Foods you should never feed dogs

By Francesca Ford who teaches Canine Nutrition courses at the Bone Idol Academy.

We all love to treat our dogs and while we may all know the more common toxic foods for dogs like chocolate and onions there are more household foods that you might not know are a danger to dogs.

There is nothing wrong with a treat, but time and again people make these common mistakes, and they can lead to problems for your beloved pet.

Chewing gum (xylitol)
Whilst you wouldn’t give gum to your dog to chew on, this is worth being aware of if they pick it off the floor, or from under tables. Chewing gum, along with some sweets and some peanut butters, contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol. Whilst this is harmless to us humans, it is extremely toxic for our dogs.
Even the smallest amounts could cause vomiting, low blood sugar levels, weakness, staggering, seizures and even death in puppies or small dogs.

Corn on the cob
Feeding the odd corn kernel is perfectly safe for your dog but you should never give them the actual cob. The cob is unable to be broken down and cannot be digested properly by dogs.  Therefore, it’s easy for pieces to get lodged and cause blockages, so it’s best to avoid them all together.

Grapes, along with raisins and sultanas, are all toxic for dogs.  Eating even a small amount can lead to sudden kidney failure, and even death. Keep them well away from your dog and make sure you pick them straight up even if you drop the odd one.

Nuts about nuts

Your dog may love peanut butter (see xylitol above) all over their licky-mat or in their Kong, but this doesn’t mean they can eat all nuts.

Macadamia nuts are particularly harmful. Even just a few of these nuts can lead to intoxication in a small to medium sized dog.

Black walnuts are another nut that are highly toxic for dogs. English walnuts on the other hand are safe, but only in small amounts.

As a rule, it is easier to avoid feeding your dog’s nuts to be on the safe side. If you do want to feed peanut butter, make sure you read the ingredient list and get one that only has one ingredient, peanuts.

You do not need to buy a dog specific peanut butter, but it must have the only ingredient listed as peanuts, 100%. Absolutely no salt, no palm oil and as you’ve read, no xylitol.

Rawhide chews and treats
It’s out there in abundance, especially in supermarkets and some less savvy pet retailers. But although you may see rawhide in a lot of pet shops, it’s best to steer clear, and you should avoid feeding it to your dog.

A treat is meant to be something nice and rewarding for your dog, and rawhide is definitely not that.

Not only is it hard for your dog to digest, rawhide is an extremely highly processed ‘treat’ made from the leather industry leftovers, and it is covered in toxic chemicals to give it its appearance, and its long shelf life.  Now, that doesn’t sound anything like a treat, does it?

Cow’s milk and cheese
Believe it or not dogs are actually lactose intolerant. They lack the enzyme lactase meaning they are unable to properly digest any lactose product. It isn’t fatal for your dog but there is no benefit to feeding your dog cow’s milk. What’s more, you are going to be putting yourself through some smelly wind and having to clear up some very runny poops.

We all know that dogs love cheese but just make sure it isn’t fed on a regular basis and it’s only in very small amounts as a treat.

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