Some foods which are edible for humans, and even other species of animals, can pose hazards for dogs because of their different metabolism. Some may cause only mild digestive upsets, whereas, others can cause severe illness, and even death. The following common food items should not be fed (intentionally or unintentionally) to dogs. This list is, of course, incomplete because we can not possibly list everything your dog should not eat.
Items to avoid Reasons to avoid:
Alcoholic beverages Can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
Avocado The leaves, seeds, fruit, and bark contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.
Cat food Generally too high in protein and fats.
Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea and be toxic to the heart and nervous systems.
Citrus oil extracts Can cause vomiting.
Fat trimmings Can cause pancreatitis.
Fish (raw, canned or cooked) If fed exclusively or in high amounts can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death.
Grapes, raisins and currants Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.
Hops Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.
Human vitamin supplements containing iron Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
Macadamia nuts Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.
Marijuana Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.
Milk and other dairy products Some adult dogs and cats may develop diarrhea if given large amounts of dairy products.
Moldy or spoiled food, garbage Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.
Mushrooms Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder) Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.
Persimmons Seeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
Pits from peaches and plums Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.
Raw eggs Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.
Raw meat May contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Rhubarb leaves Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
Salt If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
String Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body."
Sugary foods Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
Table scraps (in large amounts) Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.
Tobacco Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.
Yeast dough Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
Xylitol (artificial sweetener) Can cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can result in vomiting, weakness and collapse. In high doses can cause liver failure.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Rescue organizations across America claim that black dogs and cats are last to be adopted and are more likely to be euthanized. Contrary to Ordinary–an organization devoted to rescuing black dogs–has dubbed this phenomenon "black dog syndrome."
Reasons Black Animals are Left Behind
No scientific studies have been done to determine the cause of this phenomenon. It is likely that many factors are at work. Perhaps one of the key reasons is that photographs of black dogs and cats do not show up as well online. As more and more potential pet owners search for their pets on the Internet rather than face-to-face, black animals, which don't have features that stand out and are not as visible, are quickly passed by on an Internet search.
Even face-to-face in a shelter, people are drawn to the animals that stand out to them right away. Black animals tend to fade into the background with the poor lighting and crowded conditions found in many animal shelters.
Superstition may be another factor. Although people may not claim to be superstitious about black animals, they still may be influenced by movies, TV shows, and books that portray black cats and dogs as villainous or cruel. Large, black dogs can also seem more threatening than other dogs.
Are Black Animals Actually Less Likely to be Adopted?
There is no proof that black cats and dogs suffer because of their coloration. No scientific study has been done to determine the legitimacy of the phenomenon. Shelter employees across the country, however, have noticed that their black animals stay longer than others.
It is possible that shelters are seeing more black animals for longer because there simply are more black animals around. Siamese cats, a very common breed, tend to produce black kittens when mixed with other breeds. Black Labrador retrievers and black pit bulls are common breeds that often end up in shelters.
Anecdotal evidence from shelters does seem to indicate that people overlook black dogs, however. There is no way of knowing if this is truly the case unless a controlled study is done, but the available evidence does seem to support the theory.
Solutions for "Black Dog Syndrome"
Whether black cats and dogs have a harder time getting adopted or not, many shelters have special programs for their black animals to find them homes. Some shelters offer discounts on adoption fees for their black animals. Others photograph them with costumes on to make them stand out online.
The best way to ensure that black dogs and cats get good homes is to encourage anyone searching for a pet to look carefully at the black animals and to pay attention to personality rather than looks. Potential pet owners should also visit animals in person and be careful not to ignore the black cats and dogs available for adoption.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
While there is no payment for fostering a dog, the joy of nurturing a formerly unwanted dog into a lovable and happy dog is priceless. Not only do foster families house the dogs, they provide a warm home for the dogs to feel safe in, a loving family for the dogs to feel secure with and a sense of happiness for the dogs to be grateful for.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Pet overpopulation is a huge problem all over the country. The simple truth is there are too many homeless dogs and not enough good homes. Having our pets altered is a solid and effective defense against overpopulation in that it places few and fewer offspring in kill-shelters. Below are a few of the grisly statistics compiled by national publications and animal rights organizations.
If we are aware of the problem, perhaps we can be part of the solution.
- It costs U.S. taxpayers an estimated $2 billion each year to round up, house, kill, and dispose of homeless animals. (USA Today)
- Over 56% of dogs and puppies entering shelters are killed, based on reports from over 1,055 facilities across America. (National Counsel on Pet Population Study)
- An estimated 5 million cats and dogs are killed in shelters each year. That's one about every six and one half seconds. (The Humane Society of the United States) Millions more are abandoned, only to suffer from illness or injury before dying. (Doris Day Animal League)
- In six years one unspayed female and her offspring, can reproduce 67,000 dogs (Spay USA)
- The perceived high cost of altering is not the problem, but the lack of education on its benefits. On average it costs approximately $100 to capture, house, feed and eventually kill a homeless animal - a cost that ultimately comes out of our pocket. Low cost spay/neuter services are far below that amount. (Doris Day Animal League)
- The cost of having a pregnant female can be much higher than the cost of spaying
- Seven dogs & cats are born every day for each person born in the U.S. Of those, only 1 in 5 puppies and kittens say in their original home for their natural lifetime. The remaining 4 are abandoned to the streets or end up at a shelter (The Humane Society of the United States)
- Each day 10,000 humans are born in the U.S. and each day 70,000 puppies and kittens are born. As long as these birth rates exist, there will never be enough homes for all the animals (Spay USA)
- The public acquires only 14% of its pets from shelters; 48% get their pets as strays, from friends, from animal rescuers, 38% get their pets from breeders or pet stores (The Humane Society of the United States)
- Number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year: 8–10 million (HSUS estimate)
- Number of cats and dogs euthanized by shelters each year:4–5 million (HSUS estimate)
- Number of cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year: 3–5 million (HSUS estimate)
- Number of animal shelters in the United States: Between 4,000 and 6,000 (HSUS estimate)
- Percentage of dogs in shelters who are purebred: 25% (HSUS estimate)
- Average number of litters a fertile dog can produce in one year: 2
- Average number of puppies in a canine litter: 6–10