Information on "Can I give my dog" questions

Information on over 70 of the most frequently asked questions regarding "can I give my dog" and their answers. Questions and their answers are listed below in alphabetical order.

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Can I give my dog...?… (Questions are in alphabetical order)

All dog owners have questions about which human foods and human prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications can be safely given to their dog.

These questions will usually pop up when your dog is showing signs of illness in the evening or on a weekend. Your veterinarian is unavailable, and you have both prescription and OTC medications sitting in your medicine cabinet.

Or you are sitting on your couch, eating chocolate ice cream, and your four-legged friend is giving you those "“Please, please, please..."” eyes and you think to yourself, "“just a taste won't hurt my little darling."”

Before you give your dog anything, know this: The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has listed the top 10 poisoning causes in 2013*:

The number 1 toxin is prescription human medications.
The 3rd toxin is over the counter (OTC) medications.
The 5th toxin is people food.
The 6th toxin is medications prescribed by veterinarians.

Medications, meant for dogs or humans, should never be given without first having your dog examined by your veterinarian to determine a correct diagnosis and treatment for their current medical problem.

Below is a list of the most commonly asked questions regarding human food and human medication safety as it relates to your dog.


Can I give my dog acetaminophen? NO. Acetaminophen is a human medication found in many over-the-counter preparations; which includes Tylenol, a number of cold, flu, and sinus remedies, as well as some prescription pain medications. In dogs, acetaminophen destroys red blood cells leading to anemia as well as severe irreversible liver damage, and may lead to death if untreated.


Can I give my dog Aleve? NO. Aleve (naproxen), an NSAID, is an over-the-counter medication used to treat fever, pain and inflammation in humans. In dogs, NSAIDs can cause ulcers in the digestive tract which can progress to bleeding, as well as liver or kidney damage, or even death.


Can I give my dog Amoxicillin? Amoxicillin is an antibiotic prescribed by veterinarians to treat specific infections in dogs. While your dog may have been given amoxicillin in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be the appropriate treatment for their current illness.


Can I give my dog aspirin? Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory (NSAID) prescribed by veterinarians to treat arthritis and pain in dogs. While your dog may have been given aspirin in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be the appropriate treatment for their current illness. In dogs, NSAIDs can cause ulcers in the digestive tract which can progress to bleeding, as well as liver or kidney damage, or even death.


Can I give my dog Ativan? Ativan (lorazepam) is a tranquilizer prescribed by veterinarians to treat anxiety in dogs. While your dog may have been given Ativan in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be the appropriate treatment for their current illness.

Sometimes stressful situations like fireworks from firecrackers can cause anxiety in pets. Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM offers some suggestions on behavioral methods of relieving anxiety in your dogs.

These are some of our customer's best suggestions for natural calming products:



Can I give my dog avocado? Sometimes. While dogs love avocado's many benefits, certain varieties of avocado contain the chemical persin, which typically causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs2. It may also lead to fluid accumulation in the abdomen (bloating), lungs (difficulty breathing) and around the heart (decreased heart rate). While most avocado's meat/fruit are not toxic and your dog may already enjoy them, we recommend that one keep these facts in mind. Manufacturers of foods and supplements that contain avocado have usually taken precautions and are usually safe.


Can I give my dog bananas? Bananas are a safe and healthy treat you can give your dog, and may be given fresh, added to baked homemade dog treats, or as dried banana chips (avoid chips with preservatives). If your dog has never eaten bananas before, give only small pieces at first to prevent digestive upset. Just like people, some dogs may not be able to tolerate certain foods in their diet.


Can I give my dog Benadryl? Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine prescribed by veterinarians to treat allergy symptoms in dogs. While your dog may have been given Benadryl in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be the appropriate treatment for their current illness.


Can I give my dog bones? Bones can cause a multitude of problems for dogs. Rib bones can splinter and lodge in the mouth, throat, or digestive tract, requiring surgical removal; or cut the soft tissues of the digestive tract causing bleeding. Larger bones can bruise the soft tissues of the mouth and fracture teeth. Bones are basically indigestible; your dog can shave off tiny pieces which will then accumulate in their stomach or intestines, causing constipation or even forming a mass that your dog cannot pass. Small round marrow bones can lodge in a dog's throat and cause asphyxiation, while larger ones can get stuck around a dog'’s lower jaw. Raw bones are less likely to splinter, but the danger still exists.

Veterinarian viewing blockage caused by bones.


Can I give my dog carrots? Carrots are a healthy addition to your dog'’s diet, containing beta carotene and antioxidants. Carrots can also be used as a chewie, but you will need to be sure that your dog doesn'’t bite off a big chunk, try to swallow it, and choke. Carrots may be given fresh, added to baked homemade dog treats, or diced and cooked, and added to your dog's dinner. Fruits and vegetables can make up 10-30% of a dog'’s diet. If your dog has never eaten carrots before, give only small pieces at first to prevent digestive upset. Just like people, some dogs may not be able to tolerate certain foods in their diet.


Can I give my dog cheese? Dogs lack the enzyme necessary to digest lactose in dairy, which may lead to bloating, gas, or diarrhea. This reaction will vary among dogs. Cheese also has a very high fat content, and including too much in your dog's diet can lead to pancreatitis, a serious illness that requires prompt medical treatment. However, most dogs absolutely love cheese, and small amounts are usually well tolerated. If your dog has never eaten cheese before, give only small pieces at first to prevent digestive upset. Just like people, some dogs may not be able to tolerate certain foods in their diet.


Can I give my dog chocolate? NO. Chocolate contains large amounts of the methylxanthines theobromine and caffeine, which are central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. When chocolate is ingested in significant amounts, vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, urination, hyperactivity, and in severe cases, increased heart rate and abnormal heart rhythm, increased blood pressure, tremors and seizures can occur. The ASPCA Poison Control Center reported chocolate ingestion as the seventh most common poisoning in 2013.


Can I give my dog chicken bones? NO. Chicken and turkey bones are very dangerous, and should never be given to dogs. They are fragile and splinter easily, and pieces can lodge in the mouth, throat, or digestive tract, requiring surgical removal; or cut the soft tissues of the digestive tract causing bleeding.


Can I give my dog cold medicine? NO. Human cold medicine may contain acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine. Both are toxic to dogs, and should never be given. Call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately if you suspect that your dog has eaten your medication, since some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.


Can I give my dog cough medicine? NO. Human cough medicine may contain acetaminophen (Tylenol) and pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). Both are toxic to dogs, and should never be given. Call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately if you suspect that your dog has eaten your medication, since some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.


Can I give my dog cough syrup? NO. Human cough syrup may contain acetaminophen (Tylenol) and pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). Both are toxic to dogs, and should never be given. Call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately if you suspect that your dog has eaten your medication, since some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.


Can I give my dog cranberry juice? NO. Cranberry juice is a popular and effective home remedy for the treatment of urinary tract infections when taken along with a prescription antibiotic. A chemical in the cranberry prevents bacteria from adhering to the wall of the bladder. While drinking cranberry juice is a good choice for humans, dogs should not drink cranberry juice due to additional sugar or unnatural sweeteners that may be harmful. However, dogs may be given small amounts of cranberries; large amounts can cause diarrhea, and increase bleeding time. If you suspect that your dog has a urinary tract infection, it is important that the underlying cause is identified and that your pet receives the appropriate antibiotic from your veterinarian. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.

We compiled a list of the best cranberry supplements for dogs from Amazon.com


Can I give my dog Darvocet? NO. Darvocet contains propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen, which is toxic to dogs and should never be given. Call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately if you suspect that your dog has eaten your medication, since some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.


Can I give my dog Dimetapp? NO. Dimetapp contains pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine, which will increase your dog'’s blood pressure, and should never be given to dogs. Call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately if you suspect that your dog has eaten your medication, since some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.


Can I give my dog Dramamine? Dramamine (dimenhydrinate) is prescribed by veterinarians to treat motion sickness in dogs. While your dog may have been given Dramamine in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be the appropriate treatment for their current illness.


Can I give my dog eggs? Eggs are easy to digest and are an excellent source of protein, containing all of the essential amino acids. Protein should equal 30-60% of your dog'’s total diet. Dogs usually don't have high cholesterol problems, so feeding egg yolks is all right. If your dog is overweight, you can give him just the egg white. Cooked eggs can be mashed up and added to your dog's food, or used as an ingredient for baked homemade dog treats. Raw eggs should not be given to dogs, since bacterial contamination is a possibility. Raw eggs also contain a chemical that interferes with the absorption and use of the B vitamin biotin. Biotin deficiency will affect a dog's skin and coat health. If your dog has never eaten eggs before, give only small pieces at first to prevent digestive upset. Just like people, some dogs may not be able to tolerate certain foods in their diet.


Can I give my dog enteric aspirin? A dog's digestive tract is shorter than a humans, and the enteric coating does not have a chance to dissolve. An enteric coated pill will be excreted before being any medication is absorbed.


Can I give my dog evening primrose oil? Evening primrose oil (EPO) contains gamma linolenic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid, and is used as a nutritional supplement. EPO is good for skin and coat health, allergies, chronic ear infections, skin infections, difficulty healing, digestive disorders, and joint diseases. EPO should never be given to a dog with a seizure disorder. EPO may increase bleeding time and, if given over a long period of time, can cause decreased immunity. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog fish? Fish is a good source of protein, and is now being used as the base for many commercially-available dog foods. Just as with humans, consumption of freshly caught local fish should be limited to a few times a week in order to avoid the possibility of ingesting high mercury levels. Canned fish is a good alternative to fresh; avoid fish with tiny bones since they can get stuck in your dog's throat. Avoid giving your dog fish canned in oil, since excess oil may cause diarrhea. As with all new foods, introduce fish gradually into your dogÂ’s diet to avoid digestive upset.


Can I give my dog fish oil? Fish oils are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation. Fish oils are used as supplement to help in the prevention and treatment of cancer, diabetes, and heart and kidney disease. A recent study has determined that fish oil may be helpful as a supplement for aggressive dogs (Re, 2008). All oils add calories and too much can lead to weight gain. Fish oils can cause deficiencies in other nutrients and decreased blood clotting function, and should not be used if dog has heart disease, or a bleeding disorder. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog flaxseed? Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acid and B vitamins, and ground flaxseed may be added in place of oils in the diet. Flaxseed is good for skin and coat health, as a treatment for constipation, and is used to prevent cancer. Flaxseed oil is not as well absorbed as fish oil, and whole flaxseed and flaxseed oil can cause stomach upset and diarrhea. Introduce ground flaxseed slowly into your dog's diet, with maximum amounts of ½ - 3 teaspoons daily, depending on the size of your dog (Allegretti, 2003). Flaxseed may increase bleeding risk, can increase the effect of medications given to treat diabetes, and decrease absorption of oral medications. Excessive amounts of ground flaxseed, and flaxseed oil can result in overdosage. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog garlic? Yes, in small amounts over a short period of time. Garlic is widely used as a natural flea and tick repellent and occasionally may even be used as a treatment for heart disease in dogs. Dogs lack the enzyme needed to break down the chemical thiosulphate in garlic, which can cause gas, vomiting, diarrhea or severe gastrointestinal distress. Large amounts of garlic or garlic given over a prolonged period can result in the formation of Heinz bodies on the surface of red blood cells which are then destroyed by the body. This results in a severe hemolytic anemia (Yamato, 2005); and there is also an increased risk for the development of blood clotting abnormalities. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog ginger? Ginger is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and is used to treat digestive upset, nausea, gas, motion sickness, heart problems, joint inflammation due to arthritic conditions, to reduce fever, and is also effective as an anti-infective, especially against viruses. To make a ginger tea, simmer 2 slices of fresh ginger in a cup of water, add a little honey, and give small amounts before travelling and every two hours while travelling (Allegretti, 2003). Ginger can decrease blood sugar levels, and can increase absorption of all oral medications. Too much ginger may cause nausea, especially when given on an empty stomach, and can affect how well blood clots. Do not give to a dog with a gastric ulcer. Do not give to pregnant dogs, since high ginger intake in humans can lead to miscarriage. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog glucosamine? Glucosamine is produced naturally in the body, and is necessary for the normal production of cartilage, joint lubrication, and is needed to repair joint damage. Glucosamine supplements are mainly derived from shellfish. Glucosamine has been proven to be as effective as NSAIDs to reduce pain and increase joint mobility in humans (Skidmore-Roth, 2006). Glucosamine for dogs is a nutritional supplement prescribed by veterinarians to treat arthritis in dogs.


Can I give my dog grapes? NO. As few as a couple of grapes can be toxic to dogs, causing kidney failure, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy, weakness, and decreased urine output. Scientists have not identified the substance in grapes and raisins responsible for kidney damage. One review of medical cases found that only a little more than fifty percent of the dogs survived following grape and raisin ingestion which resulted in severe kidney failure. (Eubig, 2005).


Can I give my dog green tea? NO. Green tea contains caffeine, a CNS stimulant similar to theobromine in chocolate, which is toxic for dogs. Vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, urination, hyperactivity, and in severe cases, increased heart rate and abnormal heart rhythm, increased blood pressure, tremors and seizures can occur when a dog ingests caffeine in large amounts. Green tea has antibacterial properties, and can be used as an astringent compress to help minor moist sores to dry out and heal. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog ground beef? Ground beef is considered a neutral food in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and can be given to your dog along with rice, when they have digestive upset. Brown the ground beef and ensure that it is well-cooked since there may be high bacteria levels in raw meats, and drain the fat from the cooked meat. If your dog has never eaten beef before, introduce it slowly into their diet, since some dogs may not be able to tolerate it.


Can I give my dog honey? Honey can be used as a sweetener for baked homemade dog treats. Only give honey in small amounts, since a lot of sugar is not good for dogs and can cause diarrhea. Honey contains small amounts of the botulism toxin, and human babies should not be given honey before their first birthday. For this reason, caution should be used when giving a puppy foods containing honey.


Can I give my dog human glucosamine? Glucosamine is produced naturally in the body, and is necessary for the normal production of cartilage, and to repair joint damage. Glucosamine supplements are mainly derived from shellfish. Glucosamine has been proven to be as effective as NSAIDs to reduce pain and increase joint mobility in humans (Skidmore-Roth, 2006). Refer to the aforementioned "Can I give my dog glucosamine?" question above.


Can I give my dog human vitamins? During periods of stress, illness, or injury there can increased requirements for certain nutrients. While a dog can be given human vitamins, the dosage will be dependent upon the dog's weight and health status. Small dogs can be given childrens vitamins, but care must be taken to avoid artificial colorings and possible over-dosage. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog ice cream? NO. Dogs lack the enzyme necessary to digest lactose in dairy, which may cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea. This reaction will vary among dogs. Ice cream also has a very high fat content, and including too much in your dog's diet can lead to pancreatitis, a serious condition requiring prompt medical treatment. Just like people, some dogs may not be able to tolerate certain foods in their diet. Some retail locations serve dogs soft serve ice cream, which is 35% to 45% air and has much less dairy in the product.


Can I give my dog Kaopectate? Kaopectate (bismuth salicylate) is an over-the-counter human medication prescribed by veterinarians to treat diarrhea and digestive upset in dogs. While your dog may have been given Kaopectate in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be the appropriate treatment for their current illness.


Can I give my dog laxatives? NO. Human laxatives will cause diarrhea in dogs. To prevent or treat constipation, you can add bran, one teaspoon of canned pumpkin (not the spiced pumpkin for pies), vegetables, or small amounts of olive oil to your dog's food. Psyllium can also be given: ½ - 2 teaspoons (depending on the size of your dog) mixed in broth or water once or twice a day. Avoid giving psyllium if your dog is dehydrated (Allegretti, 2003). Always be sure your dog has plenty of fresh water available throughout the day.


Can I give my dog Levaquin? Levaquin (levofloxacin) is an antibiotic prescribed by veterinarians to treat specific infections in dogs. While your dog may have been given Levaquin in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be the appropriate treatment for their current illness. High levels of levaquin can cause heart arrhythmias in dogs (Chiba, 2000).


Can I give my dog liver? Liver is very high in fat. It can cause pancreatitis and high amounts can result in vitamin A toxicity. Some of the symptoms are loss of appetite and weight loss, constipation, lethargy, limping, increased sensitivity of the neck and front legs, and stiffness. Most dogs love liver, and small amounts can be given as a treat. Introduce any new foods slowly into your dog's diet, to avoid digestive upset.


Can I give my dog Maalox? Maalox (aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, simethicone, and sorbitol) is an over-the-counter human antacid used by veterinarians to treat digestive upset in dogs. While your dog may have been given Maalox in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be the appropriate treatment for their current illness. Dogs with kidney or heart disease should never be given Maalox.


Can I give my dog melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone required for normal brain function and regulation of body rhythms and reproductive cycles. Melatonin is used as a sedative to decrease separation anxiety, to treat fear conditions and firecracker and thunderstorm noise phobias. Melatonin can help induce sleep in pets that won't settle at night, and to treat elderly pets whose biological clocks are reversed. Melatonin is also an antioxidant, and is used to boost the immune system, prevent and treat cancers, treat hair loss, and cognitive impairment. Melatonin can affect blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs, and alter the heat cycle in female dogs. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog Motrin? NO. Motrin (ibuprofen) an NSAID, is an over-the-counter medication used to treat fever, pain and inflammation in humans. In dogs, NSAIDs can cause ulcers in the digestive tract which can progress to bleeding, as well as liver or kidney damage, or even death. Call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately if you suspect that your dog has eaten your medication, since some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.


Can I give my dog nutmeg? NO. High levels of nutmeg can be toxic or even fatal to dogs. Scientists have not identified the component of nutmeg responsible for the toxic effects. Signs of toxicity include tremors, seizures, central nervous system abnormalities, or death.


Can I give my dog nuts? Most nuts can be given as an occasional treat, and dogs absolutely love peanut butter. Nuts have a very high fat content and are usually highly salted; both are not good for dogs. High fat can result in pancreatitis, and there is a salt overload condition that can cause serious health problems for dogs. You also need to be careful with the size of the nut, since some dogs will swallow the nut whole which can cause a blockage within the digestive tract.

Important note: Macadamia nuts are an exception: as few as six to 40 macadamia nuts have caused severe toxic effects in dogs. Signs of toxicity are weakness, abdominal pain, and vomiting. The dog will not be able to walk, their temperature will increase, you may see tremors, and depression. The symptoms usually begin within 12 hours after ingestion and will usually subside within 48 hours (Hansen, 2000). The component of macadamia nuts that is responsible for the toxic effects has not yet been identified by scientists. Signs of toxicity usually go away on their own in 12 to 24 hours.


Can I give my dog olive oil? Olive oil can be safely added to your dog's diet as a nutritional supplement. Olive oil contains unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for skin and coat health and as a treatment for constipation. The amount of oil added depends upon the size of your dog, with maximum amounts equaling 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon daily (Allegretti, 2003). The addition of any oil will increase the number of calories your dog is eating, and too much oil can cause diarrhea in dogs.


Can I give my dog omega 3 fatty acid? Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation and immune response, and to increase survival rate in dogs with cancer or heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil are used to treat skin and coat conditions, and can boost the development of healthy nerves and brains in puppies. Studies have shown that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids in older dogs is helpful in preventing and treating cognitive disorders (Taha, 2009). Fish oils are used as a supplement to help in the prevention and treatment of cancer, diabetes, and heart and kidney disease. A recent study has determined that fish oil may be helpful as a supplement for aggressive dogs (Re, 2008). All oils add calories, and too much in a dog's diet can lead to weight gain and diarrhea. Fish oils can cause deficiencies of other nutrients and decreased blood clotting time, and should not be used if your dog has heart disease or a bleeding disorder. Fish liver oils contain large amounts of vitamin A, which can lead to toxicity. Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity are loss of appetite and weight loss, constipation, lethargy, limping, stiffness, and increased sensitivity of the neck and front legs. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog onions? NO. Dogs lack the enzyme needed to break down thiosulphate, which is found in both onions and garlic. The ingestion of large amounts of onions can result in gas, vomiting, diarrhea or severe gastrointestinal distress; and can also lead to the formation of Heinz bodies on the surface of red blood cells which are then destroyed by the body. This causes a severe hemolytic anemia (Yamato, 2005); and there is also an increased risk for the development of blood clotting abnormalities. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog Oxycodone? NO. Oxycodone is a potent CNS suppressant that will decrease your dog's heart and respiratory rate resulting in death. Call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately if you suspect that your dog has eaten your medication, since some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.


Can I give my dog Pepcid? Pepcid (famotidine) is an H2-receptor agonist prescribed by veterinarians to treat digestive upset, ulcers, and other gastrointestinal disorders in dogs (Walter, 2008). While your dog may have been given Pepcid in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be the appropriate treatment for their current illness.


Can I give my dog Pepto-Bismol? Pepto-Bismol (bismuth salicylate) is an antacid used by veterinarians to treat nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs. While your dog may have been given Pepto-Bismol in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be the appropriate treatment for their current illness.


Can I give my dog pig ears? Pig ears can be a safe alternative to bones, and most dogs find them irresistible. However, some studies have found that pig ears may be contaminated with bacteria, and the bacteria may be resistant to antibiotics (Finley, 2008). Pig ears are also high in fat, which can lead to the development of pancreatitis, a severe illness requiring prompt medical treatment. You should always wash your hands after handling pig ears due to possible salmonella poisoning3.


Can I give my dog pork? Cooked pork is considered a neutral food in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is a good source of protein. Bacon and ham have too much fat for your dog's system to handle, which can lead to the development of pancreatitis, a severe illness requiring prompt medical treatment. Never give your dog uncooked pork, since parasites may be present in uncooked meats as well as high bacteria levels.


Can I give my dog raisins? NO. As little as seven grapes can be toxic to dogs, causing kidney failure, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy, weakness, and decreased urine output. Scientists have not identified the substance present on grape and raisins responsible for kidney damage. One review of medical cases found that only a little more than fifty percent of the dogs survived following grape and raisin ingestion which resulted in severe kidney failure (Eubig, 2005).


Can I give my dog rawhides? Rawhides are a good substitute for bones, and will help to keep your dog busy. Imported rawhides may have preservatives and food colorings that can cause allergic reactions and there is also the possibility of bacterial contamination. Be sure that the rawhide is big enough so your dog doesn't try to swallow it whole, and take the chewie away when it is small enough for your dog to swallow. Problems caused by rawhide chews are usually the result of the dog swallowing a large piece which may cause an intestinal blockage. A good choice are rawhide chews coated with an enzyme to fight plaque build-up on your dog's teeth. These chews are available through your veterinarian and can also be found in some stores (Hennet, 2001). Always wash your hands after handling rawhide treats.


Can I give my dog raw meat? Raw meat may be contaminated with E. coli and salmonella (Lefebvre SL et al, 2008). While this bacteria may not cause illness in your dog, it can certainly cause you to become ill. Handling raw meat can lead to cross-contamination with the bacteria, and households with an immune compromised member should not feed raw meat to their dogs. Some dogs should not be given raw meat since their immune system may be compromised. Raw meat should not be given to a therapy dog. If you do decide to give your dog a raw meat diet, you will need to also provide carbohydrates (10-30% of the total diet), as well as calcium supplementation. Check with your veterinarian for the proper amount of calcium to give your dog, and whether there are any other nutrients that you will need to supplement.


Can I give my dog rice? Rice is considered a neutral food in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and cooked rice and most other grains are easily digested by dogs. Rice can be given a part of a bland diet when your dog has digestive upset, along with cooked hamburger that is drained of fat. The amount of carbohydrate in a dog's diet should be 10-30% of the total diet.


Can I give my dog salmon? Salmon is a good source of dietary protein for your dog. Be sure to completely cook salmon, and never feed raw salmon to your dog. Salmon may have parasites, in the form of flukes, which release a rickettsial organism, Neorickettsia helminthoeca. This organism causes severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and usually results in death of the dog if untreated. This infection can also affect humans. Canned salmon is a good choice; dogs can eat the bones in canned salmon without problems.


Can I give my dog strawberries? Strawberries are a safe and healthy treat for dogs. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the strawberries to remove any pesticide residue. Strawberries can be given fresh, added to baked homemade dog treats, or frozen as a summer treat. If your dog has never eaten strawberries before, give only small pieces at first to prevent digestive upset. Just like people, some dogs may not be able to tolerate certain foods in their diet.


Can I give my dog Sudafed? NO. Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) causes increased heart rate and blood pressure, and should never be given to dogs. Call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately if you suspect that your dog has eaten your medication, since some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.


Can I give my dog human toothpaste? NO. When you brush your dog's teeth, use toothpaste formulated for dogs. Human toothpaste may contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately if you suspect that your dog has eaten your toothpaste, since some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.


Can I give my dog turkey? Unprocessed turkey is usually a safe protein source for dogs. Give only white meat if your dog is overweight, since dark meat is high in fat. If your dog has never eaten turkey before, give only small pieces at first to prevent digestive upset. Just like people, some dogs may not be able to tolerate certain foods in their diet.Also, white turkey meat is high in L-Tryptophan, an essential amino acid that may cause your dog to sleep more than usual.


Can I give my dog Tums? Tums (calcium carbonate) are sometimes prescribed by veterinarians as a dietary supplement for dogs. If you are providing your dog with a well-balanced diet, they should not require calcium supplementation. Calcium needs to be given in the proper ratio with phosphorus and vitamin D, and too much calcium can cause pancreatitis, a severe illness requiring prompt medical treatment. Tums may also be used by veterinarians to treat digestive upset in dogs. In a previous visit to your veterinarian, your dog may have been given Tums, but it may not be the correct treatment for their current illness. If a dog has a blockage due to a foreign body or other serious health issue, it should visit the veterinarian immediately.

Other important resources regarding intestinal issues in dogs:
How to Care for a Dog With an Upset Stomach: from ehow.com Information on intestinal obstruction in dogs: from petmd.com


Can I give my dog Unisom? NO. Unisom contains doxylamine succinate and diphenhydramine. While diphenhydramine is sometimes prescribed by veterinarians to treat allergy symptoms in dogs, doxylamine succinate is toxic and should never be given to dogs. Call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately if you suspect that your dog has eaten your medication, since some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.


Can I give my dog valerian root? Valerian is used as a sedative and a treatment for hyperactivity, as well as to promote sleep, and to decrease nausea caused by stress or anxiety. Valerian is also used as a treatment for firecracker or thunderstorm noise phobias. Some dogs may have the exact opposite effect from valerian, causing them to become increasingly agitated and anxious. Valerian given in high doses may cause vomiting. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog Valium? Valium (diazepam) is a tranquilizer prescribed by veterinarians to treat anxiety in dogs. While your dog may have been given Valium in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be the appropriate treatment for their current illness.


Can I give my dog vitamins? During periods of stress, illness, or injury there may be increased requirements for certain nutrients. While a dog can be given vitamins, the dosage will depend upon the dog's weight and health status. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog vitamin C? Dogs manufacture vitamin C in their livers and should not require vitamin C supplementation, unless under stress. Too much vitamin C intake can irritate the stomach causing bloating or diarrhea, and excessive amounts can also lead to the formation of kidney stones. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog Xanax? Xanax (alprazolam) is a tranquilizer prescribed by veterinarians to treat anxiety or firework or thunderstorm noise phobias in dogs. While your dog may have been given Xanax in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be the appropriate treatment for their current illness.


Can I give my dog Xylitol? NO. Xylitol is a natural sweetener added to chewing gum, candy, toothpaste and other products. Dogs given anythingwith xylitol may develop a sudden drop in blood sugar, which can cause weakness, lethargy, vomiting, incoordination, and seizures. The toxic effects can begin within a half-hour and can last many hours. Other complications of xylitol toxicity are low platelet levels and decreased blood clotting ability, multiple hemorrhages, and liver failure (Dunayer, 2006).  (Special thanks to customer Marcie Caccavaro for her input on this topic).


Can I give my dog yogurt? Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria (probiotics), and one teaspoon to one tablespoon (depending upon your dog's size) can be given to your dog to maintain good digestive health (Allegretti, 2003). Yogurt may be given fresh, added to baked homemade dog treats, or as an alternative to ice cream. If your dog has never eaten yogurt before, give only amounts at first to prevent digestive upset. Just like people, some dogs may not be able to tolerate certain foods in their diet.


Can I give my dog zinc? NO. Zinc, a heavy metal, is the 9th most common cause of dog poisonings in 2008. Zinc is necessary for a normal immune system, and the formation of red blood cells. Zinc helps maintain normal blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs, is used to treat skin conditions and to aid wound healing. Excess zinc levels can lead to pancreatitis, or toxicity. Zinc toxicity is usually seen in puppies that are known for eating everything in sight. Especially dangerous are pennies minted after 1982; zinc toxicity can result from the ingestion of only three pennies. When the copper coating of the penny is broken, the zinc core is rapidly absorbed into the dog's system. Transport crates can have high zinc levels, and you should try to prevent your dog from licking or chewing on the wires. Signs of zinc toxicity are decreased appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, and weakness that can progress to kidney failure. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.


Can I give my dog Zyrtec? Zyrtec (cetirizine) is an antihistamine prescribed by veterinarians to treat allergy symptoms in dogs. While your dog may have been given Zyrtec in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be the appropriate treatment for their current illness.


There are some human medications that can be safely given to dogs. During your next visit, ask your veterinarian for the dosage information of the medications about which you have a question, and keep that information in a safe place that is easily accessible in the event of illness in your dog or in case of an emergency.

Herbs, nutraceuticals, homeopathic remedies, human foods, and many medications formulated for humans have not yet been studied for use in dogs and their safety established. If your dog does get into your medication or eats a food that you know can be toxic, take a moment to gather a few things before contacting your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center. You will want to have the medication container (or food) available in order to provide the name, dosage, the number of pills your dog ingested, the time you think the dog ingested the medication, and if the dog is showing any symptoms. The Poison Control Center or your veterinarian may tell you to induce vomiting in your dog. Keep a bottle of hydrogen peroxide or ipecac syrup on hand - but also keep them away from your dog!

Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA)

Phone Number:1-888-426-4435
$65.00 fee (as of June 2013)

References:

* "Top Pet Toxins of 2013." ASPCA. Web. 22 Mar. 2014. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/top-pet-toxins-2013

2 "Avocado and Dogs, Avocado and Cats." Pet Poison Helpline. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/avocado/

3 Clark, Clifford. "Characterization of Salmonella Associated with Pig Ear Dog Treats in Canada." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2001. Web. 22 Mar. 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC88472/

Acetaminophen Toxicity in Dogs. American Animal Hospital Association. Accessed May 7, 2009.

Allegretti J, Sommers K. The Complete Holistic Dog Book: Home Health Care for our Canine Companions. California: Celestial Arts; 2003.

Bauer JE. Responses of dogs to dietary omega-3 fatty acids. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2007 Dec 1;231(11):1657-61. PMID: 18052798

Chiba K et al. Proarrhythmic effects of fluoroquinolone antibacterial agents: in vivo effects as physiologic substrate for torsades. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2000, Nov 15; 169(1):8-16.

Crowell-Davis SL et al. Use of clomipramine, alprazolam, and behavior modification for treatment of storm phobia in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003 Mar 15;222(6):744-8. PMID: 12675296

Dunayer EK et al. Acute hepatic failure and coagulopathy associated with xylitol ingestion in eight dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2006 Oct 1;229(7):1113-7. PMID: 17014359

Eubig PA et al. Acute renal failure in dogs after the ingestion of grapes or raisins: a retrospective evaluation of 43 dogs (1992-2002. J Vet Intern Med. 2005 Sep-Oct;19(5):663-74. PMID: 16231710

Finley R et al. The occurrence and anti-microbial susceptibility of Salmonellae isolated from commercially available pig ear pet treats. Zoonoses Public Health . 2008 Oct;55(8-10):455-61. PMID: 18631234

Hansen SR et al. Weakness, tremors, and depression associated with macadamia nuts in dogs. Vet Hum Toxicol . 2000 Feb;42(1):18-21. PMID: 10670081

Hennet P. Effectiveness of an enzymatic rawhide dental chew to reduce plaque in beagle dogs. J Vet Dent. 2001 Jun;18(2):61-4. PMID: 11968913

Herron ME et al. Retrospective evaluation of the effects of diazepam in dogs with anxiety-related behavior problems. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 Nov 1;233(9):1420-4. PMID: 18980494

Lefebvre SL et al. Evaluation of the risks of shedding Salmonellae and other potential pathogens by therapy dogs fed raw diets in Ontario and Alberta. Zoonoses Public Health. 2008 Oct;55(8-10):470-80. PMID: 18811908

Pancreatitis: General Information. Accessed May 11, 2009.

Re S et al. Aggressive dogs are characterized by low omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid status.

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