February 04 2019 0Comment

Can dogs eat chocolate?

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Diana Laverdure-Dunetz, M.S., is a canine nutritionist and co-author, with M. Jean Dodds, D.V.M., of two books including Canine Nutrigenomics: The New Science of Feeding Your Dog for Optimum Health. Their online course, Complete Canine
Your 10-Year-Old Dog
I used to call my dog the canine vacuum. He kept my carpets clean, sucking up any food I accidentally dropped (as long as it wasn’t something healthy like fruits.
In retrospect, I should not have been so cavalier. Many foods humans eat are toxic to dogs. But let’s face it: Most of us enjoy slipping our dogs a bit of what we eat now and then. And that can be OK as long as we know what foods and amounts are safe. So, when it comes to human food for dogs, what can dogs eat and what should dogs definitely avoid? Can dogs eat bread? What about fruits and vegetables? And can dogs eat nuts or fish?
Human food for dogs — the basics
A dog eating carrots.
What human food is okay for dogs to eat?.Photography ©PK-Photos | E+ / Getty Images.
“There are some key differences,” says Dr. Deborah Linder, DVM, research assistant professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton, Massachusetts.
Dogs and humans digest and metabolize food differently, and a dog’s digestive system cannot break down some of the foods people eat, Dr. Linder warns. And we all know that some of the things we eat are not particularly healthy.
Most commercial dog foods provide a balanced diet with all the nutrients a dog needs. As long as your dog’s essential needs are met through an easily digested quality dog food, he shouldn’t need anything more. But you can feed your dog some other foods as healthy, low-calorie snacks.
“It’s perfectly safe to give up to 10 percent of the total calories from treats without unbalancing the diet,” says Dr. Linder, a veterinary nutrition specialist and diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.
Before sharing your table scraps, be aware that there are concerns about human food for dogs beyond toxicity: allergic reactions, raw vs. cooked, bacterial infections from E. coli and Salmonella, weight gain, elevated salt levels, choking