Holistic Health News
Holistic and natural health care information for people and their pets
Who can resist chocolate? Like it your not, your dog. Chocolate is made with cocoa beans and cocoa beans contain a chemical called Theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. So on Valentine's Day, you're actually being kind to your best buddy if you eat all the chocolates yourself! Read my special report on chocolate at http://www.great-dog-gift.com/chocolate to learn more, and see how different types of chocolate have varying effects on dogs health.
Cocoa bean shells are a by-product of chocolate production (which is how mulch made it into the "foods" category) and are popular as mulch for landscaping. Homeowners like the attractive color and scent, and the fact that the mulch breaks down into an organic fertilizer. However, some dogs like to eat it and it contains Theobromine.
Fatty foods are hard for a dog to digest and can can overtax the pancreas, leading to pancreatitis. This can threaten your dogs health and is potentially fatal.
Macadamia nuts should be avoided. In fact most nuts are not good for a dogs health since their high phosporus content is said to lead to bladder stones.
Mulch isn't food, but there's one type tempting enough for dogs to eat. Some dogs are attracted to cocoa mulch, and will eat it in varying quantities. The coca bean shells can contain from 0.2% to 3% theobromine (the toxin ) as compaired to 1-4% in unprocessed beans.
Onions, especially raw onions, have been shown to trigger hemolytic anemia in dogs. (Stephen J Ettinger, D.V.M and Edward C. Fieldman, D.V.M. 's book: Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine vol. 2 pg 1884.) Stay away from onion powder too.
Potato poisonings among people and dogs are rare but have occurred. The toxin, solanine, is poorly absorbed and is only found in green sprouts (these occur in tubers exposed to sunlight) and green potato skins. This explains why incidents seldom occur. Note that cooked, mashed potatoes are fine for a dogs health, actually quite nutritious and digestible.
Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, especially sugarless gum and candies. Ingesting large amounts of products sweetened with xylitol may cause a sudden drop in blood sugar in dogs, resulting depression, loss of coordination, and seizures. According to Dr. Eric K. Dunayer, a consulting veterinarian in clinical toxicology for the poison control center, "These signs can develop quite rapidly, at times less than 30 minutes after ingestion of the product" states Dr. Dunayer, "...therefore, it is important that pet owners seek veterinary treatment immediately."
Turkey skin is currently thought to cause acute pancreatis in dogs, partly due to it's high fat content.
Thanks to a more educated public, fewer fatalities from foods like chocolate are being reported these days. But it's important to keep up with what's currently known about foods and their effects on dogs health. Grapes and cocoa mulch, for example, were only discovered very recently to have harmful effects. Check frequently with sources like the ASPCA and your veterinarian.
Of course, being alert and getting your pet to the vet promptly will help assure a happy outcome if something unfortunate should happen. Here's to your dogs health and good nutrition!