Top 11 Things Not To Feed Your Dog

Top 11 Things Not To Feed Your Dog

We love our dogs and would love feeding them the same delicious treats and foods that we humans love. Here in sunny Singapore, we might be tempted to share that cold ice cream we love with our four-legged friends, but is it safe? What are the consequences? Kohepets is here to provide some much need answers on what not to feed your dog.

We won’t want our little furkids falling sick now do we? Lets begin.

1. Coffee

Not only coffee but pretty much anything that contains high amounts of caffeine. Tons of Singaporeans love their morning cup of coffee, getting their daily doses from the nearest Starbucks to the local Coffeeshop. As tempting as it is to give your dog a small taste of what you love, caffeine is pretty high up on the list of what not to feed your dog.

Dogs are susceptible to caffeine poisoning – most of which prove fatal. According to a study done by Provet, Caffeine is lethal for your pup at approximately 150 mg per kilogram of body weight. A standard cup of coffee contains about 100mg of caffeine.

Signs of caffeine poisoning may appear as minor changes in your dog’s behaviour – pretty much like a kid having a sugar rush – to having more serious symptoms such as restlessness, vomiting, having tremors along with a rapid heart rate.

2. Ice Cream

Who wouldn’t love an ice cream on a blistering hot, sunny Singapore day? But giving ice cream to your little furkid might not be the best idea. You see, dogs are lactose intolerant. This means they do not have sufficient amounts of lactase enzymes to digest dairy products just like us humans do.

Even though small amounts of dairy is pretty harmless to you dog health-wise, your dog might suffer from a case of smelly farts or even diarrhoea from ingesting dairy products.

3. Chocolate

Many dog owners are aware of the dangers of feeding chocolate to their dogs. But how many actually know why?

Chocolate contains Theobromine, a component that is easily broken down and digested by us humans. Dogs however, are not able to metabolise Theobromine fast enough to prevent toxic levels from building up inside their system. The increased levels of toxicity could result with your dog becoming hypertensive, becoming extremely thirsty, having seizures and a rapid heart rate that might even lead to death.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol always seems to be the source of many of life’s joys and sorrows as well. But in the case of your dog, it might prove fatal.

Sure it seems harmless letting your dog have a lap or two from your alcoholic beverage, perhaps even a small puddle of spilt beer at a party might be encouraged with people laughing at how ‘your dog loves booze!’ But think again.

Alcohol damages your brain and liver. The same applies to your dog – only that his or her organs a much smaller than yours. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the harmful effects of alcohol is multiplied when given to dogs. The smaller your dog, the worse it gets.

5. Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol found in chewing gums, candies and even cakes. Often used as a sugar substitute, Xylitol is pretty much harmless to us humans but EXTREMELY bad for your dogs!

Besides ultimately causing liver failure, Xylitol can cause seizures, low blood sugar, lethargy,  and even death. Why risk it? Dogs love doggy treats, let’s just stick with that.

6. Grapes And Raisins

Something so small, sweet and seemingly harmless, the perfect way for us humans to describe grapes. Yet many Singaporean dog owners do not realise that grapes and raisins are things we should not feed your dogs.

Grapes contain a toxin that is harmful to dogs.(The exact toxin or reaction has yet to be identified) If your dog ingests some, it may lead to severe liver and kidney damage. Even small amounts have been recorded to have killed dogs. It’s better to play it safe rather than sorry.

7. Macadamia Nuts

Often given as gifts from friends and relatives travelling abroad or as a wonder addition to Famous Amos cookies, these exotic nuts are loved by many Singaporeans. Sadly, Macadamia nuts are some of the top ten things you should not feed your dog.

Although non fatal, the ingestion of Macadamia nuts by dogs have pretty negative effects. Dogs are the only known species so far to suffer from Macadamia poisoning. It seems that the nuts contain a toxin that inhibits locomotory actions in dogs. Many dogs owners have reported cases where dogs showed symptoms of vomiting, weakness and tremors. The most common symptoms being paralysis of the hind legs.

8. Salty Foods

Salt is found almost everywhere in Singapore when it comes to food. From our favourite potato chips, fast food fries and delicious foods found everywhere! But lets just make one thing clear, our dogs can have the occasional salty treat – a single french fry or prawn cracker isn’t going to do much harm.

So why is salty foods on the list? Simple, sometimes we just can’t just say ‘no’ to that sad puppy eyes as our furkid watches us snack on our salt covered chips one after another.

Too much salt can lead our furkid having to take more toilet breaks due to thirst and suffering from Sodium Ion Poisoning (Salt poisoning). In extreme cases where too much salt is ingested, your dog may suffer from dizziness, headaches or seizures.

9. Onions

No, I’m not talking about the bad breath that follows. Onions or chives are one of the worse things you should not feed your dog. We consumer onions daily from home cooked meals to expensive dinners in restaurants, so how can something so delicious be so deadly to our dogs?

The answer is onions in most forms (powdered, cooked, raw) contain both disulfides and sulfoxides that damages red blood cells in dogs – leading to anemia. Sign you should look out for are vomiting, weakness and breathing problems. So maybe exclude your little furkid from the next Italian meal you and your family are having.

10. Persimmons, Peaches & Plums

Actually the heading of this section might be misleading. The problem does not lie with the fruit itself but the seeds of the fruit. The seeds of these fruits may cause serious problems when ingested by dogs, causing blockages in the intestines.

Also, pits from peaches and plums contain cyanide with is poisonous to both Dogs and humans alike. So why am I mentioning this caution here? Humans usually remove or avoid the pits and seeds of these fruits, dogs who are given the whole fruit as a treat do not. Be careful what you feed your little furkid.

11. Bones

Perhaps some of you already know the dangers of feeding animal bones to your dogs as a fun treat. But I’m adding this to the list of things you should not feed your dog for good reason, there are still many people out there with the misconception that all types of animal bones are perfectly fine for dogs.

For those who are not aware, certain bones when cooked or boiled become brittle thus presenting the risk of the bone fragmenting when chewed or gnawed upon by your dogs. This bone fragments pose a risk of puncturing your dog’s internal organs when digested leading to unpleasant and often serious results.

Bones from poultry break into sharp shards along with fish bones thus posing a greater risk when consumed by dogs.

To find out more about whether your should feed bones to your dog or what kinds of bones are ‘safe’ for your dog’s chewing pleasure, I will be publishing an article “Do I Give A Dog A Bone?” at a future date. Hope to see you then!