Tip

Don’t feed these foods to your dog

And don’t let your dog eat this sweetener.

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Humans and dogs have been living together for so long that we sometimes forget that not everything we eat is good for them.

“Some foods meant for human consumption can be dangerous, and even deadly, to your dog,” cautioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a Consumer Update released a week ago.

Whether or not a dog gets sick depends on a number of factors, including the animal’s genetic makeup and size, as well as the amount of a food that the dog eats.

There’s less concern about cats, because cats are pickier (cat-lovers would say smarter) about what they’ll eat.

Chocolate

Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. Humans can easily metabolize the stimulant in chocolate, theobromine, but dogs process it much more slowly. That allows the theobromine to build up to toxic levels in a dog’s body.

Small amounts of chocolate will probably give a dog only an upset stomach along with vomiting or diarrhea. But larger amounts can produce muscle tremors, seizures, an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding or a heart attack.

Not sweet for Fido

Many dog owners may not know that the sugar substitute xylitol can be deadly for their pet. Xylitol is a low-calorie sugar alcohol that’s used to sweeten sugarless gum, candies, oral products, and some peanut butters.

“If you feed your dog pills coated in peanut butter, or put peanut butter in their hollow chew toys, make sure to check the list of ingredients first to make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol,” advises FDA veterinarian Carmela Stamper.

Other foods not to give your dog, according to Stamper:

  • Raw meat because it can contain E. coliSalmonella, or other bacteria harmful to dogs as well as to us.
  • Grapes, raisins, and currants because they can cause kidney failure in some dogs. Unfortunately, you don’t know whether your dog is one of the susceptible.
  • Fried and fatty foods because they can give your dog a stomach ache.
  • Moldy foods
  • Onions, garlic, and chives, especially in large amounts
  • Salty snacks in large quantities. If your dog finds and devours a whole bag of them, make sure your pet has access to plenty of water, Stamper advises.

And if you give your pet a multivitamin…

Consumerlab.com, a company which evaluates the quality of dietary supplements, has found that only two of the seven pet multivitamins it tested passed its quality standards. The most common problem: the products contained less of the nutrients than what was listed on the labels.

We can’t tell you the names of the two that passed because that information is available only to Consumerlab.com members, whose subscriptions help pay for the expensive testing.


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