I’ve been getting a lot of questions about human foods and toxicity, and just glancing around the net, I was appalled by some of the inaccurate statements being touted by “animal specialists”, “pet education sites” and even “veterinarian sites.”
And it was even worse seeing these statements copied word for word all across the internet. Good grief!
Before getting down to the nitty gritty, remember the statement on the FAQ page?: “Do NOT believe the labels that say that the product is safe for pets. Go by what it says for CHILDREN – if it is NOT safe for children, then it is NOT safe for your pet…..period.”
By the same token, you can generally use the same premise for food safety – “If you wouldn’t feed it to your human toddler – don’t feed it to your pet.”
Some of the info about food toxicity I found were plain wrong, some a tad inaccurate – and some were so ludicrous I kept bursting into laughter when I read them – so much so that hubby came into the computer room from watching tv (and you gals know how hard it is to distract a hubby during a tv program). He asked what was so funny and when he read the statements I pointed out of him, he just shook his head in disbelief.
It really made me wonder if the words “common sense” and “within reason” have taken flight and left the earth. Nature gives everybody five senses: touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing. But the other two - horse and common - you gotta acquire.
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I won’t go into the dangers of “bones or raw meat” for dogs – that is covered in the Nutrition page.
The below is a list of foods that you will commonly find under such headings as “Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet” or "Toxic Foods for Fido", etc.
1. Alcoholic beverages
3. Chocolate (all forms)
4. Coffee (all forms)
5. Fatty foods
6. Macadamia nuts
7. Moldy or spoiled foods
8. Onions & Garlic
9. Grapes & raisins
10 Yeast dough
11. Products sweetened with xylitol
14. Potatoes (and Tomatoes)
18. Milk & Dairy Products
19. Salt, Baking Soda & Baking Powder
20. Corn cobs
21. Cat food
Let’s take one at a time
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I won’t argue with this, but honestly – who in their right mind would give an animal alcohol??
- "Alcohol is a poison that sometimes produces enjoyable side effects in humans. Short-term overindulgence can cause death by poisoning, and long-term overindulgence can kill by destroying the liver."
- "Your dog is much smaller than you, and so is much more susceptible to the poisonous effects."
All above are true. However, I did come across this astounding statement on one of the sites (which was stated in all seriousness):
- “Some of the signs that your dog has been drinking alcohol include its odor on his breath.”
“Now Tiddles, have you been hitting the liquor cabinet again? Let me smell your breath.”
Words fail me. If you have to smell your dog’s breath versus keeping alcohol out of his reach – you shouldn’t have a dog…..matter of fact, you shouldn’t have a goldfish.
Would you give alcohol to your human toddler?
Yes – this is now on the “Toxic Foods for Fido” list, because <drum roll>
- “it is the only ‘fatty’ member of the vegetable family”
- “all parts of the avocado and avocado tree are toxic to dogs”
I’m sure this would be surprising news to many folks in California who are lucky to have avocado trees in their back yards – and whose dogs routinely munch on the fallen fruit. (And yes, avocado is botanically a fruit, not a vegetable.)
It would probably also be surprising news to the folks who feed “Avoderm” dog food – which is based on avocados. Other dog foods also include avocado in their ingredients.
When asked about it, the ASPCA said: “The safety profile of foods and other products formulated with avocado is a difficult question for us to answer definitively, because we do not know specifically how avocados are processed for these foods, what types of avocados are used, or what minimum dose of the toxic principle results in clinical effects. Therefore, we have refrained from making an overall assessment of the safety or toxicity of products that contain avocado."
That’s a whole lotta words to say, “gee, we have no idea.”
“For some vets the main concern is not poisoning, but potential weight gain due to the fruit's high fat content and the choking hazard posed by the large seed.”
Um, an occasional slice of avocado is NOT going to make your pet fat. And choking on the seed – of COURSE he could choke on the seed! Good grief!
Would you give your human toddler more than a small slice of avocado?
Would you give your human toddler the avocado seed?
Avocado contains "persin" which is "similar" to (not identical to) a fatty acid. Persin is oil soluable so it will be found in higher concentration in the oil than the whole fruit.
Depending on which site you look at the persin 1) leaches into the body of the fruit from the pits, or 2) the leaves are the most toxic part of the plant.
"Although persin is known to be quite toxic in birds; when consumed by domestic animals in large quantities it is dangerous."
Again - notice the "in large quantities" which people so easily seem to ignore.
"Diagnosis of avocado toxicosis relies on history of exposure and clinical signs. There are no readily available specific tests that will confirm diagnosis."
In other words, a sick dog is brought to the vet, and the vet makes a guesstimate. This can cause SO many problems - especially nowadays where false information can fly around the world via internet faster than it takes a kid to eat a chocolate chip cookie. It reminds me of the scare of "never use Scoop/Clumping litter for kittens because they will eat it and it will kill them." This charming falsehood has been adopted by not only people, but vets who fall prey to the dire warnings of alarmists. I've researched and researched and traced this back to a breeder with 3 kittens who all died. When necropsies were done, some litter was found in their digestive tract. What most of the warnings did NOT tell you is that the kittens were sick long before they were even old enough to toddle over to the litter pans.
Any devoted animal owner knows that dogs and cats with an irritated digestive system problem will often begin nibbling on indigestible matter - grass, dirt, cloth, etc. It's so easy for vets to leap onto the easy explanation that the ingested stuff was the cause (instead of the effect) of the digestive upset. Guess what? Digestive upsets HAPPEN. They happen to puppies, dogs, human kids and adult humans....they HAPPEN. Except with humans, doctors don't normally jump onto the "it must have been something you ate;" they usually go with the "probably a virus" diagnosis.
To repeat myself:
Would you give more than a small slice of avocado to your toddler? Then don't give more than that to your dog. Simple.
This has always been one of foods on the TOP of the “Toxic Foods for Fido” list.
Statements from the net:
- “It takes a fairly large amount of chocolate to cause problems.”
- “The truth is chocolate contains theobromine that is toxic to dogs in sufficient quantities."
Notice the words “large amount” and “sufficient quantities.”
I won’t go into the mathematical formulas of how many mg/kg of theobromine the various types of chocolate have, but basically: The toxic dose of theobromine is (supposedly) about 100 to 150mg/kg and depending on which site you visit:
- “ milk chocolate contains 6mg of theobromine per ounce”
- “milk chocolate contains 44 mg of theobromine per ounce”
Quite a big difference, isn’t there? I didn’t bother delving any farther because our dogs love chocolate, and we’ve given it to them as special treats (in moderation) for over 30 years. One little one did sneak the M&M package off the coffee table near hubby’s chair and quietly consumed it – had some diarrhea, but that was it.
Milk chocolate is not going to hurt your pet unless you give a large amount of it. A few M&Ms, a little bite of your candy bar, a couple chocolate chip cookies – are NOT going to hurt your dog; though a lot of milk chocolate might cause him to have diarrhea.
I would not give out semi-sweet chocolate, let alone baker’s chocolate or unsweetened chocolate – those do contain higher amounts theobromine. (But a few semi-sweet morsels in a couple chocolate chip cookies are not going to hurt.)
Another site stated:
- “2 oz. of Baker's chocolate can cause great risk to an 15 lb. dog. Yet, 2 oz. of Milk chocolate usually will only cause digestive problems.”
Who in their right mind is going to give 2 oz of Baking Chocolate (unsweetened chocolate) to a dog? – I don’t care WHAT size the dog is!
Would you give 2 oz of milk chocolate to a toddler? Sure, I guess (I never raised any human toddlers)
Would you give 2 oz of baking (unsweetened chocolate) to a toddler? Nope
~*~ ~*~ 4. Coffee ~*~ ~*~
There were two basic reasons which were stated as to why not to give your dog coffee:
- Caffeine (I don’t give my dogs coffee or caffeinated drinks, though I admit that my little munchkins do love to lick the milk foam from my fingers when I scoop it off the top of my morning coffee. It doesn’t even keep them awake though, they are back for their morning naps as soon as milkbones and yogurt are given out.)
- “coffee grounds will make him vomit” (yup – they’d probably make me vomit, too. Who in their right mind would give coffee grounds to a dog? And no comebacks, please, about dogs “getting into the garbage” – it’s the owner’s responsibility to make sure that the garbage pail is out of reach of dogs - and toddlers!)
~*~ ~*~ 5. Fatty foods ~*~ ~*~
Whatever the current craze is in “foods that humans should avoid”, you can be SURE that in a few years it will migrate over to dogs. I’ve lived through several of them…..salt is bad, sugar is bad, very high protein is bad, high carbohydrates are bad, and of course the current fad “fatty foods are bad.”
I saw the two ludicrous statements on the net:
- “Turkey skin is currently thought to cause acute pancreatitis in dogs, partly due to it's high fat content.”
- “You can easily avoid pancreatitis by not feeding your dog oily or fatty "human" treats and leftovers, and by keeping your trash bin securely fastened.”
I’ll bet the veterinary journals would have loved those…lololol Fatty foods don’t CAUSE pancreatitis. People and animals who HAVE pancreatitis have a problem digesting fatty food. There’s a big difference. How folks twist things around, thinking, “Gee – dogs with pancreatitis can’t digest fatty foods…ergo – the fatty foods must have caused the pancreatitis!”
Just like humans, fatty food will cause weight gain, and possibly diarrhea.
Fatty foods have their place in dog food. For an overly thin dog, fatty foods can be used for weight gain. For dogs with no appetite, fatty foods can make a dish more appealing.
Use your common sense and if you want to give your dog fatty foods, do so in moderation (unless he/she has pancreatitis, of course.)
Would I give turkey skin to my dog? – sure a little bit wouldn’t hurt him, but too much would probably cause diarrhea.
Would I give turkey skin to a human toddler? (ditto above)
Okay, this was a new one for me. I saw:
- “Also known as the Australia Nut and the Queensland Nut, Macadamias are one of the mystery toxic foods when it comes to dogs”
- “the macadamia nut tree itself is also toxic to dogs” (duh! LOTS of fruit & nut trees are poisonous – talk to any livestock owner, or bird owner who uses natural wood perches.)
- “Although researchers still have not determined what causes their toxicity, as few as six nuts, running as high as 40 nuts, can cause severe poisoning.”
- “The toxic dose to dogs ranges from 2.4-62.4 grams per kilogram of body weight. This is a very large range and can mean that some dogs will get ill with just a small amount of nuts ingested, while other dogs need to each a lot of nuts to show signs.“
- “The toxin and mechanism of action for the poisoning are presently unknown.”
- “The toxicity usually dissipates in 12 to 24 hours.”
Can’t find the actual “toxin” responsible, wide range of ingestion to cause illness, - you know what that sounds like to me? Sounds like some dogs might have had a sensitivity (allergic reaction, if you will) to the nuts. But like the “ivermectin scare with collies” – it is being blown all out of proportion. Some dogs can be sensitive to ivermectin. I’ve never had any personally in 30 years, but my sister had a Rottweiler who was very sensitive to it. A collie happened to have a bad reaction to it, died, and voila’ – now there is a warning for ALL collies (and often collie mixes) not to use it. Baloney. Many of my rescues were half collies, and they never had a problem with ivermectin….but I digress…..
Bottom line, would you give your human toddler more than 5 or 6 macadamia nuts? No? Then don’t give more than that to your dog either.
And if your dog (or toddler) shows a sensitivity to a certain food - don't give it to him anymore!
These are two other “biggies” on the list of Toxic foods. The folks who spout off about onions & garlic being so poisonous really need someone to press the down button on their elevator shoes.
- The case reports of onion toxicity involved whole onions or sizable portions of chopped onions (like a cup or more).
- onion powder & garlic powder is a frequent ingredient in both commercial and home prepared meals for dogs.
The Hysterical Warnings:
- “dogs lack the enzyme to digest onions or garlic” (is being spread like wildfire, but there is absolutely NO substantiated evidence of this at all)
- “as little as 2 slices a week can damage red blood cells, impairing their ability to carry oxygen” (ditto)
- “If you feed onions or garlic to him regularly, his red blood cells may weaken and literally fall apart” (ditto)
- “a dog will likely become ill if he laps up a container of spilled garlic.” (Yeah, so would I…sheesh!)
The Common Sense:
Am I going to feed a whole onion to my dog? No.
Am I going to give him roast beef gravy which had onions cooked in it? Yup – have always done so – and they love it.
Am I going to feed a cup of chopped onions to my dog? No.
Am I going to give him some Spaghetti & meatballs which contain onion? Yup – have always done so, they love it, and it doesn’t hurt them one little bit.
Two reports which seem to be fairly balanced:
- "Fewer reports exist on the ill effects of garlic or its "toxic" dose. But of the few, one noted that garlic (boiled-dehydrated) at a dose equivalent to 5 g/kg body weight*** led to the appearance of damaged red blood cells, but did not develop into hemolytic anemia (Lee et al., 2000).”
***a “kg” is 2.2 lbs, for pity's sake – who would feed 5 grams of garlic to a 2.2 lb dog! or 10 grams of garlic to a 4.4 lb dog, or 20 grams of garlic to an 8.8 lb dog, or 40 grams of garlic to a 17 lb dog……you get the picture.
- “While there are many well-intentioned lists that state unequivocally that onions and garlic are toxins, the evidence at hand would suggest that these may be a bit too black and white. It does appear from the literature that onion is a problem for cats at most doses (Robertson et al., 1998); but similar data regarding garlic ingestion by cats is missing. For dogs, small amounts of onion may be fine, and for garlic it may be a matter of finding the right form. It would be helpful if more research regarding onions and garlic was conducted at dosages practical for pet foods.”
Garlic does not kill fleas, it doesn’t repel fleas; though PLENTY of people are adding garlic to their dog’s diet, or giving them garlic oil capsules.
I do not approve of “concentrated oils” in any form to be given to dogs.
Perhaps concentrated oils are safe for people, but people generally have much larger bodies than dogs. Personally I would never even use “essential oils” topically on dogs (essential oils can be deadly if used on cats). Some essential oils can be quite poisonous, even on humans, when applied topically.
Would you give your human toddler a whole onion, or a cup of chopped onion?
Would you give your human toddler a spoonful of onion or garlic powder?
Would you give your human toddler concentrated oils to ingest?
Would you use essential oils topically on your human toddler?
Then don’t give them to your dog.
Alarmists will site specifically "N-propyl disulphide" as the "toxic" culprit. However, that's a classic case of trying to make a simple case of assigning blame.
Recent studies have shown that more than one toxin might be involved. Onions and other plants of the Allium family, such as garlic and leeks, contain n-propyl disulphide, and S-methyl and S-propenylcysteine sulphoxides (SMCO and SPCO) that may be broken down into various sulphides. SMCO and SPCO have a stronger haemolytic capability than n-propyl disulphide.
In other words, no one is quite sure WHY onions can be toxic (in large amounts), and are looking at several possibilities - not just "N-propyl disulphide." But of course, it's MUCH easier for alarmists to say "The N-propyl disulphide will kill your dog" rather than "research is examining n-propyl disulphide and s-methyl and s-propenylcysteine sulphoxides that might be broken down into other components."
Perhaps it's a combination of the above that can cause the problem, who knows?
But one thing I DO know is that if you use common sense, you are NOT going to have a problem with onions, garlic or any member of that family.
Another food usually high up on the Toxic Food list – spouted by people everywhere but with NO explanation other than “Don’t ever give your dog a grape or a raisin – you’ll poison him!” Makes me think they probably lost their minds when they were kicked in the head by a butterfly.
Supposedly 10 – 12 grapes can be toxic to a 20 lb dog. Since raisins are more concentrated than grapes – supposedly they are more toxic on an oz per oz basis.
And of course, there was the usual HUGE difference in the “toxic dose” on a g/kg level for grapes, depending on which site you look at.
And there was:
- “All the dogs in these reports ate from 9 ounces (250 grams) to two pounds (900 grams)." (Do you know how many grapes there are in 2 lbs!!)
And, as usual, no toxic chemical has been identified.
One of our first dogs, a lovely German Hunting terrier named “Felix” loved grapes, and we’d give him some occasionally. He was the only dog I ever knew who would manage to get all the pulp out of a grape, leaving the skin almost entirely intact.
Would you give your human toddler more than 10 grapes (let alone 2 lbs of grapes)?
Would you give your human toddler more than a few raisins?
(oh, yuck, I just had a flashback. One of my very first babysitting jobs. I was changing a diaper under the watchful eye of the proud Mother. “Oh…look,” the mother simpered, “I fed her some raisins earlier and just look at them now.” The raisins had passed through the kid completely undigested – but NOT in the same shape they were when they went in. And the smell! I put one hand over my mouth and rushed for the bathroom. Lemme tell you, changing a pee pad is a LOT better than changing a diaper.)
This from the net:
- "If you bake bread, you know that the dough needs a warm, moist environment to expand. Your dog's stomach is a nice warm, moist environment, and so, the dough can expand to many times its size when first ingested. This distends his abdomen and can cause pain. Another issue with raw dough is the rising process itself. The dough rises because the yeast ferments it. The fermentation results in alcohol, which can cause alcohol toxicity"
- "Yeast Dough can produce gas and swell in your pet’s stomach – leading to rupture of the digestive system."
Sounds like somebody has been watching a little too much of the "Chiller Channel," though it does lend a new meaning to "bun in the oven", yes? lololol
Yeast dough is NOT going to rise in a stomach! If enough were eaten, it might make the dog (or human) have a tummy ache and vomit, but it's NOT going to "rupture the digestive system."
Apparently there was a mention in the Merck Veterinary Manual about yeast dough being toxic for dogs. Although the Merck Veterinary Manual can be a very useful reference book, it is outdated in many areas – toxic foods for animals being one of them.
Likewise "fermentation in the stomach causing alcohol toxicity" is ludicrous. But I can tell you where the myth probably came from. There have been stories about elephants (and other animals) traveling great distances to munch on fallen tree fruit (marula, I think, but am not sure). The sweet, rotting fruit on the ground is apparently highly desirable.
This was NOT just from the imagination of Jamie Uys who produced the film "Animals are Beautiful People" (although Jamie might have doctored some of the film scenes).
The stories of inebriated elephants are centuries old, and one more recent example is in a book by English Zoo Veterinarian David Taylor, as he describes transporting a couple elephants in Spain and happened to park for the night beside a tree laden with overly ripe and rotting fruit.
The same situation is described in the autobiographical book "White Witch Doctor" by John Hunt. "Archaeological evidence shows that humans in Africa ate Marula fruit between ten and nine thousand years B.C. The trees may yield half a ton of fruit that falls and ripens on the ground, where contained yeast lets it naturally ferment into alcohol. Africans made strong beer from the pulp and today a tasty, aromatic Marula liqueur is sold commercially in South Africa. Herds of lucky elephants sometimes get in on the act, seeking out and eating the fermented fruit and having a wild party, with much trumpeting and drunken fooling around, falling and rolling on the ground. It is a really incredible sight."
The fruit fermented as it rotted, and it was the already fermented fruit that caused the inebriation - the fruit did NOT ferment inside the animals' stomachs.
A little bit of yeasty dough probably isn’t going to hurt, but just as you wouldn’t give more than perhaps just a taste to a human toddler, don’t give more to your pet.
~*~ ~*~ 11. Xylitol ~*~ ~*~
Supposedly the artificial sweetener xylitol is toxic to dogs. And I’m not going to disagree or really delve into the whys and wherefores. In my opinion, 99% of all the artificial sweeteners are dangerous (and somewhat toxic) to both humans and canines. Aspertame (aka NutraSweet) comes to mind – the neurological side-effects from that sweetener are well documented. I would NEVER give a food item that contained an artificial sweetener to one of my beloved dogs.
Would you give a food containing an artificial sweetener to a human toddler?
From the net:
- “Mushroom toxicity does occur in dogs and it can be fatal if certain species of mushrooms are eaten. Amanita phalloides is the most commonly reported severely toxic species of mushroom in the US but other Amanita species are toxic.” (notice the words "certain species of mushrooms")
Duh-uh! “Amanita phalloides” aka "DEATH CAP mushroom" is VERY poisonous!
However, it’s NOT the type of mushroom that cooks are likely to add to their Sauerbraten or Pot Roast, is it!
Mushrooms, per se, are not poisonous to dogs. Poisonous mushrooms are poisonous to dogs......as well as people. Duh-uh!
Why it was included in the list of foods “not to give dogs” is beyond me. For pity's sake - why not add a whole list of known poisons for the mentally challenged not to give their dogs?!
Don't give poison to your dogs....how difficult is that?
This from the net:
- “Broccoli toxicity has been noted in livestock. Apparently in California it is widely available at certain times and the dairy cattle there are fed broccoli due to this. If the percentage of broccoli in the diet exceeds 10% it can cause gastrointestinal upsets and if it exceeds 25% it is fatal.”
- “Broccoli is not a commonly reported poison however is can be toxic when large amounts are given to dogs. Broccoli contains isothiocyanate, a powerful gastrointestinal irritant and can be very painful."
I gather that the first item was listed to actually PROVE that broccoli could make a cow sick or actually die if it consumed 25% of it’s diet in broccoli. (Do you know how much a cow EATS in a day? – That’s a LOT of broccoli!)
The second item is a conglomeration of little “facts”:
- not a commonly reported poison
- can be toxic in large amounts (as can a whole bunch of other foods)
- contains “ isothiocyanate” a “powerful gastrointestinal irritant" (I think he threw in the bit about isothiocyanate just to sound imposing. Do you know what that is? I do. I looked it up. Isothiocyanates are derived from the hydrolysis(breakdown) of glucosinolates—sulfur-containing compounds found in cruciferous vegetables. Hmmmm…wonder how come he didn’t mention the OTHER cruciferous vegetables – like cabbage, brussel sprouts, etc. ?
Would I give a lot of broccoli to a dog? Nope – mainly because it is high in oxalic acid which can interfere with the absorption of calcium; and growing puppies (and toddlers) NEED calcium.
~*~ ~*~ 14. Potatoes (and Tomatoes) ~*~ ~*~
From the net:
- “The toxin, solanine, is poorly absorbed and is only found in green sprouts (these occur in tubers exposed to sunlight) and green potato skins.”
Duh- yup – another warning like the “Mushroom Warning”…..sigh…..but with a common, though inaccurate, understanding of "solanine" and "green potato skin."
Some alarmists are saying that both potatoes and tomatoes are toxic "because they contain Solanine." .....sigh....... The facts are these:
Potatoes naturally produce solanine and chaconine, a related glycoalkaloid, as a defense mechanism against insects, disease, and predators. Potato leaves, stems and shoots are naturally high in glycoalkaloids.
When potato tubers are exposed to light, they turn green and increase glycoalkaloid production. This is a natural defense to help prevent the uncovered tuber from being eaten. The green colour is from chlorophyll, and is itself harmless. However, it is an indication that increased level of solanine and chaconine may be present.
In potato tubers, 30–80% of the solanine develops in and close to the skin.
Showing green under the skin strongly suggests solanine build-up in potatoes, although each process can occur without the other. A bitter taste in a potato is another, potentially more reliable indicator of toxicity.
The National Institute of Health's information on solanine says to never eat potatoes that are green below the skin.
Deep frying potatoes at 170°C (306°F) is known to effectively lower glycoalkaloid levels (because they move into the frying fat), whereas microwaving is only somewhat effective, freeze drying or dehydration has little effect, and boiling has no effect.
So - to recap. It's not the "green skin" per se, that is "poisonous." The green skin (and especially if there is green beneath the skin) only indicates that that particular potato might have a higher solanine content. Taste the raw potato; and if it is bitter - toss it.
By the way, cooked, mashed potatoes are actually an excellent food for a dog, very nutritious and digestible, and can really help put weight on a thin dog.
And for the alarmists who (erroneously) state that tomatoes also contain solanine:
"Tomatoes are members of the nightshade family known for some seriously deadly members…like nightshade. Unripe red tomatoes contain an alkaloid called tomatine. While it is an alkaloid, it isn’t the alkaloid known for killing live stock. That would be solanine. Tomatine is a mild alkaloid that is digestible in moderate sized quantities and is even known for helping to remove LDL (low-density lipophans) from our systems."
This from the net:
- “PIPS: Found in the seeds of apples, pears, plums, peaches and apricots – ALL CONTAIN ARSENIC!" (Um - not true, Einstein, they contain a small amount of cyanide – not arsenic)
- “Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches and Plum. These five fruits aren't usually thought of as toxic foods. However, they contain a type of cyanide compound that can poison your dog if he eats enough of the stems, seeds and leaves."
We’ve got apple trees and a cherry tree in our front yard, and though our dogs love to toss the fallen apples into the pond and swim after them, and even munch on them – they’ve never once gotten ill from it. Dogs do “shred” a lot of things like stems and leaves, but as far as actually EATING enough to make them ill? I can’t say for sure – but I doubt it.
Well, you know I HAVE to ask….
Would you give your human toddler enough stems, seeds and leaves of a fruit tree to make him/her sick?
From the net:
- “High levels of nutmeg can result in a dogs death” (same for people, by the way)
- “Is a hallucinogen in dogs.” (same for people, by the way)
Why did they stop at Nutmeg? Why not list 10, 20, 50 or 100 more spices that are dangerous to humans and dogs when given in high levels?
Neat how folks can twist things to try to support their dire warnings, isn’t it? I think you’d be safer trusting a rabbit to deliver a head of lettuce.
Need I ask if you would give a spoonful of nutmeg (or any other spice, for that matter) to your human toddler?
~*~ ~*~ 17. Eggs ~*~ ~*~
This from the net:
- “ raw EGG whites contain a protein called Avidin. This protein depletes your dog of B vitamins, specifically Biotin, which is essential to growth and coat condition."
Perhaps true, but when I was growing up as a kid, it was not uncommon for every farmhouse to routinely give a raw egg to their dog every single day – they were healthy as can be and it made their coats shine.
I honestly don’t know enough about Avidin or it’s effect on Biotin, to make a knowledgeable comment. But I wouldn’t give a raw egg to my kids in this day and age simply because of the risk of salmonella.
Don’t give raw eggs to humans, and don’t give them to dogs.
Cooked Eggs? That's a different story.
Eggs are an integral part of any natural diet – they are nature’s most nearly perfect food and contain vitamins and minerals that are not easily available elsewhere. They are high in both protein and fat and are easily digested by the dog. For many years common practice has been to cook eggs, because there is an enzyme in the egg white which binds with biotin and makes it unavailable to the dog.
Recent research has indicated that this is a problem only if the dog is fed more than two eggs per day, every day. Although less than this amount is safe (from the Biotin standpoint) to feed raw, I do worry about salmonella in commercial eggs.
In order to inactivate the enzyme in the whites, it only needs to be cooked until it is milky – it does not need to be thoroughly cooked. The easiest way to do this is to put the eggs in a dish and pour boiling water over them. Let it sit for a minute or two and then mix it into the food.
~*~ ~*~ 18. Dairy Products ~*~ ~*~
From the net:
- “50% of dogs are lactose intolerant (just like people!)”
I’d SURE as heck like to find out where he came up with THAT number. I’ve had dogs for over 30 years and NEVER had one that was “lactose intolerant.”
It’s true that if a dog has not been fed milk for a long time, and then resumes drinking it, his stools might be a little loose - until he gets used to being given milk again…but that’s not the same thing as being truly “lactose intolerant.”
Ditto with cats. We've always given a nice bowl of warm milk to our own cats and to the poor strays who come to the house during the freezing cold winter. We've NEVER had a problem with the cats getting ill. The stray cats tended to stay and become quite friendly, and we adopted quite a few as inside cats (see The Story of Kali).
Some warnings specify "cows milk" (which indeed has subtle differences than goats milk, particularly the size of the fat molecules) - but I have found neither cow's milk, nor goat's milk to be a problem - ever.
My kids get yogurt every day, cheese frequently and the pregnant/nursing mothers and babies get goat’s milk every day - and the puppies I place stay on goats milk until they are over 12 weeks old.
~*~ ~*~ 19. Salt, Baking Soda, Baking Powder ~*~ ~*~
From the net
- “baking powder and baking soda are both leavening agents, used in baked goods to create a gas, which causes doughs and batters to rise." (Again, like the yeast dough scare, this person assumes that any ingredients that make something "rise" will do the same inside your dog....sigh...)
- "If your dog eats a large amount of either of these powders or salt, he can suffer from electrolyte changes, muscle spasms and congestive heart failure.”
And I imagine the same would happen to any TODDLER that ate “a large amount” of those things! Good golly!
In the name of all that is reasonable, does it really need to be stated on a warning list not to give a known dangerous substance to your dog??? And a "dangerous substance" doesn't necessarily have to be "poisonous" - it can be something indigestible that upsets the intestinal tract like crab shells, or something that can block the intestines like corn cobs. Use your common sense.
- “Corn cobs - a common cause of intestinal blockage requiring surgical removal”
LOTS of indigestible things can be gnawed, swallowed and cause intestinal blockage - so don't give them to your dog!
Don’t give indigestible foods to dogs that can block their intestines…..how hard a concept is that?
~*~ ~*~ 21. Cat food ~*~ ~*~
Cat food is VERY high in protein, and although some folks on the net says it causes pancreatitis in dogs (which it doesn't), it CAN cause urine crystals due to the extremely high protein level. Keep cat food away from dogs.
Again, not a too difficult concept, is it?
~*~ ~*~ The Bottom Line ~*~ ~*~
As you can see – it’s all common sense. Use your heads, your brains, your hearts. Stop thinking of animal versus human. We are all animals. Dogs are generally “smaller” so they can be equated (toxicity-wise) with small humans (ie toddlers). If you wouldn’t give your human toddler a food (or a large amount of a food) – don’t give it to your dog…..simple.