Anyone who has ever owned a dog will know that they are not particularly fussy eaters, to put it mildly! Anything and everything that can be consumed will pass through pooch’s digestive system at some point, and by no means will all of it be food as we know it!

Your dog also has a very well developed sense of smell, so that what he or she considers to be “foodstuffs” (yesterdays chicken bones in the kitchen trash can, for example), stuff that you may believe is hidden (i.e. out of sight) is as evident to your dog as the nose his face. Rest assured that your dog will find anything that can be eaten, wherever it is!

Ninety-nine percent of the time, this will not be a major problem. An inconvenience maybe when tonight’s dinner that was cooling in the kitchen miraculously disappears, but not a major drama.

The problem is that dogs (obviously) have little or no knowledge of whether what they eat is good or bad for them, nor do they care. Reverting to the previous example, every human probably knows that, whilst beef or lamb bones are a delectable treat for Fido, chicken bones are a definite no-go, owing to their tendency to splinter and stick in the dogs throat.

However, not every dog owner is aware that some of the everyday foodstuffs that we consume and take for granted, and are happy to give to our families, could be very dangerous, even potentially lethal, if given to your dog.

For example, were you aware that the simple chocolate bar that is stashed at the back of your fridge might actually constitute a potentially deadly hazard for your four legged friend? This is potentially a major problem, as the majority of dogs seem especially partial to chocolate, in my experience.

Whilst it has been recently reported that it may be high in human-friendly antioxidants, the problem for your dog is that chocolate contains various chemicals, which can be highly dangerous, if not lethal.

Sadly, consumption of relatively minor traces of these chemicals can cause your dog such serious medical problems as increased heart rate, palpitations and so on. Large amounts could even lead to total cardiac failure, seizures, coma and eventually death.

Of course, we have to keep this in perspective and it is extremely unlikely that one small piece of chocolate given as a “treat” every now and then will harm your dog in any way. However, be aware that different breeds of dogs show different levels of resistance to the chemicals in chocolate, and that the dogs size and weight would also be a factor to consider. Whilst a pound of the wrong kind of chocolate might kill a smaller dog, it may merely cause a Bull Mastiff or a Doberman to have a day or two of digestive discomfort, and no doubt one or two unpleasant “accidents” along the way!

The simple answer is the obvious one, so don’t give the family pet huge amounts of chocolate! At the same time, take precautions to minimize the risks, by making sure that any chocolate in the house is stored above the dogs “forage level” and that your family members, especially young children, know not to give their chocolate away!

There are a few other goods that we consider to be food that, again, may not be too good for the family dog. Some strains of mushroom, for example, can cause your pet problems (liver and kidney damage, abdominal pain) and, whilst garlic is extremely good for humans, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

The bottom line is, do not assume that just because you can eat it, so can your dog.

Whilst he will regularly devour a host of things that you would never go near, understand that there are a few things that your digestive system handles without problems that your dog just cannot cope with!

For more dog caring and training hints, tips and suggestions, visit my site at []

Source by Steve John Cowan

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