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Non-fiction

Don’t Eat That! or, Life as a Pet Parent

‘You fed him what now?!’

She didn’t actually say those words, but the level of panic oozing from her written words was similar.

If you’ve been around this space for oh, longer than 10 minutes, you probably know about my four-legged monsters.

Sputnik, when she was a wee lass. Aw, she is still a narrow little lady …

 

And this dude right here. Once Woola’s ears stood up, there was nothing small about him. I think he was nearly half his 80lb here.

Just like with human children, we pet parents want to share all sorts of treats with our canine kids particularly. With ears like that, you know it wasn’t long before Woola got the name Fruit Bat. Because he looks like a flying fox:

Related image

If you didn’t know this little gem was a flying fox, you might mistake him for my Woola as a baby. Image courtesy: The Conversation. Click the image to read a heartbreaking story of how this flying fox was orphaned several years ago. I am now curious about whether things have changed for these beautiful animals.

Okay, I digress, as usual.

When I eat fruit, my babies eat fruit. Woola is especially fond of grapes.

Yeah. Now I know.

Grapes are on the list of no-no foods for dogs, along with avocados, fatty foods like bacon, and meat trimmings. Who knew, right?

The folks at The Goody Pet did their research and came up with a list of 27 (your eyes do not deceive you: twenty-seven) morsels that should never pass your pup’s lips.

Click the link above and check it out. This list of dangerous foods that dogs should avoid not only includes the specific foods themselves but rationales behind why each is not good for your pups. For example, my fruit bat also loves cheese — perfect pairing, right? Not so much. Claire Summers, who put the article together, writes this about cheese:

Dogs lack the enzyme that can break down milk products. Moreover, there are a lot of dogs that are lactose intolerant.

These dogs will have a whole range of gastrointestinal issues if they consume milk products like cheese, curd, butter etc.

Cheese has a high-fat content that could also lead to pancreatitis in dogs. You should absolutely avoid that cheeseburger you had thought of sharing with your dog tonight.

On the fruit tip, I’ve given him slices of apple, which seems to be okay. It’s the seeds you have to watch out for:

… the casing of Apple seeds contains a natural chemical that releases cyanide when the dog digests it.

This could potentially poison your dog slowly over time and weaken his digestive system. Whenever you offer apples to your dog, always get rid of the casing along all the seeds and offer small bite-sized pieces to smaller dogs.

Fortunately, my girl is quite picky and seems to know a lot more than her doggie brother and I. There are few people foods she will eat. I do admit that I am most guilty of the bacon and fatty items. I don’t give these out in mass quantities because I don’t eat them often, but I will pour bacon grease on their food, maybe once every couple months.

I knew there were several people-food items that were not good for dogs — chocolate, garlic, onions, and mushrooms being tops — but there are quite a few more that create serious issues. I was not too surprised to see raw eggs on the list since we’ve been told that raw eggs are not good for people either. Cooked bones was another that didn’t surprise me, but the rationale did. I always thought that raw bones were the way to go because dogs would get the marrow and nutrients and cooking the bone would make the bone lose those properties. One of the primary reasons identified in the article is because cooking makes the bone much more brittle and it therefore becomes an internal hazard.

There are several items, like peaches, that are okay when we cut them up for our dogs, but the article is quite clear to indicate that pits are often poisonous (they are just big seeds after all), so if you have fruit trees in your yard, keep your dogs away since they won’t separate the seeds and fruit.

If you aren’t sure whether something is safe for your pet to eat, always check the ingredients. However, as noted in the article, many products contain nuts, herbs, or seasonings that are not listed on the label but are very dangerous for your dog. Best in that case to err on the side of caution and not give it.

My poor, sad fruit bat.

Fortunately, there are wonderful and healthy treats out there that your pup can have. Check out Goody Pet’s list of best treats for some ideas. There are also recipes out on the interwebz for making your own natural treats, but if you aren’t down for that, I know someone who makes wonderful, all-natural pet treats. And she ships them too 🙂 Visit the accompanying post on Facebook to connect with her.

Just don’t do what I did and make your friends get upset at you for what you’re giving your doggie children for snacks. Have a great Wednesday!

 

The post is brought to you by The Goody Pet, a website dedicated to helping pet owners care for their pets.

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