Drug testing

Grapes, Nuts, and Your Dogs Health -- Foods that Fido should Avoid

"Magoo was a big, playful Labrador retriever who often got himself into sticky situations..."

So begins a story in the latest report from the ASPCA on foods that may be toxic to dogs. It turns out that Magoo got into the pantry and snagged himself about a pound of raisins. He ate the whole thing, of course.

The ASPCA never mentions Magoo's fate. But they do tell us that as little as a handful of raisins can impair a dogs health and has been fatal for some. Ditto for the grape.

Who Knew?

Growing up, I regarded our family dogs as "the first cycle of the dishwasher". They were good about waiting their turn for whatever we left on our plates, and we weren't too concerned about offering them "people food". It never crossed our minds that our dogs health could be affected by a few measly table scraps. What was safe for us, we figured, was safe for our pets.

What's more, whenever I ate grapes, I liked to give one or two to our German Shepherd "Tiffany". The grapes always popped out of her mouth when she tried to bite into them and Tiffany, ever the good sport, refused to give up until she'd squashed each one into submission. It guaranteed at least 60 seconds of harmless fun.

Tiffany was also fond of chewing gum (she chewed it -- wrapper and all -- but didn't swallow it!) We had the sugarless kind, which is often sweetened these days with xylitol.

Little did I know that I might have been poisoning our family pet! (More on xylitol below).

Why are grapes harmful?

As far as grapes and raisins go, no one is sure why they're harmful. It's been confirmed that even grapes grown without fertilizers or pesticides can be toxic to dogs. But not to every dog, and not every time. It's also not known whether small amounts eaten over a long time period could have a cumulative effect.

What we do know is that the end result in nearly all reported cases of grape or raisin toxicity is acute kidney failure. (The term "acute" means that the condition is severe and comes on quickly.) The dog ultimately can't produce urine, which means they can't filter toxins out of their systems -- a process essential to life.

During the twelve-month period in which the effects of grapes were studied, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center handled 140 cases involving one or more dogs. Over a third of the dogs developed symptoms ranging from vomiting to kidney failure, and seven dogs died. The ASPCA based their study on reported cases, so naturally there may be cases where a dogs health is entirely unaffected by eating grapes. But until they know all the facts, the Society advises against feeding pets grapes or raisins in any amount.

An ounce of prevention

So, your dog just scored himself a big box of raisins. What's a pet owner to do?

The first line of defense, if the grapes or raisins were eaten recently, is to induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal (it absorbs toxins in the GI tract). Vomiting is also the first sign that your dog is in trouble, so skip right to the activated charcoal if vomiting has already occurred. (In a pinch you can make your own activated charcoal by charring a piece of toast until it's blackened and crumbles easily.) Then call your vet right away.

Can't reach the vet? Call ASPCA Poison Control: 888-426-4435

The vet will keep your dog on intravenous fluids for at least 48 hours and monitor blood chemistry daily. Normal blood work after 3 days usually means your dog is in the clear.

Keeping a watchful eye out, of course, is the best way to keep your pet out of trouble. Like children, dogs (and other pets) have a knack for getting into mischief when we're not looking.

It's Not Just the Grapes...

There are other foods your dog should be kept away from, and some of them may surprise you.

Here are some other foods that can put a dogs health in harms way:

Chocolate

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 Mulch

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

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.

Nuts

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

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

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.

Potatoes

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.

Artificial Sweeteners

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

Turkey skin is currently thought to cause acute pancreatis in dogs, partly due to it's high fat content.

Other foods listed by the ASPCA as harmful:

Alcoholic beverages

Avocado (the only "fatty" member of the vegetable family)

Coffee (all forms of coffee)

Moldy or spoiled foods

Salt

Yeast dough

Garlic

The Bottom Line

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, or sign up for the "Cold Noses News" and we'll keep you informed. (You'll also get a bunch of cool dog stuff along with your free registration).

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!

Carolyn Schweitzer, a former family dentsit, is owner and editor of several websites, including http://www.Great-Dog-Gift.com.

Visit http://www.great-dog-gift.com/foodarticle to view the full illustrated article with links to resource articles from the ASPCA such as "How to Poison Proof your Home".

Sign up for the "Cold Noses News" at http://www.great-dog-gift.com/noses to have information like this delivered to your mailbox.

In The News:

An extremely rare menu from Titanic’s doomed maiden voyage to New York is up for auction in the U.K. this weekend.
An invasive insect species native to China, India, and Vietnam is posing a problem in at least two states in the northeastern and southeastern part of the country.
It's been more than 14 years since a spacecraft launched toward Mercury, so don't miss your chance to watch a rocket do just that.
California residents were stunned to watch a fireball of space junk shoot across the sky and fall onto a nearby ranch last week.
Whole libraries have been written trying to explain how Leonardo da Vinci produced some of the world's most revered paintings.
When Germany invaded Norway in 1940, Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler endorsed the concept of German soldiers hooking up with Norwegian women, as that would help bring the Nazis closer to the Aryan master race they wished for.
Earlier this week, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory posted a video of how its InSight lander, set to arrive on Mars on November 26, will use its robotic arm and position its sensitive instruments on Mars' surface in an effort to study the inside of the planet for the first time ever.
The insects are disappearing from an American rainforest—and scientists say the implications are frightening.
An extremely rare Viking ‘Thor’s Hammer’ amulet has been discovered in Iceland.
Halloween fans are in for an early treat — a sprinkle of stars will be visible in the night's sky this weekend as the Orionid meteor shower makes its annual appearance.

Westie Rescue Centres

The aim of a Westie rescue centre such as the... Read More

Bast, The Beloved Protector of Cats

She is the protector of cats, women and children. The... Read More

Improve Your Dogs Health With a Natural Diet

It goes without saying that your dog needs suitable nutrition... Read More

Why Crate Train My Dog?

A few years ago, before I decided to stay home... Read More

7 Good Reasons for Playing With Your Cat

Playing reinforces the bond between you and your cat.Playing with... Read More

How I Get More Training Done On My Horses In 1/2 The Time

Here's a simple way... to help your horse learn twice... Read More

Are Your Fish Sick?

Keeping a fish tank is a wonderful and relaxing hobby,... Read More

West Highland White Terriers ? Westies- A Wonderful Breed Apart

"Westies" or West Highland White Terriers are furry coated dogs,... Read More

But My Pet Will Never Run Away (or Why We Need Licenses)

The city I live in just increased its fees for... Read More

Choose an Acrylic Bird Cage

Congratulations. You've decided to buy a bird, and you even... Read More

Tips on Choosing a Boxer Dog...

An easier and more pleasant journey with your chosen Boxer... Read More

Games You Can Play With Your Dog

Dogs need mental and physical stimulation. They're also very inquisitive... Read More

How to Raise a Healthy Kitten

Selecting a Kitten It is best to choose your... Read More

Crate Training Tips: How to Crate Train Your Dog

A crate is a valuable and useful training tool. Its... Read More

?On Trust? & ?Paid For?: One of the Oldest Dog Tricks that Never Fail to Entertain

"On Trust" & "Paid For" for are one of the... Read More

Loyal Companions Promote Longevity

Have you ever wondered what a dog thinks, or if... Read More

Must-Have Know-How On Your Dogs Meal-Times

One of the best parts of the day for any... Read More

Westies Dogs ? Please Consider Adopting an Older Westie Dog

Everybody loves a baby animal and Westie puppies are adorable,... Read More

My Needs are Simple and Few!

My dear owner,Thank you once again for giving me shelter.... Read More

Westie - West Highland White Terrier Puppies - Fragile and Needful Of Protection

Have you ever held any Westie puppies? These tiny creatures... Read More

Basic Discus Fish Care

Are you thinking about getting some discus then and want... Read More

Canine Diabetes - Does Your Dog Have it?

Canine Diabetes: A Serious Dog Disease That is Completely ManageableCanine... Read More

Nikki and Benny, My Therapy Visiting Dogs.

My two therapy dogs, Nikki and Benny, bring joy to... Read More

Small Dog Travel Guide

Advice!!!-Pet products that are useful, fun and enjoyable will make... Read More

My Dog Died !

Pets provide an unconditional love that requires very little on... Read More

led parking led manufacturers Pete's produce ..