from "What Do Dogs Know?":
to their sense of smell, dogs seem to pay a lot less attention
to their sense of taste Apparently they believe that if
something fits into their mouths, then it is food, no
matter what it tastes like. In this, however, they are
wrong. Several common forms of people food are bad for
dogs. Probably one of the worst offenders is chocolate,
in part because people think that they are being nice
to their dogs by giving them a bit of chocolate as a treat.
(In addition, chocolates are everywhere during hoiliday
seasons, and it is easy to leave an open box of chocolates
on a low table within easy reach of a dog's mouth.) The
caffeine and theobromine (a related compound) contained
in a single milk chocolate bar can make a ten-pound dog
very sick. Because darker chocolate means a higher concentration
of these compounds, an equal amount of baker's chocolate
can kill that same ten-pound dog. Onion and garlic are
also on the banned list of dog foods. The large amount
of sulfur in these vegetables can destroy red blood cells
in dogs, causing severe anemic reactions.
Even things that are not food
can be tempting to dogs. In Australia, an eighteen-month-old
boxer named Kitty had been eating poory, and the medications
prescribed by her veterinarian didn't help. Kitty's owners
brought her to another veterinarian, who decided to operate.
He re removed a twelve-inch bread knife from the dog's
belly! Amazingly, there was no serious damage, and at
last report Kitty was recovering well.
© 1999 Stanley Coren.
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