Now that we've had our new dog, Mozzie, for a few months, I've been educating myself on puppy safety.
I knew that chocolate can upset dogs' stomachs or even kill them. In fact, I had first-hand experience from my childhood when our family dog decided to be sneaky on Valentine's Day and eat a whole heart-shaped box of chocolates. She got very sick, but thankfully, she recovered.
Also, I've known for a long time that chicken bones are bad for dogs because they can splinter inside them and do damage to their internal organs.
But now that I have Mozzie, I've been looking into what's good and bad for dogs and adding to my list of what to keep away from him. Some of the info I've found was pretty surprising.
For example, you can't give dogs uncooked dough with yeast because the yeast can cause the dough to expand in their stomachs, causing a range of problems from intestinal discomfort to more dangerous issues.
Avocados are one of my favorite foods, but before I got Mozzie, I had no clue that they contain persin, which is toxic to dogs. I can never get enough guacamole, but now I make sure to move used guacamole bowls to the dishwasher as soon as possible so they're not around for Mozzie to discover.
Something else I can never get enough of is sweet tea. Thanks to a very informative poster at my vet's office, I have a very good reason to keep all my sweet tea for myself and never share it with Mozzie. Drinks like tea and coffee are very dangerous to dogs because caffeine can be fatal for them.
The vet's poster also let me know about another food I hadn't known was bad for dogs — grapes. Grapes and raisins can apparently cause kidney failure in dogs.
I don't keep much alcohol around my house, but if you do, you should make sure not to leave any where your dog might get it. Dogs have a very low tolerance for alcohol and even a little can throw their whole systems into disarray.
Onions and garlic are delicious in human food, but they can cause anemia in dogs and shouldn't be given to them in any form. Dairy foods are likewise not good for dogs in any form, because they can mess up their tummies.
Besides foods that are fine for humans but bad for dogs, there are also foods that are bad for humans and dogs. Dogs definitely should not eat sugary sweets or too much salty food — and that's good advice for human diets, too.
It also surprised me to learn that you shouldn't give dogs fat pieces you cut off of meat. I had always thought it was natural to give a dog the meat scraps no one was going to eat, but it turns out giving a dog just the fat trimmings can be bad for it.
Now that I've told you about all the bad things dogs shouldn't eat, I thought I'd let you know about a great treat for dogs that's cheap, easy and healthy — frozen green beans. A close family friend discovered this trick from her vet when her dogs needed a healthy boost in their diet.
Frozen green beans make an interesting treat and my friends' dogs love them. You can buy a bulk bag of French-cut green beans and just keep them in your freezer, ready to hand out as a reward or nightly time-for-bed snack.
Amanda’s fun fact
Black mambas are not actually black, they are brown. They are called black mambas because of the black color on the inside of their mouths, which they display when threatened.