Your puppy doesn’t know what he should and shouldn’t eat, so it’s up to you to handle it for him. Sometimes this can be tough, because many things that people like best can kill their four-legged pals. Pups are frequently the best of beggars and can be hard to resist, but never give your puppy bites of your meal unless you’re absolutely sure it’s safe for him. If he does gobble down something you’re not sure about, call the vet right away. Your quick action may save your little guy’s life.
In many ways your puppy is like any other baby and he’ll try eating anything he can get into his mouth. Protect him by making sure he can’t get into the trash, especially when you’ve discarded bones or other items he might find especially appealing. Chicken, turkey, pork and other bones can splinter and become lodged in his mouth or his digestive tract. Plastic wrappers or other bulky items can block his stomach or intestines. Some discards, such as empty cleanser cans or other old containers, may cut or poison him. Always keep trash and other potentially harmful items where your puppy can’t reach them.
Plenty of foods that are may be among your favorites can seriously harm or even kill your puppy. One of the worst offenders on this list is chocolate. Your pet loves the taste of it as much as anybody does, but if he gets too much of it he can die, so keep chocolate well out of his reach. Other toxic foods include onions, macadamia nuts, xylitol, raisins and grapes. How sick he gets from these depends on a combination of factors, such as your puppy’s size, his level of sensitivity and how much he ate.
Other things in your home can make your puppy very ill if he eats them. Some of these are obvious dangers, such as bleach, ammonia and other household chemicals, but other deadly substances may not be so readily apparent. Many human medications are highly toxic to animals. Most prescription medicines will cause him trouble, but he can also be killed by eating over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Your plants can also pose a serious threat, especially to a curious puppy. Keep him away from aloe, baby’s breath, carnations, boxwood and azaleas, to name just a few.
If your puppy does swallow something dangerous, the best thing to do is often to make him throw it back up. This isn’t always the case, since vomiting caustic substances can do more harm than good. Always call your vet or an animal poison center before treating your puppy. Keep a bottle of hydrogen peroxide on hand for emergencies, since making him swallow a small amount of peroxide will cause him to empty his stomach in short order. A big syringe, without the needle, is a handy way to measure and dose your pup once the vet gives the go-ahead.
- ASPCA: People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets
- Wed MD: Slideshow: Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat
- Dr. Roen’s Weekly Column: Grapes, Raisins, Onions, Garlic and Macadamia Nuts - All the good stuff - Toxic to Dogs!
- ASPCA: What To Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned
- Pet Place: How to Induce Vomiting (Emesis) in Dogs
- ASPCA: Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants
- Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network: Garbage Hazards