What Can A Dog Eat?
A dog’s diet consists of meat, bone, vegetables and fruits. They are omnivores and will eat almost anything except plants which they consider poisonous. Meat is considered the most nutritious part of their diet because it contains all the essential nutrients needed for good health. Bone is not only useful for chewing but also serves as a source of calcium, iron and other minerals necessary for healthy growth. Vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, onions etc. provide energy and vitamins and are also rich in fiber. Fruits include apples, pears, bananas, grapes etc. and contain many vitamins and minerals necessary for good health.
Dog Food For Dogs – What To Feed Your Dog?
The type of food your dog needs depends on its age, size, breed or any other factors that may affect how much a dog requires of each nutrient. There are two types of dog foods: dry and wet. Dry food is suitable for dogs over 8 weeks old and wet food for those under 6 months.
Dry Foods For Dogs – Dry Food For Dogs Over 8 Weeks Old
Dry dog foods consist of either meat, poultry or fish meal, vegetable oil (vegetable fats), salt, spices and sometimes sugar. These ingredients are usually added at different stages during processing to give the product its consistency. The ingredients are cooked, baked, extruded or otherwise processed to form kibbles or small chunks.
These are then dried until they reach the desired moisture content.
Wet Foods For Dogs – Wet Food For Dogs Under 6 Months
Wet dog foods consist of a small amount of meat, a lot of gravy and some vegetable ingredients. The meat can be either fresh meat or meat meal. Vegetable oils, vitamins and minerals are added to these ingredients to make up the final product.
Foods To Avoid Feeding Your Dog
There are certain foods that can be dangerous for your dog and should be avoided at all times. They include: onions, garlic, chives, chocolate, raisins and grapes, apple seeds, mushrooms, any human medication and poisonous plants such as deadly nightshade.
What Human Foods Are Good For Dogs?
Your dog can eat the same foods that you do, as long as they are cut down to a size suitable for them. Good examples of this are baked or boiled potatoes, carrots, rice (plain and boiled), pasta, plain oatmeal, plain popcorn and plain crackers. Peas, beans and other legumes should be avoided as they contain high amounts of a natural chemical called phosporus which is toxic to dogs.
Can You Give A Dog Onions, Garlic And Chives?
Onions, garlic and chives can all cause sickness and even death in dogs so should always be avoided.
Is Chocolate Bad For Dogs?
Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine which is similar to caffeine. It is not water-soluble so the fats in chocolate helps it to be absorbed into the dog’s bloodstream. Small doses of milk chocolate will usually cause only mild diarrhea but large doses of dark chocolate can cause vomiting, seizures, irregular heart rhythm, coma and eventually death.
Is Apple Poisonous For Dogs?
Green apples and apple seeds contain a substance called cyanide. This is harmless to humans but poisonous to dogs in even small quantities.
Is Ice Cream Good For Dogs?
Most ice creams contain a lot of sugar and fat. This in large quantities can cause obesity and other problems such as diabetes and heart disease. In small quantities it is not harmful for dogs as long as they don’t have any allergies to the ingredients in the ice cream (such as lactose intolerance). Chocolate and strawberry ice creams can be toxic to dogs, as the higher consumption of these flavours can cause toxicity in dogs.
What About Other Types Of Human Edible Foods?
Meats: nothing to worry about as long as the food isn’t rotten.
Fish: only give your dog cooked or tinned fish. Raw fish can contain dangerous bacteria that can cause serious illness or death. Also avoid salty fish such as canned tuna, as it causes hypertension (high blood pressure).
Poultry: best to avoid due to the high fat content of most types of poultry.
Rabbit and hare: can cause intestinal problems, avoid feeding these to your dog.
Organ Meats: liver, kidney, heart, brain, etc. These can be fed in small quantities but make sure they are cooked properly first.
Cereals: Oatmeal and rice ( boiled or plain) are good for dogs. Avoid sweetened or flavored cereals as these may cause diarrhea or other intestinal upset.
Fruits: Most fruits are fine although some can cause diarrhea or other problems. Apples, peaches, nectarines, plums and grapes may cause gastrointestinal upset if eaten in large quantities.
Meat and Dairy Products: Dogs are able to digest small quantities of meat and dairy products but it’s best not to feed these as they do not have the digestive system for them like humans do. If you do feed these then only do so occasionally and in small quantities.
Vegetables: Most are fine although some vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant contain certain substances that can irritate the stomach and bowels. Feed these in limited quantities only.
Fats: Most dogs will enjoy a small quantity of fat with their food. It’s best not to feed large quantities due to the high fat content.
Cooked Bones: Cooked bones can splinter when chewed and these can block the digestive tract or cause perforation of the stomach or intestines. Cooked bones are more dangerous than raw bones.
Raw Bones: These are softer than cooked bones and are less likely to cause choking or intestinal problems. These should never be large bones from meat or full bones from whole carcasses and should always be given under supervision.
Grapes and Raisins: These can cause kidney failure in dogs, even in small quantities.
Alcohol: Even in small quantities can cause central nervous system depression, vomiting and diarrhea.
Caffeine: Found in coffee, tea, coke and other soft drinks. Can lead to restlessness, panting, vomiting, diarrhea and cardiac problems.
Onions and Garlic: These cause damage to a dog’s red blood cells and can cause a form of anemia as well as other problems.
Sources & references used in this article:
The role of pet dogs in casual conversations of elderly adults by J Rogers, LA Hart, RP Boltz – The Journal of social psychology, 1993 – Taylor & Francis
A two pan feeding trial with companion dogs: considerations for future testing by JC Vondran – 2013 – krex.k-state.edu
Dogs for dummies by MH Bonham – 2005 – Alpha Books
Volunteers, Animals, and Butterflies Equal Good Therapy by G Spadafori – 2019 – books.google.com
Is “Complete and Balanced” Pet Food a Myth? by MD Harris, J Levicoff – Home Healthcare Now, 2003 – journals.lww.com
How to start a pet therapy program by PF Diva – petfooddiva.com
Knack Dog Care and Training: A Complete Illustrated Guide to Adopting, House-breaking, and Raising a Healthy Dog by P Arkow – Alameda, Calif, Latham Foundation, 1982 – latham.org