Puppies have a tendency to eat anything and everything they can get their little paws on. It’s their way of learning about the world around them (although we’re still trying to figure out why they find socks, underwear and plastic wrappers so delicious). However, this inquisitive nature of puppies could be very dangerous for them. We suggest always “puppy proofing” your house before bringing home your new dog.
Puppies can be crafty though and we understand that puppy proofing may be challenging. A good way to start is by securing cupboard doors and garbage can lids. This will prevent them from raiding the garbage and kitchen for potentially dangerous snacks.
Another puppy proofing tip is to put your house plants up high and out of reach. Many house plants are poisonous to dogs and could cause them to get very sick if ingested. Here are a list of some common house plants that are toxic to dogs:
Clean up your clothes! The clothes you wear are covered in your scent and are very intriguing to puppies. Some may decide to chew on and eat them. Aside from forcing you to continuously update your wardrobe, your puppy consuming your socks could cost you in other ways. That way is vet bills. It may come as no surprise that fabric is not digestible to dogs. If your dog eats a pair of your underwear or the crotch of your pants, it will make its way down your pup's digestive tract and it may get stuck along the way. A foreign body in dogs can be very dangerous and costly. Not to mention it usually requires surgery to fix!
We love to treat our puppies, especially when they do well during training! There are plenty of household foods that can be good treat alternatives like raspberries, apple slices, bananas and carrots. However, there are human foods that are dangerous and potentially toxic to your puppy. Here is a list of some foods to keep your puppy away from:
Chocolate is very dangerous for puppies for multiple reasons. The main one being the high concentration of chemical compounds called caffeine and theobromine. While not dangerous to humans, they are toxic to dogs. If you find your puppy is vomiting, has diarrhea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination, and racing heart rate, they may have gotten into your stash of chocolate and they may need to go to the vet.
Bones are made of hardened calcium and phosphorus. Chewing on bones is a recipe for broken and fractured puppy teeth. As your puppy chews on a bone, it can also splinter and if those splinters are swallowed they can end up puncturing their digestive tract.
It is still unknown exactly why grapes (and raisins) are toxic to dogs. What we do know for sure though is that grapes severely damage their kidneys. Grapes should never be fed to dogs, even in small amounts.
Onions contain allium compounds called N-propyl disulfide and thiosulfate. Allium compounds are toxic to dogs and in high doses can cause breakdown of red blood cells through oxidative damage. The loss of too many blood cells eventually results in anemia.
For the same reasons as onion, garlic can cause anemia in dogs as a result of high concentrations of allium compounds.
Not all mushrooms are toxic to dogs but many are. Fungi are a difficult area to navigate in pet nutrition. It is better to just avoid feeding your dog mushrooms all together.
Avocados contain a fungicidal toxin called perisin which can cause pancreatitis. In low doses, perisin can result in diarrhea, vomiting and GI upset. Avocados are also a very calorie and lipid dense fruit, which may promote weight gain.
Rhubarb contains a high concentration of calcium oxalates. Most of which are concentrated in the leaves but it can also be found distributed throughout the edible stalk as well. Calcium oxalates cause kidney failure by binding with calcium in the body, resulting in a sudden drop in calcium and the formation of oxalate crystals in the urine.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener and can be found in many processed human foods from yogurt to gum and even some brands of peanut butter. When ingested by dogs it can cause vomiting, lethargy, and collapse.
To summarize, puppies like to eat first and ask questions later. As their owner, it is important to ensure that what they are eating is actually food and is puppy safe!