How many of you dog owners out there have to face on a regular basis the torment of having a pair of watery eyes plead you for a slip of the food so beautifully exhibited on your plate? I know I do. That's because dogs are one of the biggest gourmands of the animal world. Unlike other members of their kind, they have long since surpassed the stage of feeding for the sake of survival, and food turned into a delicacy to pleasantly tickle their taste buds. Another thing that's changed, is their status as carnivores. It's true that this used to be indeed their nature, with wolves (for example) standing as the living proof of that. But since humans managed to domesticate them and bring them by our sides as loyal companions, nowadays they can be easily considered to be omnivores. However, in reality, they can't exactly eat anything they like and there are some 5 Facts About Dogs And Food That You Need To Know.
1. Natural Carnivores
In the article's introduction, I spoke of dogs' raw nature as carnivores. While it's true that you can definitely mix into your pooch's diet many ingredients that even herbivores consume, they're genetically engineered to be meat lovers. Not only are their claws and fangs with prominent canines designed to make them perfect at hunting down prey, it's also a difficult task to try and keep your dog away from raw meat. Chances for him to turn down a cooked meat based meal are small to nonexistent, but if you really want to get his gears going, simply bring him in the vicinity of a raw chicken breast or an animal organ. Despite that, it's not indicated to feed your dog uncooked meat, since it can carry a variety of potentially dangerous diseases that can be partially eradicated in contact with high temperatures.
2. Sweet Tooth
This may come off as a surprise, but if a dog were able to open and steal from a cookie jar, it almost definitely would. Dogs can sense a variety of tastes, with the one standing out most being sweetness. Their wilderness residing cousins actually often consume berries and other fruit rich in fructose (a well known replacement for sugar even in the human diet) in order to give them the daily dose of glucose needed for an energy boost. Your dog might be seen drooling all over your birthday cake, but it's definitely not recommended to give in to his whims, as sugar can prove to be dangerous to his health.
3. Cat Food Lovers
As if having to contain your dog from gobbling all of his food wasn't bad enough, you should know that you also need to keep an eye open for your cat's food bowl. Dogs, especially if big gluttons, are likely to invade the chow of your kitten if given the opportunity. This is because the two kinds of foods are obviously not that different, and our canine pals would rarely turn down an opportunity to sate their curiosity and have a taste of a new, peculiar kind of dish. But even though nothing majorly bad can come from a pooch digesting some feline delicacies, you should make sure this doesn't become a recurrence. Cats and dogs require different things from their diets in order to lead healthy and balanced lives, which is why cat food contains some elements and nutrients that dogs really don't need, like taurine. Best keep your pets each to their bowls, if you want them to be as happy as possible in the long run.
4. Toxic Foods
Even though dogs strongly desire to be able to taste every type of delicious grub the world has to offer, there are some things you must never feed him, as they are a legitimate peril to his well being. Some of these seem even oddly trite, but they can prove to be disastrous for your dog. Perhaps the most surprising examples are grapes and, respectively, raisins. Not many people know about this, but grapes contain a substance that can lead to kidney and liver failure. More than that, there have been many cases of dogs dying after digesting only a handful of grapes, so avoid at all costs feeding them to your pooch. Another example is an aliment that, while extremely common in human food, is extremely toxic for both dogs and cats, and in fact is one of the most damaging ones: onions. If consumed by dogs, the various poisonous substances they release can develop into destruction of red cells and, eventually, anemia.
Other toxic aliments that you should absolutely avoid feeding your dog include: chocolate, peaches, plums, salmon, trout, apple seeds and coffee. For a full list of dangerous aliments, refer to this infographic.
5. Safe Human Foods
The list of foods that are surprisingly harmful for dogs may be quite hefty, but don't worry – not everything we eat is a danger for our pets. There are some aliments that get a green light, with some of them being even beneficial additions to their diets. One of the most surprising examples is garlic, which, unlike onion, can even give a boost to your pooch's health. The only condition for this is a controlled consumption, so make sure to slip it in very small doses. Raw eggs are also a strange choice. Obviously, cooked eggs count too, but even though the biggest threat of raw eggs is Salmonella, they are excellent at providing to your pup necessary enzymes, proteins and vitamins to improve his life.
Other than that, you can also feed your dog fruits, vegetables, rice, pasta, baked potatoes and lean meat.
In conclusion, it's clear that feeding your dog involves much more than skinning a chicken leg off the bone and tossing the pieces into your dog's bowl. They have an incredible appetite, one that tends to even get a bit out of hand at times. But, fortunately (or not, I guess it depends on perspective), we are the ones who benefit from having a consciousness, so we should make sure that we don't give the dog everything he wants to eat. Thanks to these 5 Facts About Dogs And Food That You Need To Know, now you know better than to do that.