When Table Scraps Are Dangerous for Dogs: A Guide to Preventing and Handling the Ingestion

Sad Dog — Pet Care in Fresno, CA
You do your best to keep dangerous foods such as chocolate away from your dog, yet you sometimes wonder if there are other things that you should be doing to protect your pet's health. After all, your dog's curious nature sometimes leads him or her to nibble on anything that he or she finds around the house.
Unfortunately, well-meaning family and friends may give your dog foods that are not safe for him or her to eat, or your dog might accidentally ingest a toxic food in public. For this reason, it is important to understand the proper steps to take to prevent dog food emergencies and how to keep your pet safe if he or she does eat unsafe foods.
Watch For Hidden Toxic Ingredients
Naturally, you know to avoid giving your dog alcohol or caffeinated beverages. However, you might not realize when foods such as garlic or onions are included in a dish. For instance, many recipes include powdered garlic blends, and even a small amount can generate a toxic response in dogs.
Today, there are many pet owners and gourmet dog food stores that take pride in preparing homemade treats for dogs. Before feeding your dog any type of treat, ask for a full ingredient list. This is because someone might not be aware that certain ingredients such as cocoa powder can make dogs extremely ill.
Be Firm About Sticking to Your Dog's Diet
Dog lovers often find it hard to resist feeding their favorite animals from their plate or offering a treat to the neighbor's dog. Although it is hard to tell a well-meaning friend or neighbor not to feed your dog, it is important for their health and safety.
Sticking to your dog's diet makes it easier for your vet to make a diagnosis if they do experience an allergic reaction or food poisoning. If children live in or visit your home, make it clear to them which foods could make your dog sick, and provide safe alternatives such as veterinarian-approved puppy biscuits.
Make Dog Training a Priority
It is also important to train your dog to avoid eating unsafe foods. Do your part by keeping your garbage bin covered. Then, train your dog to stay out of the trash, and provide plenty of toys and activities to keep him or her busy enough that he or she doesn’t seek undesirable forms of entertainment.
Training your dog to follow the command, "Leave it," when they see something enticing on the ground is another way to prevent accidental food poisoning. Begin by using treats at home until your dog follows the command well. Then, practice together on your outside walks when you can trust your dog to follow your lead.
Scan Public Spaces for Dropped Food
As a dog lover, it is wonderful to know that many places are pet-friendly now, and even restaurants often open their doors for you to eat with your canine companion. While this is great for socializing your puppy, you also want to make sure that your dog doesn't actually come in contact with unsafe foods.
Always scan the ground before settling into an area with your pet, and be especially cautious in places where food is served. Removing food debris and trash from your dog's playing and resting zone is important for safeguarding his or her health.
Seek Professional Advice If Accidental Ingestion Occurs
Staying on guard is the best way to prevent contact with toxic foods, but you should also know what to do if you suspect that your dog has eaten something dangerous. Always be alert for signs of distress such as vomiting, diarrhea or general restlessness, and make sure to call your vet if such symptoms do appear.
If you suspect that your dog has eaten a dangerous food, contact Fresno Pet Emergency & Referral Center, Inc. immediately. Their trained experts can help your dog get the help he or she needs to have the best chances for a full recovery.