Not so sweet treats

Dog treats are perfect for training, rewarding instructions and good behaviour – or just because they are worth it!

How many times does your beloved companion look at you with irresistible puppy dog eyes begging for your last rolo or a lick of your ice-cream? Maybe you get a tap of their paw to remind you they would like some of the tasty spaghetti bolognaise you are about to cook? Do you sometimes give in to pleading barking for some lovely leftovers?

What can be the harm in giving your dog a hearty bowl of lasagne leftovers or letting them lick the bowl of some fresh bread mix? The answer is a lot.

While it may seem like a loving gesture to share your dinner or snack with your canine companion, it can in actual fact be harmful and in some cases fatal. Some foods may only lead to minor discomfort, whereas others can lead to various digestive problems – some which can have long-term health effects.

Here are the top 10 human foods you should never give your dog – no matter how much they plead with those melt-your-heart eyes that you probably fell for the first time you laid eyes on each other!

Sometimes you just have to be cruel to be kind.

  • Chocolate. It’s always tempting to give a loved one chocolate – but it can be one of the most hazardous foods for your dog as it contains caffeine and a compound called Theobromine (a diuretic and cardiac stimulant). This sweet ‘treat’ can cause your dog to have diarrhoea and vomiting, dehydration, abdominal pain, muscle tremors, irregular heart rhythm and seizures.
  • Grapes. This unassuming, healthy for humans fruit can cause damage to your dog’s kidneys.
  • Onions and garlic. These everyday cooking staples contain a toxic ingredient called Thiosulphate and can lead to anaemia in your dog.
  • Avocados. Although they may be enjoying cooks cult status right as a nutritious superfood right now, they can cause diarrhoea and vomiting in dogs.
  • Coffee and tea. You should avoid sharing the last few sips of your cold morning brew with your canine friend because like chocolate, these caffeine-loaded drinks can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, and are harmful to your dog’s heart and nervous systems.
  • Milk and dairy. While they may seem like a harm-free treat to throw the odd bits of Cheddar and Cheshire from your cheese board into the dog’s bowl, dairy products can also cause diarrhoea as some dogs are lactose intolerant – just like many owners!
  • Bones. Poultry, pork bones and cooked bones of any kind are strictly forbidden. They can crack and splinter with pieces getting trapped within the dog’s windpipe or tear the dog’s mouth and internal organs.
  • Raw eggs. These contain an enzyme called “avidin” which decreases the absorption of vitamin B that ultimately causes skin and coat problems.
  • Macadamia nuts. These contain a toxin that can affect your dog’s muscles and nervous system resulting in weakness, swollen limbs and panting.
  • Raw yeast dough. This can expand the digestive system of your dog, leading to pain and a potential rupture of the stomach or intestines.

Dogs and humans digest and metabolize foods very differently. That’s why some seemingly safe foods may be toxic and potentially deadly for dogs. On the other hand, there are many human foods that are perfectly safe – and even healthy for dogs to eat as an occasional treat. Throw them apple slices, blueberries, carrots and salmon from your own plate to pamper your pooch every now and then. 

You can even share peanut butter and plain popcorn next time they give you their doe eyes and a wilful wag of the tail!

There are so many gourmet, organic, healthy and even vegetarian dog treats on the market today that it’s not worth risking if you’re not 100% sure it’s safe.

Choose from a huge range of popular brands. Because nothing says I love you like carrot & pumpkin bites or a salmon, beetroot & dill treat. Guaranteed to get you a loving lick and a saliva shower!