We’ve all been there before: you’re finishing up eating a delicious dinner when your dog saunters up to you and plants themselves at your feet, looking at you with their big, begging puppy dog eyes. You look at your nearly-empty plate and all the leftovers on the table and consider tossing them a bone and offering up your dinner scraps. Good idea? You might want to think again!
Canine dietician Kristina Johansen says that dog owners need to stop thinking they’re being helpful by giving their dog human food.
“[Dog owners’] good intentions are sadly misplaced and by feeding their dog “treats” such as chocolate, grapes or, heaven forbid, a glass of wine, they are literally risking their lives,” Johansen explained. “Some of these danger foods can be found in every-day products that you might feed your dog without thinking, such as gravy containing onions.”
She continues, saying that while we think we are being accommodating and sweet to our dogs, but the truth of the matter is that their bodies don’t process certain foods the way we humans can. Some foods that we can consider healthy to us can actually be quite toxic and dangerous to them.
Johansen’s company Elmo’s Kitchen, a canine dietary website that offers advice for your dog’s nutrition, lists the ten most common human foods that should be banned for dogs. The list includes: chocolate, artificial sweetener (like NutriSweet and Splenda), grapes/raisins, caffeine, Macadamia nuts, alcohol, fruit pips and seeds, table scraps, cooked bones and onions. As well, Elmo’s Kitchen created an app dog owners can check before giving a dog food to see if it is safe – how brilliant! Among things your dog can eat are eggs, carrots, popcorn, and most meats.
Johansen adds: “I’m sure that if more people knew what harm they were actually doing to their dogs they would pay more attention to the foods they feed them, and so having an app you can check at all times makes it much easier.”
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