Beware of treats that can harm your dog’s health


efore you toss that treat to your pooch, remember it might be a fatal decision. Human bodies process foods differently than canines, says U.S. Food and Drug Administration veterinarian Carmela Stamper. Like people with allergic reactions to foods, one food may harm one dog and not another, depending on genetic makeup, size and the food in question.

Raw meat may contain E. coli, salmonella or other harmful bacteria. Be careful when making or setting out hamburger patties, steaks or chicken breasts for the barbecue, especially if your pets are counter-surfers. Don’t handle meat then give your dog a treat, just as you would not eat a sandwich without first washing your hands.

Grapes, raisins, and currants can cause kidney failure for some dogs. Apples and bananas are not harmful.

Fried, fatty foods can cause life-threatening pancreatitis. Resist giving tasty fried chicken as a snack.

Moldy foods aren’t something you would feed your family, nor should you feed to your pet. If you put them in the trash or compost, make sure they are out of the pet’s reach.

Salty snacks in large quantities can be problematic. The occasional potato chip or pretzel may do no harm, but chowing down on a bag of chips could make a dog very ill. Ensure dogs have access to plenty of water at all times, especially if they get into salty snacks.

Chocolate, even in small quantities, can make a Chihuahua dangerously ill, while a larger dog may not have as many problems.

Onions, garlic and chives can be harmful, especially in large amounts.

Macadamia nuts can be very harmful.

Xylitol, a sugar substitute in gum, candy and some peanut butters, also can be deadly. Read the labels, especially on peanut butter, if using in hollow chew toys or to disguise medications.

Cats are fussier eaters and don’t often get into much food trouble. They are, however, sensitive to onions and garlic in raw or powdered form.