Avoid Feeding Your Dog These Red-Flag Foods


Jenna—the editor of Pugs Home—recently shared with me an interesting article on human foods that are dangerous for dogs. Many of us already know about common fare like chocolate, onions, garlic and grapes and raisins. The Pugs Home piece also includes lesser known food items like macadamia nuts and mentions milk and cheese as potentially toxic for canines, although I don’t agree with including dairy products, which based on my research do not appear in the chart of “Foods to Avoid” in my book “The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know.”

Jenna speaks of bacon as a dangerous food for Pugs. While bacon isn’t toxic in and of itself, certainly the chemicals used for curing it, along with the high fat content of bacon, makes it an inadvisable food for any kind of dog (or person, for that matter!)

Do not feed pieces of fat to your dog! Fatty scraps can upset your dog’s digestion, as well as put on weight (and letting your dog become overweight is actually creating a life-shortening medical condition). The garbage can is the right place for the fat you cut off meat or chicken, however you can give tough pieces of meat and gristle as a nice addition to your dog’s dinner bowl, or as an after-dinner reward for not begging at the table. Feel free to also include small amounts of other non-greasy leftovers, but be aware of how many calories you are adding this way and subtract it from her dog food portion.

The best way to feed your dog is choosing a quality dry food, with 1/3 of the calories from adding a good canned dog food (my dogs get Halo’s Spot’s Stew Healthy Weight kibble with a rotation of Spot’s Stew canned beef, salmon and lamb) with that kibble. You’ll see a big change in your dog’s eagerness for her meals and know that she’s getting healthy valuable nutrition.

Keep in mind that your dog is not a living garbage disposal: just because a dog will eat anything, does not mean that she should!

Tracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

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