COPY-People food for dogs can be very harmful, if not fatal

You might think what is ok for a person to eat may be ok for a dog to eat, but that's not true.   More often, the "treat" you may feed your dog could send him to the vet and even worse into surgery.  Summertime is bar-b-q season, a time for cook-outs, beer, corn on the cob, and for many if you feed your dog people food it may be a trip to the vet. One prime example is the fat that you don't want on your steak could kill your dog if you feed it to him.

At Acres North Animal Clinic, Dr. Carl Clary says, "We see a lot of problems with that fat causing digestive problems, pancreatitis, and life threatening problems."  Dr. Clary also adds that he hears the samething from so many people: 'Well, I've done that for years' or 'my dog loves that and I've never had any trouble.'  But, Dr. Clary says giving leftovers to your dog is like playing Russian roulette. "You know you can walk across Slide Road with your eyes shut every day and not get hit, but when you do get hit, it's a big hit." Dr. Clary also sums it up like this, "If you want to have a healthy dog and not spend money with me, don't feed them off the table."

Bones are a big problem. Dogs love to gnaw on them, but Dr. Clary says he sees a lot of emergencies in which a dog has been given a steak bone, rib bone, or even a chicken bone that got stuck on the way down in the throat. This terrible accident is exactly what happened to little Deja. She was given a bone by her owner, and the bone had to be surgically removed before she died. Her owner, Lillian Lobrie says, "It's been a pretty costly mistake. If I could emboss this chicken in gold, we'd have it on our mantle."

Another common problem that takes dogs to the vet: Corn on the cob. "People think corn on the cob, no big deal. It'll pass. That gets us in trouble. I have to see it in an x-ray and it's almost always surgical." Dr. Clary says he gets people's attention when he describes it as an $800 corn cob. Other life threatening foods are broccoli, onions, garlic potato peelings, avocados, macadamia nuts, chocolate, grapes, and raisins. After your sneaky dogs eats these things, you may not see a problem right away, but after a couple of days and just the right amount of toxin levels, your family pet could possibly be seeing the vet and worse, may die.

Some advice from Dr. Clary: Don't leave snacks laying around the house for your dog to grab.The worst offender would be raisins. He explains, "I've had dogs eat two boxes, no problem. I've had a dog eat a half box of raisins, and the kidneys shut down."  All dogs are different, and unpredictable. Perhaps the greatest offender is a dieter's best friend, that new sweetener called Xylitol, It's in a lot of different foods from pudding to sugarless cough drops. Dr. Clary warns, "Xylitol, if you look on the back (of a pack of Trident) it says, 'helps fight cavities', well, it'll also kill your dog if they eat this pack of gum."

One pet owner nearly lost her little Lucy when she tried to eat a pack of Trident Gum. Lucy looks okay now, but that's after a near death experience and a $1500 vet bill her owner will make sure to keep a pack of gum away. Lucy's owner, Lisa Siegler says, "I Googled  'Is gum bad for dogs?'  and everything that popped up was toxic!"

So, the bottom line is be careful what you give your dog because people food can be toxic to a dog. One more thing to remember before the next party, it may be funny at the time to see a dog drink a little beer, but they are a lot smaller than we are, and they can die a lot faster from alcohol poisoning. So leave the people food to people, and the dog food for your dog and everyone will be in tip-top shape to play all day.

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