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Doggy Fruit Cravings: What's Safe And What Isn't

Over the past month, I’ve been contacted a couple of times from concerned dog owners informing me that their pup had consumed questionable human food(s).

Grapes: Yes, grapes are very toxic if eaten in high quantities. One or two might not pose a problem, however eaten in high volumes, they can be deadly. If you know that your dog has eaten grapes, first don’t panic; instead, you need to watch for these symptoms: Heavy panting, trouble breathing, dry nose and mouth, and light gums. These signs will most likely develop in 1 hour or less. If you do notice any of the listed signs, it’s time to call poison control and they’ll walk you through the process of how they would like for you to handle this situation. If this happens during your veterinarian’s regular business hours, call them first and they can direct you too.

My experience with chocolate.

Chocolate: Most of us are aware that chocolate is toxic for both dogs and cats. Again, eaten in high amounts, it can result in death. I had a cat some years ago that consumed a ridiculous amount of chocolate. We weren’t home at the time and the effects of having eaten this was explosive diarrhea everywhere! The cat was able to get most of the toxins out of his body before he had any other ill effects of having eaten chocolate. We were grateful that he did survive and he wasn’t any worse for the wear. However, I wouldn’t test fate by feeding chocolate to my pet just to see “how much is too much?”

Symptoms to watch for: Drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea (which may smell like chocolate, and it didn’t!) high blood pressure, or even seizures can be the result of giving your dog chocolate.

Watermelon? But I thought it was safe?

It is a “safe” fruit, however you need not overfeed your dog high amounts of a “safe” fruit or vegetable. Ideally, safe fruits/vegetables should make up only 10% of your dogs diet and 90% should be dog food products. Even still, dog treats should be offered sparingly. How can I know if I need to back off of the watermelon? Whether it has black or white seeds, they have to be completely removed. The black seeds have cyanide, the white seeds could upset your puppy’s stomach and cause gastrointestinal issues. The amount that should be offered depends on size/breed.

When should I contact the professionals? Concerning signs to watch for: Decreased appetite or loss of appetite, fatigue, acting depressed, looking uncomfortable, gulping or licking their lips, the air, or objects. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away. Worsening symptoms include: Vomiting, excessive diarrhea, blood in their vomit or stool, weakness, collapse.

Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds: They are also a wonderful fruit to offer your dog, but lets lean on the side of caution, everything in moderation. Even healthy foods, if fed in high volumes, can pose digestive/gastrointestinal issues. Please contact your dog’s health professional and they’ll let you know how much is safe for your dog.

Obviously, smaller dogs can be effected most severely than larger breeds, but it’s their genetic make-up that might determine their ability to process toxins. Again, call a professional if your pup eats anything that is poisonous for canines. Dog “friendly” treats for humans should be offered in moderation. We are a gluttonous people - our dogs know when to stop, but if they don’t, many will learn their lesson the first time and develop an aversion, I have seen this in my own dogs, but every dog is different - some dogs need a few reminders to figure it out.

Let’s be responsible dog owners and our dog’s best friend, and take care of them just like they take care of us and remember.. LESS IS BEST!

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