Recent surveys at RVtravel.com have shown that about half our readers travel with a pet, most with a dog. This advice might save those dogs a bad tummy ache or worse, even death.
Some human foods are incredibly good for our furry friends. In your dog’s diet you should have foods we humans eat such as chicken, salmon, beef, turkey, sweet potato, pumpkin, peas, carrots, apples and blueberries (to name a few). Take a look at the ingredients on your dog’s food – see some stuff that looks familiar? Good! Dogs need a variety of nutrients they might not get from the same kibble day-to-day. However, the FDA warns that some foods can be toxic, even deadly, to our four-legged friends.
According to Carmela Stamper, D.V.M., a veterinarian at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an animal’s body processes food much differently than ours do. “Our bodies may break down foods or other chemicals that a dog’s can’t tolerate,” she says. And while sometimes people can have severe allergic reactions to foods, it’s different for dogs. “Allergies in animals tend to manifest themselves more in skin or ear issues,” she explains. Moreover, a food might harm one dog and not another. It depends on a number of factors, including the animal’s genetic makeup and size, as well as the amount that animal eats.
Read below for a list of the foods to avoid, and be sure to keep an eye on your pup as he gazes (and drools) at the campsite BBQ.
What Foods Top the List?
- Grapes, raisins, and currants can cause kidney failure in some dogs. Stamper says not all dogs are affected, but if you think you’re handing your dog a healthy snack, you could be disastrously wrong. But what about other fruits? For instance, can dogs eat apples and bananas? Stamper says yes—just make sure that with apples, you don’t feed your dog the core or seeds.
- Fried and fatty foods can not only give your dog a stomachache but can also cause a potentially life-threatening disease called pancreatitis. Even if your dog is eyeing the fried chicken with longing, resist the temptation to give him his own piece to chew on.
- Moldy foods are not something you would feed your family, and your dog shouldn’t eat them either. If you put moldy cheese rinds or hamburger buns in the trash can, make sure your dog doesn’t then get into the garbage. By the same token, if you have a compost heap and it’s the first place your dog makes a beeline for, be sure the moldy scraps are well out of reach.
- Onions, garlic and chives (as well as onion and garlic powder) can be harmful to your dog, especially in large amounts. If you’ve put a lot of onions and garlic powder in your salsa, marinade or beans, don’t let your dog get into the leftovers.
- Salty snacks, in large quantities, could also cause problems in your dog. “Feeding the odd potato chip or pretzel probably won’t do any harm,” Stamper says. But if your dog gets into a whole bag of them, he could get really sick. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water at all times, especially if he gets into salty snacks.
- Macadamia nuts can be very harmful to dogs. If you’re packing white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies, make sure they stay in the picnic basket and out of reach of your dog.
- Many dog owners know chocolate is bad for their dogs, but they may not realize that xylitol, a sugar substitute used in many sugarless products, can be deadly for him. Xylitol is found in sugarless gum, candies, oral products, and some peanut butters and other nut butters. “If you feed your dog pills coated in peanut butter, or put peanut butter in their hollow chew toys, make sure to check the list of ingredients first to make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol,” Stamper says.