Tag Archives: Digestive System

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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Happy Happy Joy Joy

Life’s too short to be depressing all the time, dudes.

With that in mind, let’s talk some astonishingly odd science instead of contemplating the onrushing death awaiting every dude at the end of his life. There, I went and got all depressing again. Sorry.

Anyway.

Back to science. Every year, we hear about the Nobel Prizes, which honor the most groundbreaking, amazing scientific achievements that come to the attention of the Nobel committee. These are the ones we hear about: quantum reality abnegation, new theories for rational prediction of stock market action, finding a way to avert a way. You know, the usual.

But I’m almost certain you dudes didn’t know there is a sister/brother/ugly cousin award to the Nobel Prize. It’s called the Ig Nobel Prize and it honors the year’s strangest–but also very good!–scientific research, in 10 different categories. Past recipients have honored research on remote-controlled whale snot harvesting and why you don’t spill your coffee. Thanks to Popular Science for the write up since my comp ticket to the event must have become lost in the mail.

The Psychology Prize was given for confirming, by experimentation, that people who are drunk believe themselves to be better looking than they, in reality, are. The folks behind this also should receive a special award for best use of a bad pun in a scientific paper.

“‘Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beer Holder’: People Who Think They Are Drunk Also Think They Are Attractive,” Laurent Bègue, Brad J. Bushman, Oulmann Zerhouni, Baptiste Subra, Medhi Ourabah, British Journal of Psychology, epub May 15, 2012.

Eye of the beer holder, get it? Beer holder. Beholder. Yeah. It’s just that bad.

The Physics Prize went to a study that determined that a person could run across the surface of a lake unassisted. If, and I believe this to be an important caveat, that person and that lake both were situated on the moon. I’m guessing some hypothetical atmosphere and a heating element would be involved.

Humans Running in Place on Water at Simulated Reduced Gravity,” Alberto E. Minetti, Yuri P. Ivanenko, Germana Cappellini, Nadia Dominici, Francesco Lacquaniti, PLoS ONE, vol. 7, no. 7, 2012, e37300.

So, that’s the sort of good scientific work, albeit a bit on the esoteric side, that gets honored at the Ig Noble Prizes. However, to my mind, the best part of the entire event is the description that precedes each of the prizes. These are works of genius.

Take, for instance, the Peace Prize: (To the president of Belarus) For: “making it illegal to applaud in public, AND to the Belarus State Police, for arresting a one-armed man for applauding.”

The Probability Prize brings back memories of far too late-night idiocapades in college: For: “making two related discoveries: First, that the longer a cow has been lying down, the more likely that cow will soon stand up; and Second, that once a cow stands up, you cannot easily predict how soon that cow will lie down again.”

To my mind, however, the capstone of the Ig Nobel awards and the description that might make it into the all-time list of best descriptions, comes out of the Archeology Prize. Which was given for, well, I can’t do this justice. I think I’ll let the organizers tell you what it was given For: “parboiling a dead shrew, and then swallowing the shrew without chewing, and then carefully examining everything excreted during subsequent days — all so they could see which bones would dissolve inside the human digestive system, and which bones would not.”

Dudes and dudettes, I give you science!

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