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Tip of the Month

3/25/2008 Just Say No to Table Scraps – Human Foods that are Poisonous to Dogs

When little Fido is sitting at your feet under the dinner table with his wiggly tail wagging and his eyes bright and pleading, it can be tempting to toss a scrap of your dinner under the table to him. He gobbles it up with delight and awaits his next treat, and you can almost see his adoration for you growing. However, any dog trainer or veterinarian will tell you that there is more than one reason to avoid feeding table scraps to your beloved, spoiled little guy. Not only does it harm his level of dog training obedience by teaching him that begging brings rewards, but you can also inadvertently be causing harm to your pooch. Here we will discuss human foods that are poisonous and sometimes deadly to canines.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, the following foods are harmful and even potentially deadly to canines, so should never be used by an animal trainer or owner:

• Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other products containing caffeine
• Alcoholic beverages
• Fruit pits and seeds
• Bones from fish, poultry, and other meat
• Fat trimmings from meat
• Any candy containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol
• Grapes and raisins
• Onions and onion powder
• Garlic
• Salt
• Macadamia nuts
• Mushrooms and mushroom plants
• Hops
• Potato, rhubarb, and tomato leaves and stems
• Yeast dough

Moldy, spoiled foods, such as those found in garbage, are another source of toxins that can cause illness in a dog. Garbage often contains multiple toxins that can induce vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, other organs and systems are affected and the damage can be permanent and severe. This is yet another reason to avoid feeding your canine table scraps. If you insist on spoiling your canine companion from time to time, remember that table scraps are not nutritionally balanced and should never exceed 10 of his diet. Consult your ABC Certified Dog Trainer for advice if your dog is digging in the trash or “counter surfing” (meaning stealing food from counters). Some targeted animal training sessions can teach both you and your dog how to prevent these behaviors.

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