Dog’s will eat anything, and once you give them their dinner they certainly won’t stop eating until you take it away again. While it’s great that they aren’t fussy eaters, and it makes for a pretty cheap date, it’s also not the greatest trait in terms of their survival and it means that it’s up to us to prevent them from eating anything that could cause them harm. Your dog might be looking at you longingly while you finish off your chocolate cake, but sometimes you just have to be cruel to be kind… all the more for you!
First of all then, you should never feed a dog anything too sweet – the aforementioned cake, or chocolates, or jelly, or anything else that might be considered a sweet pudding intended for humans. The reason for this is that dogs are obviously much smaller than us (unless you’re a dwarf with an Alsatian) which means it’s the equivalent of eating a lot more cake than they actually are. Dogs are also particularly prone to diabetes and related conditions which makes any human chocolate very bad for them – potentially leading to blindness or death. If your dog consumes a large amount of chocolate or cake then you should take them to a vet immediately or try and cause them to vomit the chocolate back up. This will get the chocolate out of their system before it can cause too much damage. The best way to do this is to feed them large quantities of salt or salt water – typically this is something they probably won’t eat willingly meaning you will either have to ‘squirt’ the solution down their throat or pour the salt off the spoon down directly. If they haven’t regurgitated the food within ten minutes then definitely get them professional attention. When they do expect quite a show of it. Once they have regurgitated all of the bad food (it’s not a nice job but you should examine the contents of their vomit for things they ate before the chocolate). If you’re satisfied they’re all clear then you should cook them some potatoes with the skins still on to eat afterwards. This will re-fill their stomach and the starch will also act to soak up any toxins left in their body.
Obviously anything that’s poisonous for humans will be even more so for animals. Don’t then feed them anything like alcohol (it sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised to hear how common cases of this happening actually are). Similarly you shouldn’t feed them any human medicines or drugs of any sort unless they are intended for use by dogs. Likewise spicy foods such as curry or chilly should be avoided. Similarly avoid them eating non edible things such as washing up liquid or soap. Again if they eat anything potentially harmful the same principles apply – force them to consume salt and if necessary take them to the vet. Follow up with potatoes with their skins on.
Less concerning anything that’s too rich for you dog can cause it to get an upset stomach and diahorrea and should be avoided. Pay attention to how your dog reacts and if they seem to be experiencing any discomfort make a note of what they had to eat. Common culprits are turkey, lamb and burgers.
Not surprisingly though there are many things that dogs can eat that humans can’t. For this reason you shouldn’t worry too much when your dog emerges with something dead it found in the woods. While for us it would probably contain too many diseases, for dogs their immune system is used to dealing with these kinds of intruders. At the same time dogs have far more disinfectant in their saliva which is capable of combating more bacteria than we do.
As a final note you need to be aware of dogs choking, and again the ferocity with which they eat makes them more prone than we are to getting bones stuck in their throat. Don’t give them anything with small parts to chew then, and avoid bones that are likely to splinter or things like fish or chicken that have small bones in them.