Paws for thought

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 November, 2011, 12:00am


We dogs are naturally nosy creatures. We love getting our snouts into all sorts of nooks and crannies.

If we get a sniff of something new, we usually want to investigate. And if that something tastes yummy, we usually want to try eating it.

Most of the time this doesn't cause us any problems. However, there are some big, dangerous no-nos, and we need all the help we can get to avoid them.

There are quite a few types of food that you should not only never feed to hungry hounds, but must also make sure are never left within the reach of our paws and jaws. Some of these may completely surprise you - but it's not only the number of legs we have that make us different to humans.

Like most people, most pooches love chocolate. But just two or three pieces can make a dog dangerously ill. And the darker the chocolate, the more poisonous it is for us.

In the same way, people can happily munch on grapes and raisins. However, a dog who snaffles enough of these will need emergency treatment from a vet. And eating a lot of onions would give a canine something more serious than bad breath.

Speaking of bad breath, please don't leave your chewing gum lying around either. Many kinds of gum contain a sugar substitute that we find very toxic.

Some leftovers from family meals can be dangerous for us, too. While things like chicken bones, corn cobs and stones from fruit may not be poisonous, we can choke on them. In fact, it's best to keep all small or cooked bones away from us. Just in case we're tempted, please make sure the lid is firmly on the bin.

It's not only foodstuffs that can cause problems. I know painkillers like Aspirin and Paracetamol can help ease people's headaches, but munching on these will make a healthy dog seriously sick. And unlike humans, a curious canine can't read the labels on medicines and household products.

And, of course, please steer us away from any place where rat poison or insecticides have been laid.

So, until next week, take care - and please help us to take care of ourselves.


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