How often has it happened that you’re eating dinner and your dog comes sniffing around to get a share of it? We understand if you give in to those puppy eyes and toss them a bite. But as a pet parent, it’s extremely important to know what is, and is not appropriate to feed your pooch, as some human foods are toxic for them.
For starters, drop the assumption that what’s good for you is also good for animals. To put it into practice, avoid feeding your pet straight out of your plate.
Not only will this ensure they don’t eat anything harmful, but is also a great way to manage behavioural issues such as stealing food or eating out of unattended plates.
While feeding your pet, be particularly wary of these foods commonly found in Indian households:
1. Chakna & Salty Snacks
An unhealthy snack even for humans, it should definitely not be given to pets.
Indian munchies like chivda, gaathiya, papad, and thikha chana are all high in sugar, spice, and especially salt. Salt is literally present in everything we eat, so it is best to avoid feeding pets off your plate.
Table salt contains sodium, which is vital for many human body functions when consumed in the right amount. But pets need very little sodium in their bodies.
Excessive sodium can cause thirst, urination, sodium ion poisoning, and hypernatremia. So keep your salty snacks away from pets.
2. Milk & Mithai
Most Indian desserts are a product of milk – malai, mawa, or even ghee. You may have heard of lactose intolerance in humans. It is caused when a person’s body doesn’t produce an enzyme called lactase that helps in the absorption of milk and milk products.
Similarly, dogs do not produce the enzyme either, which means they can’t digest milk. Feeding them mithai or any dairy product could cause diarrhoea and other digestion issues.
3. Onion & Garlic
This is especially relevant to Indian households, as every dish is flavoured with large amounts of kanda and lasan.
The toxicity caused with ingestion of onions and garlic has been noticed more in cats than in dogs, and is said to lead to gastric irritation and damage of red blood cells.
4. Chocolate & Coffee
Chocolate and coffee are easily two human favourites. They contain theobromine and methylxanthines, which can be toxic even for us in very large amounts.
But in pets, the tolerance for these substances is very low. It could lead to diarrhoea, vomiting, hyperactivity and breathing problems, and in some cases, be fatal.
Alcoholic drinks and even food products that contain alcohol are an absolute no-no for your pet. They contain ethanol, which is potentially poisonous for them.
When ingested, it could cause diarrhoea, vomiting, hyperactivity, breathing problems, increase in body acid, dehydration, and weakened functioning. If left untreated, it could even lead to a heart attack or death.
Though this is not an exhaustive list, if you suspect your pet has consumed any of the above foods, be sure to take them to the vet or contact an animal poison control centre immediately.
Image Credit: Pets4homes