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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Dogs and Chocolate and Other Dangerous Foods For Dogs

By Anton Hout, author of The Guide to Aussie Training & Care

Dogs and chocolate are a bad mix. But why is chocolate so bad for dogs? In a nutshell, the caffeine and other compounds cause increased heart rate, which can lead to seizures, brain damage, coma, and death.

Even the antioxidants theobromine and theophylline, which are said to be good for humans, may be toxic to a dog. It is important to remember that their metabolisms are different, their digestive tracts are shorter, and they lack the enzymes necessary to digest certain foods.

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Keep dogs and chocolate away from each other. Be sure to store your chocolate and other dangerous foods for dogs where your Aussie can't get at them while you are away.

You may read posts or messages from people who believe that recommendations concerning dogs and chocolate are exaggerated. They say that chocolaty treats are okay. These people may have given their dogs milk chocolates, which are not as toxic. They might be thinking about the chocolate-like gourmet treats available. Those may be flavored with carob, which does not contain theobromine and seems to be non-toxic.

Red tri Australian Shepherd puppy laying on grass.

Mark Crooker

Dogs and chocolate are a bad mix. Keep your Aussie safe by avoiding foods that are dangerous for dogs.

Bodi is is a red tri male, with copper eyes. He's a lovable, friendly and entertaining Aussie. He loves his walks, always talks to us with a slight gutteral whine, tries to make friends with everyone he meets and cannot get close enough to us when he sits or lays down with us. He loves to pose for pictures.

So, it is not just about dogs and chocolate, but the toxicity levels. Too many treats of any kind can lead to weight gain and health problems. People food should be limited, unless you have a specially designed diet created by your vet or a pet nutritionist. Your dog might prefer table scraps, but they are not likely to be nutritionally complete.

While there are some foods that you and your dog can safely share, many of the things that humans eat are dangerous foods for dogs. Here's a quick look at the people food your dog can eat. The list is short when compared to the dangerous food items.

Some People Foods Can Be Eaten By Dogs—With Caveats

Your dog can safely eat most meat, poultry and fish. Fish should always be cooked and bones should be removed. The bones are too small and become brittle when cooked. Splinters can damage the throat, stomach and intestines.

A growing number of people believe in feeding a raw dog food diet including raw poultry, bones included. It is true that uncooked bones are softer and less brittle, however they could still cause choking. Baked boneless chicken or turkey are good choices for treats and as supplements, but should not make up a major portion of the dog's diet.

Cheese, plain yogurt and plain rice are safe choices. Carrots, green beans, and yams can be combined in a food processor to make a nice nourishing sauce. Avoid leaving vegetables too large and chunky as they can cause blockages and digestive problems.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

You May Be Surprised That, Like Dogs And Chocolate, Dogs And Tomatoes Don't Get Along

Tomatoes are in the nightshade family and are among the foods considered dangerous for dogs. The leaves, stems and other green parts are the most toxic. They can cause tremors and irregular heartbeat due to a naturally occurring toxin called tomatine. It is also toxic to humans. Ripe tomatoes are generally considered safe in small amounts as they don't have the high levels found in green tomatoes or the rest of the plant. So, you'll still want to keep your dog away from any tomato plants growing in your garden.

In large quantities, tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup, or other tomato-based products can be harmful to a dog. Small amounts may be okay, but they are highly acidic which can cause vomiting and stomach upset.

Some Other Foods That Can Be Toxic To Dogs

Other vegetables, fruits, and plants that can be toxic to dogs include avocados, grapes, raisins, potato leaves and stems, rhubarb leaves, hops, mushrooms, onions, garlic, tea leaves, tobacco, nuts, seeds and pits. Nuts, seeds and pits can cause blockages in the digestive system.

You may be surprised to learn that fat trimmings are dangerous foods for dogs. Although they are common items in doggy bags, they can cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

Raw eggs are another bad choice. If consumed on a regular basis, they can cause biotin deficiency, which leads to skin problems in dogs and an unhealthy coat. They can also contain salmonella, a common cause of food poisoning.

Now you know the facts about dogs and chocolate, as well as other dangerous foods. If in doubt, don't let him have it.

For more information about Aussie health issues see the Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute (ASHGI). icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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