March 15th rings in the National Poison Prevention Week which was established by U.S. Congress on September 16, 1961 ~ since then, the event has reoccurred every year during the third week in March.
In honor of this event, I have attempted to compile a list of unsafe and even life-threatening components for dogs. It is by no means complete ~ please feel free to add additional information in the comment section below the post!
Keep medications & human foods out of reach of your four-legged family members ~ the same applies to insecticides, rodenticides, dietary supplements, and vitamins.
Update on the garlic:
Fed in moderation, minced garlic IS actually very healthy for our dogs. Please read more in my Myth Buster article mentioned below:
Chocolate (<– read my post about it here! The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is!)
Anything containing sugar
Bread & Cookie Dough
Cooked Bones (can splinter)
Spoiled Food (make sure your dog does not have access to the trash)
Chocolate Toxicity Meter
Check out the Chocolate Toxicity Meter here to find out how a certain amount of chocolate affects your dog!
Coffee, Tea (anything containing caffeine)
Insecticides, Lawn treatments, & Chemicals in general
Small tempting objects (toys, craft supplies, etc)
Electrical cords ~ should be well secured, especially around young dogs.
Pet Poison Helpline
Call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 in case you suspect poisoning in your pet(s) ~ they consist of a team of certified veterinarians & toxicology experts and are available 24/7, 365 days every year to pet owners throughout the U.S., Canada, & the Carribean.
Side note: The Pet Poison Helpline also assists in the treatment of avian, small mammals, large animal and exotic species.
Due to a lack of public funding, a $49 per incident fee applies, and covers the initial consultation as well as all follow-up calls (payable by credit card).
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
You can also reach out to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435. Their toxicology hotline offers advice & treatment options 24/7, 365 days.
There is a charge of $65 per case which is charged to your credit card (you MUST have a credit card in order to be “seen”).
Human Foods Ok To Share:
Cranberries & Blueberries (great antioxidants)
Apples (without the core)
Melons (Watermelon without seeds, Cantaloupe, honeydew)
Pineapple (<– read my post about it here!)
Cottage cheese & yogurt in small quantities (some dogs don’t do well on dairy)
Peanut Butter (high-protein treat)
Pumpkin puree (helps with constipation & diarrhea)
Cooked, unseasoned salmon (high in Omega-3 fatty acids, great for healthy skin & coat)
Olive Oil (rich in Omega-3 fatty acids)
Winter Squash (rich in Omega-3 fatty acids)
White rice (some dogs don’t do well on rice though)
Air-popped popcorn with no salt or butter
Lean meat (poultry, beef, or pork)
Remember that people food should only be fed in very small quantities, and that it can by no means substitute a balanced canine nutrition!
Exceptions To The Rule
Also, keep in mind that there is always that one exception to the rule ~ not every dog will tolerate any and all of the above mentioned human treats.
My pups, for example, don’t do well on
chicken and rice, and also don’t do well on dairy products. It’s a matter of trial and error ~ just try out tiny bits of whatever goody you’re trying to introduce, and see how your pup does on it.
If in doubt about a specific ingredient, your vet will be glad to provide information about food allergy testing.
Update regarding the chicken: Since feeding my dogs a raw diet, they no longer have any problems with eating chicken!
Our rule of thumb: Provide plenty of breed specific exercise, to ensure you have calm, balanced dogs, who will be less interested in causing mischief than their unbalanced K9 brothers & sisters.
Remember that prevention is key in keeping your pups out of trouble as well: Don’t leave anything hazardous within reach of your dog.
Especially teething pups should be provided with safe chewing options such as
antlers bully sticks and Kong toys, but many older dogs also enjoy chewing. A nice, long carrot (we peel ours) will also do the trick!
Update on the antlers:
Since Buzz fractured one of his molars while chewing on a hard beef bone, I have become very cautious about letting the pups chew on bones. Read more about it here:
Buzz With His Venison Wrinkles With Liver Sprinkles
Please remember that we’d love to hear about any additional unsafe and/or safe foods for dogs in our comment section!