Foods that cause no problem to us may turn out to be harmful and even toxic to our dogs. It is therefore extremely important to know which foods are bad and harmful for dogs to ensure that they are not mistakenly used as our dog treat ingredients.
Below are some common ingredients that we use to make treats for HUMANS, but they are toxic for our dogs and should never be used to make dog treats:
The problem with dogs is that they cannot metabolize theobromine so effectively - they metabolize the substance much more slowly than people. The result? Major organs such as the heart, kidneys, and central nervous system will be adversely affected, causing serious, sometimes fatal, health issues to our dogs.
See this page for more information on chocolate for dogs.
Raisins, sultanas, and grapes are all toxic foods for dogs. Depending on the size of the dog, sometimes a mere handful of raisins or grapes can lead to irreversible health damage to the dog. In large quantities, they can cause acute kidney failure and even death.
The exact reason why grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs is not clear; no matter the reason, just avoid raisins in your dog treats!
Instead of raisins, try using dried cranberries or blueberries.
Instead of using nuts, I usually use seeds in my dog treat recipes. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds are nutritious and safe for dogs.
How about garlic? Doesn't garlic also contain that "n" substance? Glad you asked. Garlic does contain "n-propyldisulfide", but in significantly lesser amounts than onions. So, if a dog is fed small amounts of garlic and not on a daily basis, the garlic should not pose any harm. In fact, many holistic vets suggest using garlic to boost a dog's immune system. Want more information on this topic? Visit this page.
There are recipes on the Internet that call for some ingredients that are, though not toxic foods for dogs, not quite healthy, and if you really want your dog's health to be top notch, avoid such ingredients.
Common unhealthy dog treat ingredients include:
Instead of processed meats, use fresh meats. If a recipe calls for chicken broth, use low-sodium broth or, even better, homemade broth.
There are many natural ingredients (e.g. herbs, carob, veggies, meat, etc.) that can make dog treats and biscuits tasty and palatable, it is really unnecessary to resort to such sauces.
For baking dog treats, the amount of milk used usually is rather low, so generally speaking it is not a problem. However, if your dog is extremely lactose intolerant, then avoid milk altogether.
How about soy milk? You may wonder. Actually, it has been found that soy protein is NOT a good protein source for dogs (and cats). Soy is known to be able to cause allergic reactions in pets, and can also cause digestive problems in dogs such as bloat and gas. Soy is high in purines and silicates so it can promote the growth of bladder stones in dogs.
So there you have it. The above are some unhealthy and even toxic foods for dogs and, if you find a dog treat recipe that contains any of the above foods, trash that recipe!