Things Not to Feed Dogs

This festive season, us humans will be pulling out all the stops to lay out the best Christmas lunches and dinners we can. And since this is family season, our animal family will surely be at the table with us!

While we at WUMA! constantly develop dog food that is enriched with the nutrients that our pets need, there are some things that humans can eat that dogs cannot, or at least should not. Here’s a short guide to a few things to rather not pass under the table this festive season.

Beer and other alcoholic drinks are harmful to dogs, even though canines are sometimes known to like the taste of brews that humans make. Beer can cause shortness of breath and high acidity levels in the body, and sometimes death.

Grapes and raisins are likely going to feature in Christmas puddings and dishes, but make sure the dogs don’t get hold of any of it. Grapes contain toxic compounds that can cause liver and kidney failure, and even small numbers of raisins have been known to kill canines.

Milk is something that pet owners often put out for their animals, but unfortunately, it’s not a good idea. Cow’s milk cannot be digested by dogs – and remember, dairy products like cheese and yoghurt also fall into this category. Dairy can cause digestive problems, diarrhoea and pain for your dog.

Cooked bones will probably be a leftover from your Christmas spread, but please don’t give them to your dogs – the cooking process makes them brittle, and the sharp pieces can puncture stomach linings and intestines, causing major pain, internal bleeding and even death. Dogs should only be given raw bones, which can usually be bought cheaply from your local butcher. Raw bones do not splinter and are good for dogs’ teeth.

Onions are one of the human foods that are most dangerous to dogs. They contain compounds that severely damage red blood cells, leading to anaemia and death. It is important to remember that onions come in many forms – powdered, grated, chopped, raw, processed or cooked – so please be careful that any human food you give your pup does not contain onion. This also applies to anything related to onions: chives, spring onions and garlic are in the same botanical family, and all contain the same dangerous compounds.

Chocolate is one of the more well-known no-go foods for dogs. Under no circumstances should our animal friends get hold of chocolate – even a small amount is enough to kill a small-sized dog. Chocolate can cause seizures, muscle problems, vomiting and a range of other life-threatening symptoms.

Bread may surprise you on this list: it seems harmless enough, but unfortunately, the yeast used to make bread is problematic for canines. Bread is known to ferment in dogs’ stomachs and expand, causing intestinal blockages and even stomach ruptures.

Salt is the last entry on this list, and perhaps the broadest: most things we serve up in a Christmas lunch contain salt, which shouldn’t be given to dogs. Too much salt can cause dehydration, and considering that South Africa is in for a very hot summer, the problem can be compounded. Avoid giving salty foods to your dogs, and more importantly, always remember to have fresh water available for them at all times.

Remember that, while Christmas is a time to celebrate family, your animal friends are just as much a part of your family as you are. We at WUMA! wish you and your pets a happy and safe festive season!

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