Don’t give your dog table scraps, especially from rich, fatty meals.

These kinds of foods can give your dog gastroenteritis or pancreatitis. Gastroenteritis is the medical term for vomiting and diarrhea. Pancreatitis is especially dangerous. It occurs when the dog is trying to digest a very fatty meal. The pancreas produces enzymes to assist in the digestive process. With pancreatitis, the pancreas produces far too much; it gets inflamed and can even begin digesting itself. The symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea, usually bloody. The dog will become dehydrated and can die.

Don’t give your dog leftover food bones.

Most bones are dangerous treats to give to dogs. Turkey, chicken, pork, and beef rib or steak bones are the worst. These bones are all easily chewed into sharp splinters that can lodge in the GI tract and may cause esophageal or intestinal lacerations, partial or complete obstructions, or even perforations with subsequent life-threatening peritonitis.

One more word of warning: if your dog has swallowed any bones that can spinter, do NOT induce vomiting, because they could cause an esophageal laceration on the way out.

Don’t feed your dog chocolate.

Actually dogs are allergic to the caffeine in chocolate, not to the other ingredients. And it takes a certain amount of chocolate before your dog gets sick. So if your Laborador Retriever grabs a Hershey’s Kiss, that is OK. But to be on the safe side, don’t give your dog any chocolate. And if your dog eats chocolate (particularly if he or she is a little dog), contact your vet for advice.

Here are the amounts of caffeine that will cause problems for dogs:

Note: 1 (kg) kilogram is approximately 2.2 pounds. Therefore if your dog weighs 10 pounds, he or she is about 4.5 kilograms. The toxic amount of caffeine for your dog is 630 mg (milligrams) (4.5 kg X 140 mg/kg = 630 mg). Therefore, approximately 1.5 ounces of unsweetened chocolate will be a toxic amount for your 10 pound dog. It will take 14 ounces of milk chocolate to be a toxic amount.

Avoid dairy products for dogs and cats.

Dairy products are not generally dangerous, unless they contain a lot of fat (see discussion on pancreatitis), but they are usually digested poorly by both dogs and cats, who have little or none of the enzyme required to digest the lactose in milk. Just like lactose-intolerant people, lactose-intolerant dogs can develop excessive intestinal gas (flatulence) and may have foul-smelling diarrhea. It is best to avoid most dairy products altogether, although small amounts of cheese or plain yogurt are tolerated by most dogs, since these products have less lactose than most.

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