You only have to take a quick stroll in the nearest park or green space to see how popular canine companions have become.
To be fair, we’ve always been a nation of dog-lovers, but the pandemic has seen our appetite for four-legged friends boom even more.
It’s easy to see why dogs really are man’s, or woman’s, best friend. These social creatures love fun and affection – and food!
Naturally, we want to spoil our pets and ensure they don’t go hungry – but it’s a good idea to do a bit of research around what dogs can and can’t eat. They may seem to enjoy eating anything, but certain foods can be toxic for pets and could cause them serious harm.
So, ‘paws’ for thought before you unwittingly feed your dog any of these culprits…
1. Chocolate, coffee and anything with caffeine
One of the worst offenders, especially dark chocolate, there’s a stimulant in your favourite bar of choccy called theobromine which is toxic to dogs, and can cause kidney failure.
Another food that should be outlawed when it comes to your dog’s diet, onions are very dangerous to dogs and too much onion, garlic or chives can damage their red blood cells and cause gastrointestinal irritation.
3. Macadamia nuts
Much as you adore these creamy, buttery nuts, especially in a macadamia nut cookie, they could make your pooch pretty poorly. Signs include weakness, swollen limbs, panting and no desire to go walkies.
While avocado on wholegrain toast is a human healthy go-to, it’s a no-no for dogs. Avocados contain a chemical compound called persin, which is poisonous to our four-legged friends, and can cause serious sickness such as vomiting and diarrhoea.
5. Cooked bones
We know, it’s so tempting – especially after a Sunday roast – to think they’ll love gnawing on that leftover carcass and wiping it clean. Unfortunately, cooked bones splinter easily, resulting in problems like constipation or serious complications like perforation of the stomach and intestines, which can be fatal. So don’t do it.
Raw bones are good, and help keep their teeth and gums healthy.
6. Corn on the cob
Those buttery ears of corn cry out to be eaten directly off the cob, but they’re for you, and only you. Dogs can choke on the cob and it can block their intestines.
7. Grapes, raisins and sultanas
They’re in everything – biscuits, cereal, fruit cake, tarts, curry, chutney, the list goes on. For dogs though, grapes and dried fruits like raisins cause a reaction (research has yet to determine which active ingredient is to blame) and there’s the potential risk of liver damage and kidney failure. Better safe than sorry – no grapes, raisins and sultanas for dogs.