When sharing isn’t caring

Last weekend, Clarence the Cat’s “person” (you remember Clarence and his fan mail, don’t you?) sent me a helpful article about all the foods our doggy friends should NOT be eating.

The San Francisco Chronicle article listed a few items that I knew about – namely chocolate, onions, tomatoes and grapes.

Puppy Poison: stay away!

But it also listed a few foods that I wasn’t aware of, like:

  • lemons
  • macadamia nuts
  • xylitol, and
  • avocado

Lemons on the list

Foods not included on the list, but also to be avoided are caffeine, salt, alcohol, sugar and tobacco.  (This is starting to sound like familiar advice.)  Also, beware of certain mulches made from cocoa hulls.  These hulls are just as toxic as chocolate and cocoa powder.  

Macadamia nuts: bad news.  Choco-covered macadamia nuts?  Even worse!

One particularly scary item in the Chronicle’s list of toxic substances was Xylitol, an artificial sweetener commonly found in chewing gum brands like Trident and Orbit.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle article, as little as three grams (or about five pieces of gum) can kill a 65 pound dog.  In fact, the article was prompted by the death of a friend’s 60 pound poodle from xylitol poisoning.  Yikes!  : (

Among the Chronicle’s list of poisonous foods, there are a few that may be a bit controversial.  For instance, avocado fruit and oil is used in the manufacture of a commercial dog food called Avoderm without ill effects.  Similarly, holistic pet practitioners maintain that garlic is a safe and beneficial supplement for dogs when used in small quantities.  And ice cream? Well, too much ice cream isn’t good for anyone, including lactose sensitive dogs and people.

Garlic: friend or foe?

Of course, a huge factor in food poisoning is your own dog’s size and weight, and the amount of the given food he ingests.  I wish there was better information out there about not only the type of foods that may be poisonous for dogs, but also the relative amounts that are toxic.

No, and No

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7 Responses to When sharing isn’t caring

  1. Benny & Lily says:

    we know how you feel!
    Benny & Lily

  2. yuki the dog says:

    i have a miniature schnauzer book that actually has listed all of these foods and if they are mildly toxic to deathly toxic. i noticed many dog products even the high quality/hollistic ones do have garlic. i have read that it causes stomach upset, but if cooked it’s okay…i’m not sure either way because i’m always reading conflicting reports. i know fruit pits and seeds are toxic as well. apple seeds=doggie arsenic. for months i was using a dog breath spray and one day i decided to read the back and one of the ingredients was XYLITOL. i have known this was toxic and was so shocked. i googled the dog breath spray and sure enough they have pending lawsuits. they still sell the stuff but i noticed after reading the back of the new ones on the shelf, xylitol is no longer an ingredient…very scary stuff.

    • furfilled says:

      That’s crazy! I’m glad you noticed! I would never have known about xylitol until I happened to read this article. Luckily I don’t have a lot of chewing gum around the house . . .

  3. jen says:

    loads of dog foods use salt and tomato (pomace?) and like you mentioned – avocado and garlic are popular in some foods.

    whats the reason with tomatoes?

    • furfilled says:

      That’s interesting. When I did some more searching on the internet, I found conflicting opinions regarding tomatoes. Some vet websites said that tomatoes are perfectly safe, and others pointed out that the tomato plant itself is where the toxic substances are concentrated. It also seems like ripe tomatoes present less of an issue. As for tomato pomace, that’s made up of the seeds, skin and pulp of the tomatoes, left over from commercial tomato processing. Essentially, it’s a fiber that dog food companies add to their food. (An entirely other issue is the fact that these skins likely contain more concentrated amounts of any pesticide used on the plants.) So . . . maybe tomatoes are another one of those confusing ingredients, like avocado. (Sigh. Life used to be simpler before I started browsing the internet.)

  4. I am not sure they are right about the Avacado. I feed Chester and Gretel Avoderm and , like you pointed out, avacado oil is one of their key ingredients. It is the best food for them. They love it and it makes their coar so shiny! Poo is as it should be too 🙂

    I just heard about the xylitol this year.

    • furfilled says:

      Nice. It’s good to get some feedback about Avoderm. Living in Southern California, I’m a huge avocado eater myself. It’s hard to imagine that an entire dog food line would be named and designed around an ingredient that was toxic to dogs.

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