it. When those puppy-dog eyes beg to us from under the dinner table, we can’t resist. A little scrap of people food becomes dog food thanks to a guilty Dog Mom or Dad. (Kudos to those of you who hold strong against the relentless force of the sad puppy-dog eyes.)

However, as pet owners, we need to be careful of what we give our furry friends. While some table scraps can be fine or even healthy for dogs to eat, others, not so much.

“Our bodies may break down foods or other chemicals that a dog’s can’t tolerate,” said Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

To keep pets safe, the FDA has made a guide to foods that dogs should avoid:

  • Raw meat: People shouldn’t eat it; pets shouldn’t eat it. Salmonella and coli poisoning are not fun. When cooking, be sure Fido can’t jump up and grab your uncooked burgers from the grill-side table.
  • Grapes (and raisins and currants): These can cause kidney failure in some dogs.
  • Salty, fried and fatty foods: Like humans, dogs can become nauseous from eating a lot of fatty food, which can also cause pancreatitis in canines.
  • Moldy foods: If you wouldn’t feed it to your family, don’t feed it to your dog. Be careful that dogs cannot reach moldy foods in the trash can or compost pile.
  • Onions, garlic and chives (and anything containing their powders as an ingredient): Especially in large amounts, keep dogs away from these three. Cats are also highly sensitive to these ingredients.
  • Macadamia nuts: Cookies containing this nut are delicious, but are highly poisonous to dogs and can even affect their nervous systems.
  • Chocolate: Probably the most infamous ingredient on this list, chocolate contains a substance that is toxic to dogs. Methylxanthine is a stimulant that stops a dog’s metabolic process.
  • Xylitol: This sugar substitute can be deadly to dogs. If you feed your dog peanut butter, check the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol.

It’s also recommended that you avoid tossing your dog a bone to chew on. Even large bones can splinter and cause internal damage to your pup’s digestive system.

What if you really want to share your food with Fido? Veterinarians recommend that no more than 5-10% of your dog’s food should be human food, but the occasional treat is okay. Cooked meats, whole grains such as brown rice, veggies like carrots or green beans, nonfat unsweetened yogurt and sliced apples (without the seeds) are among the human foods that are safe for dogs.

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