the danger of feeding pets table scraps

Posted by Dr. Jules Benson on Aug 28 2009


Where’s your bagel? Look no further than the furry breakfast bandit hiding under the table. Dogs will stop at nothing to savor the delicacies of people food. But many “table scraps” are not safe for pets. In fact, in 2007 alone, 130,000 calls to the Animal Poison Control Center involved poisoning from common human foods and household items. Most dog people know about the dangers of chocolate poisoning, but what about other foods? Petplan vets line up the top toxic table foods to keep out of paw’s reach.

Raisin’ Hell: So sweet and delicious, it’s a shame we can’t share grapes and raisins with our furry friends. But even a small amount can cause kidney failure and even death for some dogs. In fact, just recently a Brittany Spaniel covered under Petplan racked up a $1,600 vet bill after devouring an entire canister of raisins. Thanks to excellent vet care, she’s back in action.

Not Nuts about Nuts: Many varieties of nuts can have a devastating effect on a dog’s nervous system. Walnuts and macadamia nuts especially are highly toxic to dogs, causing a range of symptoms from vomiting to paralysis to death.

Hold the Onions: Dogs generally aren’t big fans of onions, but if they just so happen to be on top of a delicious hamburger, they’ll likely make an exception. Unfortunately, repeated ingestion of onions can wreck havoc on a dog’s red blood cells causing anemia, and difficulty breathing.

Candy Culprits: Many candy and gum products contain Xylitol, a common sweetener (often found in diet products) that can cause a major drop in a dog’s blood sugar. Dogs can experience seizures, loss of coordination and even long-term liver damage after eating certain candies and chewing gum products.

The Buzz on Caffeine: Caffeine is a definite no no for dogs. Not only will it them make restless and anxious, but can cause heart palpitations and damage to their central nervous systems.

Fortunately, most people foods won’t hurt your dog. But since certain ingredients are problematic (not to mention high in calories), it’s best not to sneak treats to your dog directly from the table. In the meantime, remember not to leave your meals unattended and to keep telephone numbers for your regular veterinarian, the nearest 24-hour vet and the Animal Poison Control Center number (888) 426-4435 close at hand. This way, if your dog does manage to nab a whole box of brownies from your kitchen table, help is as close as your phone.

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