It seems dogs don’t mind consuming anything they can get their lips around, even those things which are harmful to them. Considering this, I ask one critical question: Have you been killing your senior pet with everyday human food?
We understand that it’s wise to avoid feeding our dog with table scraps, but at times their eyes get the best of us and we can’t just resist slipping them a treat from our plates.
But simply because a food is beneficial to us doesn’t mean it’s healthy for dogs. Here are 10 human foods that are detrimental to our senior dogs:
You must have heard it before that you’re not supposed to feed a dog chocolate, and there’s a good reason for that.
Either you give your dog chocolate or he sneaks a bite, a lethal dose of baking chocolate for a 17 lbs. dog may be as little as 3 ounces, which is just a few bites. The killer in chocolate is theobromine, which belongs to a class of alkaloid molecules called methylxanthines that are taken up much more slowly in dogs, leading to a toxic and dangerous result: central nervous system stimulation, increased heart rate and constriction of arteries.
Which chocolate is the most awful? Listed below are different types of dangerous chocolate which are hazardous to our senior pet health:
- Cocoa powder (most dangerous and highest theobromine content)
- Unsweetened baker’s chocolate
- Milk chocolate
Signs and symptoms include diarrhea, seizures, vomiting, restlessness, cardiac arrest and death. A deadly reaction can happen as soon as four hours after intake.
Cinnamon and its oils can be harmful to the inside of our senior dog’s mouths, which makes them uncomfortable and sick. It can reduce a dog’s blood sugar levels drastically and can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, fluctuating heart rate and also liver disease. If they inhale it in powder form, cinnamon can lead to difficulty breathing, choking and coughing.
- Dairy (cheese or milk)
Just like humans, most aging dogs are lactose intolerant and can get diarrhea easily if they are fed with milk. They do not have the necessary enzyme to act on milk sugar and will react with diarrhea, vomit, and other signs of gastrointestinal problems. Although, your senior pet loves his cheddar and was raised on his mother’s milk, do not treat him to his weakness. Cheese is substantially high in fat and can cause your dog to pancreatitis—inflammation of the pancreas which can result to death.
- Ice cream
Even as refreshing as ice cream is, it’s best never to share it with your senior pet. Canines don’t break down dairy properly, and many even have a little intolerance to lactose, a sugar present in milk products. Though it’s also a dairy product, frozen yogurt is a better substitute. To avoid the milk completely, you can freeze chunks of strawberries, apples, raspberries, pineapples and feed your senior pet as a sweet, frozen treat.
- Onions or Garlic
The Allium species of plants (including onions, garlic, shallots, chives and shallots) may cause problems for red blood cells and possible death. After intake, dogs may have diarrhea or serious vomiting, which can develop into anemia, lethargy, weakness, or labored breathing.
- Onions, either cooked or raw, are much more dangerous. They contain thiosulphate, which is toxic to dogs and cat, and can cause a disorder called hemolytic anemia. A dog can sometimes eat a little quantity, but in large or regular doses, it can be extremely harmful.
- Garlic is the lesser of the two toxic human foods, but it can damage the red blood cell. Your old pet will have to consume quite a lot of garlic to result in significant damage.
As we mentioned earlier pertaining to cheese, bacon as well as other rich fat foods can result in pancreatitis, an often deadly condition.
The salt component in bacon also makes it a wrong treat option. A potentially deadly condition called bloat is of concern when salty meals are taken by senior large dog breeds, triggered when the senior dog drinks excess water due to the salt in the bacon (or other salty food items such as ham, hot dogs, cured meats, etc.). So, no more bacon, bacon grease, or other salty and fatty treats.
- Macadamia nuts
These are one of the most dangerous foods for senior dogs. Macadamia nuts, part of the Protaceae family, can result in lethargy, inability to walk, increased body temperature and vomiting. Even worse, they can affect the nervous system. If your old dog seems unhappy, exhausted, or is having stomach problems, and you think she may have taken some Macadamia nuts, take her right away to the vet.
- Raisins and Grapes
Besides the fact that a small dog can choke on a grape, raisins and grapes (dried grapes) can cause a lethal effect in dogs of any size or age. The signs and symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal pains. The toxic agent in grapes has yet to be determined but it can endanger renal system function, bringing severe kidney failure.
Symptoms begin around 24-hours after intake and can include diarrhea, weakness/lethargy, vomiting, dehydration, tremors/seizures, lack of or decreased urine, or coma.
Almonds may not really be harmful to your senior dogs like pecans, walnuts and macadamia nuts are, however they can obstruct the esophagus and even tear the windpipe if not chewed totally. Salted almonds are particularly harmful because they can enhance water retention, which can be eventually deadly to dogs at risk of heart disease.
Okay, there’s virtually no reason to be feeding your old or young dog this in the first place, but if she gets into it in anyway, it can have a negative effect on her the exactly the same way it affects humans, only much more extremely. It can damage her nervous system, and can even result in death. Keep the liquor away from your dog, and always watch your old pet during a party when folks are drinking out of cups.
In conclusion, generally, don’t give your old dog cooked or prepared human food. Of course they’ll appreciate you for this, but so many of our spices and additive are not meant for dogs. Adhere to good quality senior dog food formula or a specialized plan produced by your vet.