One of the more challenging aspects of training a dog is motivation. Of course, if the lack of motivation lies within the dog owner rather than the dog, not much can be done. Motivating the dog, on the other hand, can sometimes be as simple as finding the right treat.
Depending on the dog, discovering the reward based on their own likes and dislikes can be a bit of a challenge. Not only do you have to find a treat that the dog likes, but you don’t want to stuff your dog with unhealthy treats. And you especially don’t want to select treats that could be toxic to the dog.
Quite a few different foods that humans eat on a regular basis will not be healthy for a dog. And some of the foods will be poisonous. The infographic below shows 10 of the most toxic foods for all pets, but some of the most dangerous chemicals for dogs in common foods include:
- Alcohol. If you’re hosting a party, take special care that your dog is nowhere near the leftover alcoholic drinks. The effects of alcohol on a person are magnified in a dog.
- Avocado. The chemicals in nearly every part of the avocado, including the leaves, will cause your dog to become sick. So don’t let your dog clean out the leftover avocado dip during or after the party, either.
- Caffeine. Caffeine is a chemical found in many types of foods, including coffee and chocolate.
- Chocolate. The chemical theobromide is especially toxic for dogs, causing damage to internal organs. Some types of chocolate, such as baking chocolate or dark chocolate, contains more theobromide than milk chocolate, meaning you must be especially careful with the more toxic types of chocolate.
- Grapes. Just a few grapes–or raisins created from dried grapes for that matter–will make a dog very sick immediately, while potentially causing long-term damage to internal organs.
- Macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts will cause a dog to become sick within a couple of days of ingesting them.
Signs of Toxicity
If your dog has ingested a dangerous type of food, unfortunately there is no easy diagnosis that fits each situation or each breed of dog. Different toxic foods affect different aspects of the dog’s health, so you’ll have to watch for a variety of signs of an accidental poisoning.
Some toxic foods for pets will affect the internal organs, such as the kidneys or heart, causing irreversible damage. Others may cause vomiting, dehydration, pain, and loss of appetite. And some foods may cause what appears to be a mild illness initially that leads to something far more dangerous health-wise a few days later. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has ingested a dangerous type of food.
Finding the Right Treat
You’ll have to experiment a little bit to find just the right treat to motivate your dog during a training session. Some people may be tempted to train a dog using leftover bones from a meal, such as a beef bone or a poultry bone. But animal bones can be dangerous for dogs too, because of the possibility of obstruction or puncturing the throat, stomach, or intestine.
Rather than using bones, visit a pet store for safer and healthier treats to use during training. If specialty treats are outside your budget, some dogs are more than willing to respond to commands using their normal dog food kibble as a treat. As long as you stay away from the foods listed in the infographic below though, you can at least be confident that your dog will be safe … even if he or she isn’t learning your commands as quickly as you’d like!
Check out our infographic below to find out which foods are toxic for your dog and why. Remember to follow Havahart Wireless on Facebook for the most up-to-date info on dog health, training and humor!
About the Author
Sloan McKinney is a journalist based in Southern California. After writing about pop culture for a number of years, she has recently begun writing for a new audience. Inspired by DeAnthony, her cat, as well as her dog Max, Sloan now hopes to help other pet owners guarantee their animal companions happy and healthy lives.