Tag Archives: Chocolate

Digestive Dangers Dog Dogs

There’s a reason human food is called that.

You’re supposed to feed human food to, well, humans. Same thing with dog food. Although, I did grow up with a girl who enjoyed nothing more than snacking on a dog biscuit, but I think that was more along the lines of a cry for attention than an actual appreciation for the crispy taste.

A recent article in the Huffington Post went on about twelve human foods that can harm dogs. And I’m not talking about dropping a huge wheel of Cheddar cheese on your dog’s head. Don’t do that, either. No, these are foods that are dangerous if digested.

In yesterday’s post, I went over the first part of the article, which included foods like chocolate, milk, cheese (see?), avocado, macadamia nuts, grapes and raisins, garlic and onions.

This go round, I start with something I’ve been doing to Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, with a distressing regularity.

The humans in our family love apples. Their favorite is the Honey Crisp varietal, which is pretty expensive. Because of the cost, I’ve encouraged the young dudes not to share their cut-up apples with the dog, no matter how much he begs. However, they and I have a tendency to give in to those puppy-dog eyes and drop the dog the apple’s core.

Turns out, that’s not such a smart thing to do. Apparently, apple cores (as well as the cores of plums, peaches, pears and apricots) contain cyanogenic glycocides, which you might know better as cyanide. Yeah, the poison. It’s not enough to drop you in your tracks if you eat just one, but it can build up and dogs weigh less than a human, so it builds up quicker.

Another no-no is feeding the dog active bread yeast or dough. If a dog ate active yeast dough, it can ferment in his stomach producing toxic alcohol or could expand in the digestive system, producing dangerous levels of gas and rupture the stomach or intestine.

One of the reasons we’re told not to give a dog chocolate is that chocolate contains caffeine, which is bad for them. (Us, too, but no way am I giving up my Diet Coke.) So it should go without saying that you shouldn’t actually let your dog drink the leftover half-caff, skinny latte. Or any coffee. Or Coke. Or Monster or other energy drink.

Caffeine overstresses the dog’s nervous system, leading to vomiting, hyperactivity, heart palpitations and even death.Bacon, yes, bacon, is bad for dogs. The poor dears.

Finally, most surprisingly, and most horribly, the food we’re not supposed to share with our doggie friends is. . . wait for it. . . not yet. . . bacon.

Yes, bacon.

I’ll pause here while we contemplate the appalling wasteland of the future without bacon. All right, enough. It’s not like we’re being told no more bacon, just don’t give it to Spyke.

Bacon, like most foods high in fat, can cause a dog’s pancreas to become inflamed (called pancreatitis) and stop working. Once that happens, the dog’s digestion gets all wacky and derails nutrient absorption.

All in all, that’s a pretty heavy and extensive list of human foods that are explicitly not for dogs.

Just to be safe, and prevent a lot of table-side begging, maybe we should just not feed Spot any human food at all.

Well, other than broccoli. Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, loves his broccoli and those greens are good for everybody.

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Doggie Danger

Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

Apparently, I’ve been (slightly) poisoning our beloved Buzz, The Garbage Disposal Who Walks Like A Dog.

In a recent column at the Huffington Post, I read about 12 human foods that were dangerous to feed to your dog. While I knew several of them, I was completely gobsmacked by a lot of the items on the list.

I thought I’d share them with you dog-loving dudes out there who might have been as ignorant about this as was I. Although, to be fair, several of these are new additions to the list.

It’s pretty well-known that dogs can’t abide chocolate and the darker the chocolate, the more the danger. That’s because chocolate contains  caffeine and theobromine, known as methylxanthines. Dogs eating this can experience dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea and possibly death. So, no chocolate treats.Cute puppy

Milk and cheese also make the list because they have properties that dog digestive systems can’t break down. These can lead to some pretty nasty consequences, one of which is bad gas. Now, if you’ve ever owned a dog, you know doggy poots are toxic even at the best of times. Knowing that cheese and milk can make mammals poot up a storm, we’ve been keeping these away from Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, just to be safe.

Onions and garlic both make the list for the damage they can do to the dog’s blood cells, leading to either death or a necessary blood transfusion to mitigate the damage. The dogs’ reaction to these foods can take a couple of days to show up, but include dark-red urine and extreme lethargy.

We don’t know what it is about macadamia nuts that hurts dogs, but it certainly is dangerous. Eating them can lead to hypothermia, vomiting, staggering and tremors.

The first big surprise on the list, for me, is grapes. Our dog loves grapes, loves to catch them and then eat them. So now that’s right out the window because I don’t want our cutie pie suffering from extreme and rapid kidney failure because he ate grapes or raisins.

Now, I sort of assumed that an avocado pit would be bad for a dog because it could block up all sorts of tubes. What I didn’t know was that the flesh of the avocado, which contains a toxin called persin, also was dangerous to canines . Eating guac can cause upset stomachs, fluid buildup in the chest and difficulty breathing.

I’d hoped I could get through this in only one post, but it’s not looking likely. So I’ll be back tomorrow with the rest of the list.

Until then, why not just give Fido food and snacks that actually are intended to be eaten by dogs. Keep the human food to humans. And those reptiloids masquerading as humans, of course.

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Freaky Friday: Stay Awake And Get Fat

How’s that for a sweeps-month, scare-the-snot-out-of-you type of headline? Yeah, it’s something that’s almost guaranteed to get your eyeballs glued to the page, wanting to see more about this.

All I’d need to do is throw in the words free and sex and maybe iPhone and I’ve got a pageview magnet. Still, it’s not all about the pageviews. This here is a real thing.

According to a recent article in The New York Times, losing sleep over the fact that you’re overweight (or, really, for any reason at all) is a pretty sure way to actually make yourself gain more weight.

Losing sleep tends to make people eat more and gain weight, and now a new study suggests that one reason may be the impact that sleep deprivation has on the brain.

The research showed that depriving people of sleep for one night created pronounced changes in the way their brains responded to high-calorie junk foods. On days when the subjects had not had proper sleep, fattening foods like potato chips and sweets stimulated stronger responses in a part of the brain that helps govern the motivation to eat. But at the same time, the subjects experienced a sharp reduction in activity in the frontal cortex, a higher-level part of the brain where consequences are weighed and rational decisions are made.

In other words, your brain is hitting you with a double whammy. Your body is craving a hit of that sweet, salty, fat load of goodness we call junk food. And, just when your body most needs to have your brain in control and exercising a little restraint, the part of the brain that’s in charge of restraint goes out for a well-deserved vacation, leaving instant gratification in charge for a while.

Not a good combination.

Of course, it was possible that we, the sleep-deprived masses, simply craved more food because our bodies had to make up for the calories expended when we stayed awake instead of sleeping soundly. It was possible to believe it until this new study came out, that is.

“Their hunger was no different when they were sleep deprived and when they had a normal night of sleep,” (said Matthew P. Walker, an author of the study and a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley). “That’s important because it suggests that the changes we’re seeing are caused by sleep deprivation itself, rather than simply being perhaps more metabolically impaired when you’re sleep deprived.”

Least you think this is all made up, let me assure you that the link between lack of sleep and weight gain is one that has been well established by a number of studies throughout the year. It’s real. Sleep less, weigh more. Not only that, but sleep deprivation can inflict a whole host of other potentially deleterious effects on your body. This new study, though, really focused in on what happened in the brain when the subjects skipped sleep and then started drooling over different food pictures.

The research showed that when the subjects were bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived, they strongly preferred the food choices that were highest in calories, like desserts, chocolate and potato chips. The sleepier they felt, the more they wanted the calorie-rich foods. In fact, the foods they requested when they were sleep deprived added up to about 600 calories more than the foods that they wanted when they were well rested.

At the same time, brain scans showed that on the morning after the subjects’ sleepless night, the heavily caloric foods produced intense activity in an almond-shaped structure called the amygdala, which helps regulate basic emotions as well as our desires for things like food and experiences. That was accompanied by sharply reduced responses in cortical areas of the frontal lobe that regulate decision-making, providing top down control of the amygdala and other primitive brain structures.

All of which goes a long way toward explaining why dudes make such bad choices the day after an all-nighter. And when I say dudes, I mean, of course, mostly me. Who hasn’t woken bleary-eyed from a night of tossing and turning only to find themselves making a direct line from bathroom to cupboard, searching for that one last donut?

Bit takeaway health tip here, dudes. Make sure you get enough sleep, even if only to avoid eating more donuts. Save ’em for me.

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