We know your Brittany is a member of the family, but that doesn’t mean you can feed them the same things we human family members eat. Foods that are safe for humans can be toxic or even deadly to your pet. Here are some of the foods to never give your Brittany.
- Alcohol – Beer, wine and spirits act as a depressant on animals’ nervous systems potentially leading to breathing problems and even coma.
- Animal Bones – Beef or chicken bones can damage your pet’s teeth or splinter and cause damage in their digestive tract. Stick with treat bones (not from China) made specifically for dogs.
- Animal Fat and Fried Foods – Excessive fat can cause pancreatitis.
- Apples, Cherries, Persimmons, Peaches and Plums – The seeds of these fruits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs as well as humans. The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstruction. Obstruction is also a possibility if the dog eats the pit from a cherry, peach or plum, or the apple core. Plus peach and plum pits contain cyanide which is poisonous to both humans to dogs. The difference is humans know not to eat them. Dogs don’t.
- Avocado – They contain a chemical called Persin, which is harmless to humans but can be toxic to dogs.
- Chocolate or Anything with Caffeine – Foods like coffee and cocoa contain methylxanthines, which in high concentrations can cause heart palpitations, tremors, seizures, dehydration and death.
- Grape and Raisins – Grapes and their dried counterparts, raisins, may seem harmless, but not to dogs. Even small amounts of grapes or raisins can prove fatally toxic for a dog. The problem is that not all raisin and grapes will exert similar results. Moreover, not all dogs will react to the toxic principles of raisin and grapes. As little as a single serving of raisins can kill a dog.
- Candy, Gum and Baked Goods – Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your dog’s body. That can cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Eventually, the dog may have seizures. Liver failure can occur within just a few days.
- Kitchen Pantry: No Dogs Allowed – Many other items commonly found on kitchen shelves can harm your dog. For instance, baking powder and baking soda are both highly toxic. So are nutmeg and other spices (can cause tremors, seizures and death). Keeping food items high enough to be out of your dog’s reach and keeping pantry doors closed will protect your dog from serious food-related illness.
- Milk – Adult animals don’t have the lactase to digest milk, and feeding it to them can cause diarrhea.
- Onions, Garlic and Chives – While these foods add flavor to human meals, they can cause red blood cell damage in pets. Cats are more at risk, but eating larger quantities can also make dogs sick.
- Tomatoes – Can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias. Tomato plants are the most toxic, but tomatoes themselves are also unsafe.
- Uncooked Dough – Small bits of bread are fine as treats, but dough containing yeast can rise in your dog’s digestive tract and cause stomach or intestinal damage.
- Macadamia Nuts – These Hawaiian nuts can cause fever, tremors, weakness and other unpleasant symptoms.
What fruits and veggies CAN my Brittany eat?
Listed below are some of the most Brittany-friendly veggies and fruits. These are healthier than the boxed treats you buy in the grocery store.
FRUIT – (do not let your dogs eat the seeds or stems or leaves of any fruit)
- Apples – Yes, apples were listed in the DO NOT FEED list, but if you remove the core and cut them up before serving them, they are a wonderful snack.
- Bananas – (My Brittanys love bananas!) Don’t give to your dog in large amounts. Too many bananas given to your dog can cause multiple problems, such as, but not limited to, stool problems, fermentation in their stomach and the growth of bad bacteria from poor digestion.
- Blueberries, Cranberries, Raspberries, Blackberries and Strawberries – All of these berries are healthy and safe for your dog to eat. Just as there are health benefits for you when you eat blueberries and other berries, there are also lots of health benefits for your dog. Giving your dog berries may help prevent cancer, heart disease, and other health issues. Berries are known for their antioxidant properties and other health benefits.
- Dogs should avoid eating holly berries, juniper berries, baneberries, pokeberries and mistletoe berries – they can be poisonous.
- Grapefruit and Oranges – are a healthy, non-toxic treat for dogs, as long as you serve grapefruit and orange portions in moderation. Due to their natural sugar content, oranges may contribute to canine obesity if you make them a regular part of your dog’s diet. An occasional snack, however, poses no health risks.
- Pumpkin – Is both a fruit and a vegetable. Canned pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber for dogs. You can supplement it with your dog’s regular food, or serve it separately as a treat. Feed your dog canned pumpkin only in small doses, because too much pumpkin may lead to diarrhea.
- Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts – Members of the cabbage family, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, are not only rich in vitamins, but they contain cancer-fighting phytochemicals and anti-aging compounds essential to a balanced diet. Adding small, lightly steamed portions of these veggies to your dog’s food promotes the overall stomach and bladder health of your pet.
- Carrots – Carrots also make an excellent addition to the canine diet. Raw carrots provide nutritional benefits and promote healthy teeth as your dog spends time chewing the hard surface.
- Celery – If your dog is arthritic, try adding some celery juice or chopped pieced of celery to its food. Celery is a good source of fiber and potassium. Celery is also a natural diuretic that stimulates urine production and can help eliminate excess fluids, thereby promoting good kidney and urinary tract health in your pet.
- Green Beans – Another great alternative for high calorie dog treats is green beans! Keep a few lightly steamed green beans handy for rewarding your dog. Green beans are a healthy, low-calorie treat high in vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. The fiber and roughage in green beans also boosts your dog’s digestive system. Green beans are both delicious and nutritious and a great way to help your dog keep a healthier weight. We all know how much our dogs love their food! Sometimes too much! If you need to help your dog trim their ‘love handles’ you can use green beans! Reduce the amount of their normal food to the smallest amount recommended for their health and add green beans to the reduced kibble! Your fluffy pup will get the nutrition they need and the bulk they crave with lower calories. Mine happen to like frozen green beans straight from the freezer, but fresh are also a good option. If you try canned, please use the ‘no salt added’ option. Your dog will love the sensation of getting the same amount of food! An easy way to assess your Brittany’s weight is to remember that you should be able to feel but not see their ribs and looking down at their back you should see a defined waist.
- Lettuce/Leafy Greens – Leafy greens provide humans and dogs with essential vitamins and nutrients. These vitamins and nutrients are essential to the diet of any canine. Try feeding your dog cabbage, spinach, collard greens and other leafy vegetables for healthy doses of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, protein, fiber, calcium and other nutrients. (My “Peilynne” is absolutely crazy about green leafy lettuce [not iceberg].)
- Peas – Peas provide calcium, magnesium, potassium and other nutrients without harming your dog. Try mixing them into your dog’s regular meal for added nutritional value. For best results, use fresh peas and avoid the frozen variety.
- Potatoes – Do not let your dog eat any raw potatoes or any potato plants it might have access to in your garden. However, a cooked potato is fine.
- Red, Yellow and Green Bell Peppers – To provide adequate amounts of Vitamin C to your dog’s daily diet, try feeding them chopped, steamed red pepper pieces. Red peppers are an excellent source of beta carotene and the cancer-preventing phytochemical, lycopene. Bell peppers decrease the chances of cataracts and other eye aliments, as well as stave off arthritis as your dog ages.
- Spinach – Spinach has long been viewed as a nutritionally important vegetable, rich in iron and beta carotene. Juice it, steam it, or finely chop it before adding it to your dog’s food. Spinach also contains high levels of Vitamin K, which maintains good bone health and growth.
- Sweet Potatoes and Yams – Because sweet potatoes contain beneficial nutrients such as complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta carotene, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6, to name just a few. They also help stabilize blood sugar, which makes them a nice choice for diabetic dog treats.
NOTE: Be sure to check with your vet before changing your dog’s diet or if you have specific dietary questions.
A great online resource for foods you dog should never eat and foods they can eat visit: http://pets.webmd.com