Tag Archives: food

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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The Box Or The Thought

My little dudes loved ripping wrapping paper off presents.

I can’t tell you the number of times I cringed my way through a birthday party with one of the three dudes. They’d sit up there in their place of power (that is, surrounded by the rest of the party guests with presents stacked around them), and rip their way through the entire stack, barely pausing to breathe.

Cringing seemed mandatory to me because they would at times only Birthday parties for young dudes and dudettes are rapidly becoming greedfests, in which the birthday girl or birthday boy rip and tear through packages and don't even care about who's giving it, or what the present even is.rip a hole in the paper, see what the gift was, drop it and then move on to the next gift.

They took no time for appreciation, no time to thank the giver. Heck, they took no time to even find out who gave them a present. That was up to their mom and me.

Here’s the thing about that. Most of the presents? Hardly ever got played with. Either they already had something like it, didn’t like it or whatever reason. And my little dudes weren’t the only ones.

Most parents aren’t going to spend a buttload of money on a birthday present for a young dude or dudette, so there’s a certain range that the presents will be.

It felt so. . . wasteful.

And then our kids were invited to a party by a friend of ours. The birthday card requested that, instead of gifts, we bring either dog food, or a canine toy, or money to donate to the animal shelter. The girl of honor, you see, wanted to use her birthday to help those who couldn’t help themselves.

It was brilliant. And, apparently, it’s an idea the time for which has come. In a major way. Thanks to the internet. Of course.

EchoAge is an online invitation service that not only handles inviting the kids, but makes sure the party thrower gets wanted gifts and gives to charity.

When you receive an invitation, you can go to EchoAge to either accept or decline. While there, you can give whatever amount of money you choose to the birthday boy or girl.

Rather than being crass, it’s brilliant. See half the money goes to the kid and half of it goes to a charity the kid has already designated. Once the party is over, the kid can take the money given through the service and go out to buy a present he or she actually wants.

Not only does a charity receive donations, but both party giver and party goer can have discussions with parents about charity, the importance of helping out those who are less fortunate than you are, and finding ways to do things that are more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

How cool is that?

I really wish I had this service when my young dudes were young enough to actually use it. Right now, though, my young dudes are in that parental awkward age where they’re too old to want to have a cake-eating birthday party and invite friends and too young to go to Las Vegas, so that’s out.

Fortunately for you, though, EchoAge is expanding beyond the birthday party for kids and is starting to invite adults for various different kinds of parties, still offering to give half the money or more to charity.

No matter the age of the party giver, I think that’s a great idea.

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Childhood Obesity Rates. . . Drop?

We’re getting fatter. Except when we’re not.

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Sorry about that, but, sometimes, the facts have a decided nonsensical bias.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement that read, in part:

  • Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
  • The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 21% over the same period.

Obesity, in this case, is defined as having excess body fat. Being overweight means having excess body weight for a particular height.

We’ve been fighting against childhood obesity for years now. And, it seems, we’ve been winning. Partly.

While obesity rates for most Americans haven’t changed significantly over the past decade, among kids ages 2 to 5 the obesity rate dropped from 14% in 2003-2004 to just over 8% in 2011-2012, according to a report out Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That represents a drop of 43%, CDC said.

“I am thrilled at the progress we’ve made over the last few years in obesity rates among our youngest Americans,” First Lady Michelle Obama said in a statement. “Healthier habits are beginning to become the new norm.”

Which is, of course, good news. But we shouldn’t be getting cocky about this little, tiny piece of a very large pie.

According to the CDC report, older children made no progress, with nearly Being overweight or obese can be just the start of the problems young dudes and dudettes face when they don't eat healthily when they are younger and just learning how to control their own diets.18% of kids ages 6 to 11 remaining obese, as well as 20.5% of kids ages 12 to 19. In women over age 60, obesity rates climbed from 31% to 35.4% in the same period, the study shows.

Obesity “remains at historic highs,” says David Ludwig of Boston Children’s Hospital, who has warned that today’s kids could be the first generation in history to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents. He described the declining obesity rates among youngsters only as an “encouraging preliminary finding.”

Which means we, as parents, have to continue working with our children and ourselves to make sure we eat better, exercise more and stay healthier.

It’s one reason I’ve started losing weight. Not that I object to people telling me how good I look*, but I wanted to show my three young There are a number of different things that we can do to help combat childhood obesity.dudes that it is possible to eat well and be healthy without resorting to some bizarre diet, or giving up and getting fat. Eat less and exercise more and you will lose weight and feel better. And possibly use the word and more.

I’m not suggesting that we parents monitor every single morsel that enters the mouths of our children. That would be silly. Mostly because they will get older and they will make decisions on what to put into their own mouths when they’re not around us. So we need to show them ways to eat fun food and still be healthy. We need to show them how to determine if a food is healthy or not.

And I think we are starting to do that. We just need to keep at it. What do you say, dudes? Wanna get healthy?

Footnotes & Errata

* Because I don’t object to it at all. Please feel free to tell me that any time you see me.

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