JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - We love them, so we feed them. However, what we feed our dogs could be dangerous.
In fact, the same chemical that gives dark chocolate its distinctive taste can be fatal to Fido.
Cocoa beans contain caffeine and theobromine. Dogs cannot metabolize it as fast as humans, making it poisonous to them.
"Fortunately, it takes a lot of chocolate to cause serious toxicity in dogs," according to Dr. Christian Broadhurst with the Clay County Humane Society. "So, small dogs eat a lot of bakers chocolate, it could have trouble, but if a large dog eats a couple of M&Ms, it's going to be fine."
Other dangerous foods are grapes. They can cause kidney damage for our four-legged friends.
"We also like to stay away from dried fruits, apricots, prunes, raisins. Things like that concentrate the same chemicals that cause the kidney damage in grapes," Broadhurst said.
Garlic and onions can also be toxic, damaging red blood cell production. Avocados contain the chemical persin that can cause an obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract.
Even though it seems harmless, keep ice cream away from Fido. These frosty treats can cause serious intestinal problems that can lead to internal bleeding.
Broadhurst said instead, "They have specific dog based ice cream that works wonderfully and they'll like it quite a lot."
The best advice: If it's not made for them, don't feed it to them. Another general rule is don't give your dog food you wouldn't eat yourself. That includes raw meat. It can cause bacterial infections. The same thing goes for fish, especially salmon.
Besides certain human foods, the Pet Poison Hotline reveals all kinds of common household items that can be dangerous to your pet. For the list, go to www.PetPoisonHotline.com/poisons/.
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