Dogs are often thought of as another member of the family. We love to show them how much we love them. Some people even share their beds with their furry family members. We especially love to sneak our favorite pup a treat or two under the table. Some of our favorite foods, however, could be harmful to our lovable puppies
The Dos and Don’ts of Feeding Small Dogs. Before feeding your small dog your favorite treats, it is imperative that you know which foods are safe for him or her to digest and which foods, if ingested, could cause serious harm. Here is a list of just some of the foods that your small dog should and should not eat.
It can sometimes be hard to resist sharing your dinner or your ice cream cone with your small dog, especially if they beg for it—using those puppy dog eyes, of course. However, knowing the benefits and risks of feeding your dog certain foods can help you make the right food choices for your dog. If your dog happens to eat something that is not good for them, it is important to know when and how to seek medical attention.
What Foods are Safe and Unsafe to Feed Your Small Dog
Safe Foods for Your Small Dogs
Dogs’ stomachs are not like ours and not equipped to digest the same kinds of food we can. Many dog owners have moved away from traditional dog foods and have started preparing their dog’s meals from scratch. The above list of safe and unsafe foods is not all-inclusive. Before feeding your little dog new types of food, it is important to research and make sure it is safe.
Let’s take a more in-depth look into some healthy food that are good to feed your small dogs.
- Meats: turkey, pork, ham, chicken, fish. Meat is a good source of protein or your dog. Make sure the meats you’re feeding are your dog is fully cooked. Always check chicken and fish for small bones because these can harm your dog during digestion. If the meat is high in sodium, make sure to give it to your dog sparingly.
- Dairy: Cheese, yogurt, milk. These are okay for your dog to eat, but be cautious because some dogs may be lactose and intolerant. It’s okay for dogs to have little milk but water is the best choice. When choosing cheese and yogurt, look for low-fat options and yogurt with no added sugar.
- Nuts: Not all nuts are bad for dogs. Dogs can have peanuts and cashews and peanut butter. However, it important that these nuts be unsalted. Too much sodium in your dog’s diet is not good.
- Bread: It is safe for your dog to eat small amounts of bread as long it is unseasoned or unspiced. Bread, however, does not add any nutritional content to your dog’s diet and should only be given in small amounts.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Small amounts of fruits and vegetables can be healthy for your pets. Try to avoid giving strawberries, bananas, and pineapple often because they contain more sugar.
- Eggs: These are a good source of protein for you dogs. Make sure the eggs are cooked fully because consuming raw egg white can lead to a biotin deficiency in your dog.
Harmful Food for Your Small Dogs
- Almonds and Macadamia Nuts: While other nuts are safe for your dogs, these nuts are very harmful. Almonds can block the airway or tear the esophagus if not fully chewed, and Macadamia Nuts can cause vomiting, inability to walk, and even nervous system problems.
- Fruits and Vegetables to Avoid: Onions, garlic, wild mushrooms, avocado, and rhubarb are poisonous to your small dog. Garlic and Onions can damage the red blood cells in your dog, causing them to be weaker and less mobile. Also, do not feed them grapes and raisins–these can cause dehydration and kidney damage.
- Ice Cream: While some dairy products are okay to feed to your dog, try to avoid sharing your ice cream with them. Ice cream contains large amounts of sugar. If you want to give your dog a sweet treat, you can freeze low-sugar fruits for a small frozen dessert that is healthier for them
- Alcohol and Coffee: Alcohol can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and even coma or death. Coffee and caffeine contain methylxanthines, and these are dangerous for your dog to consume. It can cause heart problems and hyperactivity in your dog.
- Chocolate: Chocolate like coffee contains methylxanthines, and it can lead to diarrhea and vomiting in your dog. If your dog eats large amounts of chocolate, it can cause heart problems, seizures and even lead to death.
- Cinnamon: This spice can cause your dog to feel sick and can lower their blood sugar.
Introducing New Foods to Your Dogs Diet
If you want to introduce your dog to more people foods, it is important that first know which foods are safe and which aren’t to feed your dog. You may want to consult with your veterinarian before any major diet changes.
It is also helpful to make dietary changes gradually. Start introducing people food a little at a time and start with bland unseasoned foods so you can see how your pets digest these foods before you start to introduce them to more.
Diversity is the key when adding people food to your dog’s diet. As you are introducing new foods, don’t feed your dog the same foods all the time. Keep adding new foods and then incorporating them all into a well-balanced diet for your dog.
Limit the fat in your dog’s diet and choose low sodium foods. Some fat is okay, but too much fat in your dog’s diet can be unhealthy. Choose lean meats and low-fat foods that are low in sodium and this will help your dog maintain their health and a healthy weight.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Ingests Something Harmful
Sometimes no matter how hard we try to keep our dogs away from foods they shouldn’t eat, they somehow manage to get their little paws on them. Maybe they found your chocolate stash in your closet, or maybe an unknowing toddler shared some of their food with them. If your small dog eats something you know they shouldn’t what should you do? First, look for the following signs after they have ingested the food item:
- Not eating
- Change in behavior
If you dog is displaying these symptoms, call your veterinarian, a 24-hour vet clinic, or a pet poison hotline and explain the situation to them. Depending on what your dog ate and how much, the veterinarian will have different recommendations for what you should do for your dog. They might also request that you bring your dog in immediately to be seen. It is best to seek their medical advice right away instead of just waiting to see if your dog will be okay.
Healthy Happy Dogs
The best thing for your small dog is to make sure they are healthy and happy. The food we give our dogs is what is going to give them the energy they need to live their life to the fullest. It is important to make sure that you are feeding your dog the right amount and right kinds of foods.
Not all dogs will react the same way to certain foods, just like with people. As a dog owner, it is important to find out which foods your dog responds to well and how to incorporate a well-balanced diet into their lifestyle. This will ensure that your dog is getting all the nutrients he or she needs to be their happiest self and have a lot of energy to play.