Roger Salmon column

Roger Salmon.
Roger Salmon.

Research has shown that 40 per cent of UK owners feed harmful food to their dogs.

A report found that chocolate, sausages and grapes are regularly on the menu, while 12 per cent of owners regularly feed their dogs on leftovers.

It is not surprising so many owners give in to their dogs and feed them titbits from their own plate, but it is really important to remember that dog’s dietary requirements are very different from ours.

Avocado fruit, leaves, seeds and bark may contain a toxic principle known as persin. The Guatemalan variety, a common one found in stores, appears to be the most problematic. Birds, rabbits and some large animals, including horses, are especially sensitive to avocados, as they can have respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the heart, and even death from consuming avocado.

Raw bread dough made with live yeast can be hazardous if eaten by dogs. When raw dough is swallowed the warm moist environment of the stomach provides an ideal environment for the yeast to multiply, resulting in an expanding mass of dough in the stomach. Expansion of the stomach may be severe enough to decrease blood supply to the stomach wall, resulting in death of tissue.

Chocolate intoxication is most commonly seen around certain holidays such as Christmas and Easter, but it can happen any time dogs have access to products that contain chocolate, such as chocolate sweets, biscuits, chocolate baking goods and cocoa powder. The compounds in chocolate that cause toxicities are caffeine and theobromine.

Dogs are far more sensitive to alcohol and a small ingestion can cause significant intoxication leading to vomiting, incoordination , coma and death may occur.

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs whereas some dogs can eat them with no side effects.

Onions and garlic contain compounds that can damage dog’s red blood cells if ingested in sufficient quantities.

With Christmas on the horizon now is the time to be especially aware of the dangers.