5 things most people think dogs shouldn’t eat but are actually good for them.

There are hundreds of posts and images detailing lots of foods that dogs shouldn’t eat. Virtually all of them have at least one or more item that is ok for dogs and might even be beneficial. Here are five foods that people don’t realize are good for their dogs.

Garlic

Most dog parents have been told at some point that garlic is toxic, garlic will cause anemia, garlic will kill your dog. The truth is if over fed yes garlic will harm your dog. According to Dogs Naturally Magazine the study that started this fear was conducted in 2000 on 11 dogs for 15 days. Each dog was given 1 clove per kilogram of body weight. So let’s say you have a 50lb (22.6kg), that would be the equivalent of 2-3 entire heads of garlic! I think anyone would agree that is an extremely excessive amount.

Now that we have lowered our fears let’s talk about the good things garlic does. Garlic helps to stimulate the immune system and is antibacterial and antiviral, so great for cold and flu season, yes dogs get colds and flus just like us. It’s an antioxidant as well and anti-cancer meaning it is going to help get rid of those pesky free radicals and help control any cells that have started to mutate into cancerous cells. In the spring summer and fall it helps to deter mosquitos and fleas.

Of course there is a proper way to prepare and administer garlic to your dog. First things first the garlic must be organic, there is no point in using garlic if it is covered in pesticides and herbicides. It also must be fresh, the chemical in garlic that makes it work so well is allicin which dissipates quickly after being released. You must give the garlic a 5 min breather after crushing/ chopping as allicin is only released as a result of damaging the clove but takes time to spread through the entire clove.

If you’re wondering how much to give here’s a handy chart:

Yes I stole that from Dogs Naturally Magazine!

Want to know more about garlic check out what these vets have to say:

Dr. Karen Becker: Fleas, Ticks, Seasonal Allergies

Dr. Deva Khalsa: Is garlic safe for your dog? (video)

Raw Egg

This one is a little tricky because it really depends on a lot of factors. The obvious issue with anything raw is pathogens with eggs it’s salmonella contamination that we should be concerned with and while some people argue that a dogs stomach can handle a little salmonella contamination it’s too easy for this to go wrong. So before we get into why raw egg is good for your dog I want to discuss some precautions to take. Never feed a raw egg from the grocery store, there is no way to know exactly where all those eggs came from, how long they have been there and how many pathogens they may have come in contact with. Further most eggs in grocery stores are from giant farms that have a higher chance of festering salmonella and other pathogens. Never feed, and this really should go without saying, an egg that has gone bad. Do feed eggs that you bought fresh from a local farm, even better if you hunted for them yourself. Do feed raw eggs in moderation. When in doubt boil.

Egg contains omega 3, protein, selenium and vitamin A just to name a few benefits.

Dr. Karen Becker: Egg product vs Egg

Dana Scott: Eggs: Why your dog needs them.

“Human” Food

This is one that really gets under my skin, food is food. It’s not like chicken farmers grow dog chickens and human chickens or cat chickens, that’s absolutely ridiculous! So why on earth do people think there is a difference between human food and pet food? If you are feeding your pet real food (not processed garbage) there is nothing wrong with sharing some of your real food.

Of course there are some stipulations obviously don’t feed anything that has onions, grapes, or anything you are not sure what all the ingredients are. I would suggest you avoid sharing any processed foods like chips or burgers and the like as well.

Bones

Let me start off by saying a cooked bone is never a good idea and should be avoided at all costs. Cooked bones tend to splinter and can cause internal bleeding. That, however, doesn’t mean that all raw bones are suitable for all dogs. Take Echo for example, she needs hard marrow bones cut from the femur or she will actually shred and eat the entire bone! I know someone is very confused, didn’t I just say bones were edible? To clarify there are edible bones and recreational chewing bones. Edibles bones would include poultry feet, wings, necks etc these are soft bones that are digestible. Recreational chewing bones on the other hand include beef ribs, necks, knees, legs etc. These are hard bones that are not digestible but have enzymes surrounding them that assist in cleaning teeth with the additional benefit of marrow is some cases.

To determine which bones if any are suitable for your dog you first need to do an oral check. Are there any cracked or fractured teeth? Problems with bleeding gums? If the answer is yes leave the bones alone and discuss with your vet the best course of action.

Next how aggressive is you dog when chewing and how do they chew. Is your dog a chomper or a gnawer? Meaning do they try to eat it like we would eat a chocolate bar or do the grind their teeth along it. If they’re a chomper make sure the bone is bigger than what they can get their jaw around. Always keep an eye on them while chewing bones, and take the bone away after 45min to avoid potential injury to gums or over use of the jaw muscles.

Cherries

You might not know it but there are two main categories of cherry, sweet and tart. Sweet cherries are usually what you find in supermarkets and tart is usually what you would find in a pie. Cherries, especially tart cherries are excellent at relieving pain and you may see them in supplements for arthritis because they work so well. There is no reason your dog can’t enjoy them along with you and get a treat along with some health benefits. However, just as you would with a toddler please remove the pit and stem.

The pit, like other stone fruit contains cyanogenic compounds, that means they turn to cyanide in the body.

Of course you should never feed cherry pie or maraschino cherries to any animal.

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Once I let a vet scare me.

20170420_130126Confession time! I’m human and I can be fooled and scared just like all of you.
Echo my wonderful Giant Schnauzer had become a woman (no longer a girl), I called my vet and they told me I would have to wait for another 10 weeks until after she was done bleeding. And I did, and then I got strapped for cash and time so we put it off, and as things go I kept putting it off until it was almost too late. About a month or so before she was due to come into heat again I quickly phoned the vet to get things ready. This is when we found out I was behind on a few of her shots (yup bad mom!) So we had that appointment first and I used this time to talk to the vet (new vet at the clinic) about other options rather than a full spay. The vet gave me that look and explained that there are other options and it was my decision. Sounds good right? Of course, he was making me feel like it was my decision. He then went on to tell me about the heartbreak of dogs getting cancer and in his opinion because you can’t get cancer in something you don’t have a full spay was the way to go. I promptly went out and scheduled it for a week and a half later.
Yup didn’t even think twice, I was won over by the cancer scare tactic! Now some of you are wondering what’s wrong with that advice? After all no one wants cancer and no one wants anyone they care about to get cancer either. But would you cut off your arm because you might get cancer in it? Probably not, what about your tongue? Or liver? Throat? Thyroid? Toes? I do realize there are people out there who do remove body parts as a preventative measure, the difference is they are genetically disposed and if the doctor is worth anything they had to go through rigorous testing to make sure this was actually a viable option. My vet never did any tests on my dog, didn’t look into her bloodline didn’t even mention that schnauzers are prone to toe cancer. And in my panic I fell for it.
Now I don’t think my vet was maniacally laughing at me after I left, I think he truly believed everything he was telling me. He really was concerned about cancer and thought I should be too. After all that is the opinion his schooling has taught him. And this is why I feel the need to confess, I failed my girl by panicking. I should have stopped taken a step back and looked at this rationally and asked my vet the same line of questions I just asked you.
In the end the surgery went well and I have not noticed any major issues. She is still running around and acting like herself. But I don’t know how this decision will affect her later in life and I don’t know if I would make the same decision the next time I’m faced with it.
-FM