Home' SA 50s Lifestyle : SA 50s Autumn 11 Contents 22 Autumn 2011
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By Bob Walker
Most of us have family pets to care for
and in return they offer unconditional
love and companionship. A couple of
years ago I bought a miniature apricot
poodle pup (Cherie) and sought
advice from a prominent author on
the subject of what not to feed her.
Her advice was that a dog’s system
is not the same as a human’s, so
there are some foods that we enjoy
that can make your dog sick and in
some cases, could even kill it. While
it might be fun to give your pet a treat
from the dinner table every so often,
there are some foods you should
never feed to your dog. These are:
To dogs, chocolate acts as a
stimulant, making its heartbeat
accelerate or beat irregularly, leading
to seizure and even cardiac arrest.
To compound things further, it also
acts as a severe diuretic, causing
frequent urination, vomiting, and/or
diarrhoea. If you even suspect your
dog has consumed chocolate, take it
to a vet immediately.
Grapes and raisins
Grapes and raisins create havoc
with your dog’s kidneys and
digestive system. The amount of
grapes needed to cause problems
can vary greatly among individual
dogs. Symptoms include frequent
urination, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Onions can cause the breakdown
of a dog’s red blood cells, which
deprives its cells of much-needed
oxygen. If you are in the habit of
feeding your dog table scraps, make
sure the dish was not prepared
with onions, as the effects can be
cumulative over a period of time.
Symptoms can vary greatly, ranging
from vomiting and diarrhoea to loss
of appetite, fever or exhaustion.
While the exact chemical compound
is still unknown, even a small
amount of macadamia nuts can
cause fever, irregular heartbeat,
seizures or mild paralysis.
Dogs’ physiologies are not equipped
to handle alcohol consumption. They
are extremely susceptible to alcohol
poisoning and even a small amount
can lead to digestive problems or
Because it is soft, dogs will often
swallow the dough without chewing
it. When the dough hits your dog’s
stomach, its body heat will cause
the dough to rise inside its stomach.
This rising action can cause bloating
or vomiting. To compound things,
the rising action creates alcohol
as a by-product and your dog may
experience alcohol poisoning.
Similar to the effects of chocolate,
caf feine is a stimulant and can
negatively impact your dog’s heart
rate, causing seizures or heart
Avocados are toxic to many animals.
The offensive chemical damages
heart, lung and other essential
tissues. Make sure that you keep
any dips containing avocado well out
of your dog’s reach.
Pitted fruits (peaches, pears,
cherries and apricots)
The pits of these fruits contain small
doses of cyanide, which can be fatal
to smaller dogs. Also, if the pit is
swallowed whole, it may become
lodged in the intestinal tract,
where the blockage will have to be
Raw fish, especially salmon, can
contain parasites, usually fluke
larvae. The dog consumes the fish
and the larvae hatch in your dog’s
digestive tract, attaching themselves
to its intestinal walls.
Symptoms can take up to a week
to exhibit and usually mimic other
canine diseases, such as distemper
or parvovirus. The hazard here is
misdiagnosis by the veterinarian,
leading to an improper or inef fective
treatment. If you choose to feed
your dog fish, be sure to cook it
thoroughly to kill any parasites that
could be hiding inside.
Canine care: what not to feed your dog
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