It’s tempting to give in to those beguiling puppy dog eyes as you sit down to the dinner table, but it’s important to keep yourself in check.
Not just for the sake of puppy’s waistline either.
Many foods that we think of as totally harmless, are in fact very dangerous when consumed by dogs.
Let’s take a look at some examples of human foods your puppy should never eat.
Almost everyone loves chocolate. Whether it’s milk, dark or white, in simple slabs or laden with biscuity extras. It’s a seriously popular treat with people. So it’s understandable that a lot of people want to share with pleasure with their gorgeous puppy.
But please, don’t. Ever. Despite the fact that you will have had people tell you that they have given it to their dog on occasions with no ill effects whatever!
Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine, in varying quantities depending on the type.
For example, dark chocolate tends to have more theobromine in it than milk or white chocolate.
But all chocolate contains it at some level.
Unlike some more potent poisons, low levels of theobromine are unlikely to have any ill effects on your dog.
The difficulty arises because there is no way to know how low these levels will have to be for your dog to be okay.
This will depend hugely on the size of your puppy, how his metabolism functions and a number of other factors totally individual to him.
The fact remains that in large enough quantities, and for some dogs this won’t be very large at all, chocolate can and does kill dogs. Especially small puppies who will be vulnerable to far smaller quantities proportionately.
It is therefore sensible to avoid giving chocolate to your pup altogether. He won’t know what he is missing out on, and having never tasted it he might be less likely to attempt to steal it from the kitchen unit when your back is turned!
Better safe than sorry, so just avoid giving it to him altogether.
Perhaps an unexpected one to a lot of families, the onion is a normal addition to most family meals, but a potential disaster if eaten by your pup in large enough quantities.
Just like chocolate, it contains something that is poisonous to dogs when consumed in high enough quantities.
And again much like theobromine, there is no way to know how much is too much for your puppy.
Thiosulphate in onions causes a horrendous disease called haemolytic anaemia when consumed by dogs.
What this means is that it damages their red blood cells, preventing them from carrying sufficient oxygen around their bodies. I’m sure you can appreciate the severity of this.
So whilst a tiny bit of raw onion licked up from the floor shouldn’t harm your puppy, a larger quantity could make her very ill indeed.
When preparing onions take care to keep them away from the edge of the work surface, and dispose of any remaining dinner promptly after it’s eaten.
The classic image of a dog is often one of him relaxing whilst gnawing on a bone, carrying one around or burying it in the back garden.
But the important point to remember, is that these bones are raw. Cooked bones come with an array of potentially horrendous results.
This is because the act of cooking a bone makes it more brittle, increasing the risk of splintering.
Splintered bones can potentially then get stuck in your dog’s mouth, oesophagus, stomach or intestines. Common problems resulting from these splintered pieces include blockages and damage to your pet’s internal organs.
Fragments of bone can result in the need for surgery, and in severe cases the veterinarian may not be able to save him.
It is quite simply not worth the risk of sharing your roast dinner with your puppy. Make sure that members of the family and visiting guests are also aware of the risks, and that you dispose of any cooked bones in an outside bin that your dog is not able to access.
Remember, the smell will be very tempting to your puppy, and she will do her best to get her paws on it.
I have yet to meet a person that didn’t enjoy a grape. They are sweet and delicious, and dogs would agree. If we let them have access to them.
Because when eaten in a sufficient quantity grapes can poison your dog.
Surprisingly, this isn’t just mild toxicity, but potentially life threatening due to kidney failure!
Signs can include but are not limited to, vomitting, diarrhoea, lethargy and a lack of urination.
If you are concerned that your dog may have had access to your grape bowl, and she is showing any of these symptoms then take her to the emergency vet immediately.
It probably won’t come as a surprise, having seen that grapes are dangerous to dogs, to find out that raisins are too. They are worth noting as a separate point however, because it seems that far smaller quantities are required to have the same devastating effects.
If your kids like to munch on a packet of raisins, make sure your puppy is safely in her crate or behind the baby gate before they do. Just a few dropped raisins from careless fingers, or well intentioned offerings from your child, could cause your puppy harm.
It might sound silly to consider chewing gum on this list. Because, even we don’t swallow our gum when we are done with it. But if you own a puppy, it’s best to pop the gum away in a high cupboard for the next few months.
Although you are highly unlikely to deliberately give your puppy some Hubba Bubba to suck on, if they find it for themselves they will try and gulp it down. With potentially nasty consequences.
Not only is gum indigestible, but it contains a sweetener called Xylitol which is toxic to dogs. The levels of this in your gum will depend upon the brand and flavour that you are chewing, but it is important to keep it well out of temptations way regardless.
Consumption can cause mild to severe reactions, depending on the size of your pup and the quantity eaten. Symptoms include vomiting, seizures, comas and in some cases death.
So take care to never leave gum within reach of a sneaky pup.
The best way to ensure that you never accidentally give your pup something that will harm her, is to only feed her with meals designed for dogs.
Whether you have gone down the kibble route or prefer to feed raw, these diets are complete and provide your pet with everything that she needs to grow into a happy, healthy dog.
If you would like them to feel included in the meal time fun, why not try offering them a nice filled, frozen kong to help them pass the time.
Don’t be tempted to subsidise her meals with your own, as it may have disastrous results.