What Food is Bad for Dogs?
Authored by Tractor Supply Company
Authored by Tractor Supply Company
Finding high quality dog food that doesn’t break the bank can be a challenge. Premium dog food can be expensive, but is it really better than cheaper brands? Are natural and organic dog food alternatives the way to go?
There's no easy answer to these questions. Pet experts tend to disagree on what exactly constitutes healthy dog food. Some say that preservatives and additives aren’t harmful to dogs, while others question their value. Your best option is research and make the choice for your fur-family. Read on for some help with that.
Many commercial manufacturers use chemical preservatives in their dog treats, pet food, pet shampoo and cleaning products. These chemicals are often nutritionally empty. When it comes to natural ingredients used in pet food, generally these are preservative-free and often better than artificially flavored dog food with artificial colors.
Quickly spotting dangerous ingredients in pet food requires a good eye. Some pets can be very sensitive to ingredients and since warning labels are not required, it can take some training to look. Here are some potentially hazardous chemicals found in some dog food:
Just like in human food, artificial preservatives are used to make a product look and smell good. But these chemicals can be harmful to your pet. Over time, these chemicals can collect in an animal’s body and cause damage.
If you notice signs of an allergic reaction, take your dog to the vet immediately. And you should keep an eye out for a reaction whenever feeding your dog new food.
Dogs can be sensitive to various ingredients in their food. As with humans, some dogs have specific allergies that can cause a reaction when ingested. But what do we mean by ‘toxic’?
‘Toxic’ can mean anything from immediately poisonous to having a negative effect on health in the long-term. Immediate toxicity generally only happens when a batch of dog food has gone bad. Potential toxicity implies a build-up over a long period.
Some of the ingredients in dog food that may be harmful to your pets:
In general, additives should be consumed in small amounts. Look for dog food that has simple ingredients made from whole foods.
Quality, “human-grade” pet foods will contain the best ingredients necessary to support those dogs. Some of the best natural dog foods contain dog-friendly fruits and vegetables. These healthier dog foods can also help dogs lose weight.
Many dogs enjoy eating as much human food as they can get. Some of these foods can be toxic and cause an immediate reaction or death. Human food is actually the third leading cause of pet poisonings worldwide.
What people food is toxic to dogs? According to experts, several common human foods can negatively affect your pets. These foods that are inherently toxic to canines and any reaction to them is not an allergy. This is why it is so important that you are aware of which foods are poisonous.
Not all human food is toxic to dogs, but check before giving a dog anything from your kitchen table. Some foods may not be toxic per se but can cause a bit of a reaction. For example, raw meat, can cause diarrhea and loss of appetite if eaten too frequently, but it is generally good for dogs in moderation.
Peanut butter, in contrast, can be good for dogs, though too much peanut butter can cause stomach upset. However, it is important to choose peanut butter that is free of xylitol, which is poisonous to dogs. To be safe, choose natural peanut butter that contains only peanuts.
If the dog has a sensitive stomach, vomiting can result. If vomiting occurs from an overconsumption of feces or toxic matter, the vet will also check on the dog’s vomit. An upset stomach is a concern when it becomes painful or when vomit or stool is bloody, and the dog is not acting normally. If not treated quickly, the toxins can rapidly start to build up in the stomach and cause abdominal pain and vomiting.
Vomiting could happen for a number of reasons, between human food and eating bad dog food. If your dog is sick, symptoms might include lethargy, shortness of breath, frustration and depression. To have your dog examined by a veterinarian, you may need to answer a few questions about the symptoms.
It is possible that your pet has more than one problem with stomach upset. Dogs can experience diarrhea or loose stool. If your dog starts vomiting or appears to be in pain after eating what you might suspect is bad food, you must seek veterinary help immediately.
The vet can usually determine the cause of the illness. To diagnose diarrhea, the vet will determine if it is bacterial or viral. If there is diarrhea, the vet will occasionally recommend an IV to quickly replenish fluids flushed out by the diarrhea. In acute or chronic cases, the vet may check the pet’s stool or urine to judge the cause of the problem.
If you suspect your dog has eaten poisonous food, the safest thing to do is to take a list of the food you know your dog has eaten with you to a veterinarian. While you may feel that the food does not cause any harm, your vet can determine the type of toxicity. If your vet concludes the food is toxic, he or she will treat the dog. The vet will take important steps to mitigate the toxicity.
If you ever notice your dog eating human foods that you haven’t cleared as safe first, call your vet immediately. Also be on the lookout for signs of food poisoning or toxicity, including vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.