Dogs have walked their way right into the center of our hearts and culture. As devoted dog lovers, we enjoy sharing our lives, our homes, our energy, and for some lucky pups, even our beds with our beloved pets. So naturally, we often share our food with them too. With the Super Bowl kicking off in a few short days, it is important to review what popular game-time snacks can be hazardous for your dog.
Cooked bones and fat trimmings
Common misconceptions pet owners make is thinking that your leftovers from the steakhouse will make a welcomed treat for your dog. While the intent behind the action is pure, this can actually be harmful. Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs and the bones become a choking hazard after being cooked. A cooked bone easily splinters and can block or cause serious cuts in your dog’s digestive system. So it’s best to just throw the scraps from your chicken wings away and purchase your dog a new bone from the pet store.
It’s a known fact that alcohol can have negative health effects on the human brain and liver. But did you know that the same negative health concerns can appear in dogs? It takes much less alcohol to harm a dog than a person. Just a small amount of beer, liquor, wine, or food containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, coordination issues, breathing problems, coma, and even death.
Chips and dips
Next to bones, chips and dip might seem like the most appropriate snack to share with your dog. However, overly salty foods aren’t good to share with your dog. Under severe circumstances, chips can create cuts to your dog’s digestive organs, and dips containing avocado, onions, and garlic can quickly turn hazardous.
Avocados contain a toxin called persin and too much of it causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Persin is found in the leaves, seed, bark, and fruit of the avocado tree, so it’s best to keep your pets away from the plant entirely. Additionally, if your dog were to eat an avocado, there’s an additional threat of the seed becoming stuck in the intestines or stomach, creating a life-threatening obstruction. You should also never feed your dog onions or garlic in any form! That includes powdered, raw, cooked, and dehydrated. Even a small amount can be enough to kill your dog’s red blood cells and cause anemia or lead to poisoning.
Chocolate and other sweets
Dogs 101 taught us all that chocolate can be harmful to dogs but didn’t share why. The problem with chocolate isn’t that it’s too sweet for a dog to eat, but that it contains theobromine. The most dangerous forms of chocolate for a dog to eat are the lesser sweet dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate. When humans indulge in chocolate and sweets, more often than not, we are eating a potentially deadly combination for our pets. For example, it only takes six raw or roasted macadamia nuts to make a dog very ill. Plus, dairy products cause digestive problems and trigger food allergies that can cause itchiness. This means that just a couple of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies could be fatal to your dog.
If you want to give your dog something sweet, dog bakeries have popped up all over the country that make safe, delicious treats for your furry friends. Some even contain a substitute for chocolate that won’t harm your dog.
If your dog gets into something that he/she shouldn’t have, contact/visit your local vet, animal emergency hospital, or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435). We recommend saving the number of all three centers in your phone’s contact list for quick reference in the event of an emergency. We also strongly encourage you to inform your friends and house guests that the only treats they should give to your dog should come from his/her designated treat jar.
Your dog sees you as the pack leader and expects you to look out for the well-being of your pack. As hard as it is to resist the puppy dog eyes, your dog will be better off not sharing food with you.