Dog treat safety

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Rawhide bones and dog biscuits are usually a good choice to award Fido.
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Before you lavish your dog with ďtastyĒ morsels, learn about dog treat safety.

Many of us lavish our love on our dogs by giving them "tasty" morsels, but it is important to first learn about dog treat safety.

Rawhide bones and dog biscuits are usually a good choice to award Fido.

Dogs have been an integral part of human life for centuries and many of us tend to treat them as an extension of our self. This is particularly true when it comes to food: "If itís o.k. for me, then itís o.k. for my dog." This is not true. Sadly, this belief has resulted in the demise of many beloved pets and/or very large veterinary bills.

Your best bet for safe, healthy treats would be a variety of dog treats, commercial dog bones and chews like pig ears. It is quite natural to assume that good, wholesome human food would be perfectly safe for our favorite canine companion and, in many cases, this is true; however, in many more cases it's not. 

Consider onions, which are in fact extremely toxic to dogs. As is garlic, although not quite as much. Both have an ingredient that is highly toxic to dogs, Thiosulphate, which is found in greater quantities in onions. However, don''t be wary of certain dog biscuits that contain garlic - these amounts are so miniscule that they won't harm your dog. It is not just raw onions; it is also cooked onions that pose a hazard. So, if youíre tempted to treat your favorite pooch to a bowl of fragrant stew, forget it!

If youíre tempted to give in to the beseeching (read begging) eyes of your beloved four paws while youíre savoring a delicious chocolate treat for yourself, use your will of iron and just say, No"í instead satisfy him (or her) with a dog biscuit. Chocolate has Theobromine, a diuretic and cardiac stimulant that can be fatal to dogs. Interestingly, anything with nutmeg is also hazardous to your dogís health. It can cause damage to the central nervous system and seizures.

If you have any question about dog treat safety, it is always best to consult your veterinarian before giving your dog anything. Itís also a good idea to periodically check what dog food/treats the government has recalled. You can do this at the Food and Drug Administration safety recall database

Some food that serves as good and healthy treats for our canine friends include: raw carrots, apple slices (peeled and seeds removed), sliced bananas (skin removed), strawberries as well as seedless watermelon and cucumbers. Cooked chicken is also good. As with anything, moderation is the key. Donít ever give your dog any chicken bones; they can splinter and lacerate the digestive system or lodge in the throat. This is true of most bones.

Whatever you give your dog, whether itís people food, or a dog biscuit, a rawhide bone or rawhide chew, make sure it is size appropriate. Just as with children, dogs think they can eat anything, any size. Choking is a serious concern. All packaged dog treats should indicate whether they are for a small, medium or large dog; buy accordingly. You can find a large variety of dog treats and other pet supplies online at surprisingly good prices.

Follow simple dog treat safety and you and your beloved four legged friend should have a long and happy life together.


Web-DVM: online veterinary advice

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