Dog and Pet No-no's. These can harm your pet:
There are foods that are bad for any animal, and precautions should be taken to keep the best care of your pets as possible. Keep bad foods out of reach! It's so easy to leave things lying around that your pets can eat. Food drops on the floor and dogs vacuum it up. Keep the dog outside and sweep up before letting him pick it up for you. Problem foods follow:
Do NOT let your dog eat xylitol - it is in chewing gums, in some peanut butters, in some toothpastes and in other foods - all very appealing to dogs. It can cause seizures and death in dogs. Keep all products that contain xylitol out of reach of your pets – it can be lethal.
There could be alcohol or sugars in some foods which are bad for pets.
Artificial sweeteners can kill. Never let your pets eat sweets that are dietary or having artificial sweeteners. And while we're at it, why give sugared sweets to your pets? It's not good for them nor has any nutritional value. It just rots their teeth and can make them picky eaters.
Do not give chocolate to your dogs and pets. Chocolate can be fatal if a dog ingests it (especially bad are dark chocolates, cocoa powder, and baking chocolates – it’s more potent in them - but avoid milk chocolate as well - they just need more of it to cause a problem). It can be quite toxic if the dog has enough of it. Not only that but it's not healthy, it's bad for teeth, and it encourages a love of sweets.
Dogs love grapes and raisins - but these can kill. Sudden kidney failure can happen.
Do not let them eat macadamia nuts. Avoid giving them fatty foods or salty foods.
Animals should not eat processed foods that humans eat. Give organic, fresh fruits and vegetables which are fine for your pet. Check the guidelines or ask your vet what may be ok.
Don't put spices in their food until you confirm - many are not good for the dogs or cats, or other animals (Google if you are curious about any spices - ok ones include parsley, cinnamon, basil, turmeric, ginger, fennel, chamomile and rosemary - but only small amounts like we eat – avoid nutmeg).
Avoid onions and garlic (it is toxic to certain breeds - better safe than sorry). Onions are very bad for your dog or cat. Garlic is as well, but onion is worse. When they eat them, they can get anemic. Don't feed them any form of either - not in left-overs or in any other way (no flavoring of food with either). The sickness could start a few days after eating such - the pet could be weak, or seems out of breath, or may have bloody urine. The red blood cells burst while circulating through the body, due to the toxic ingredient thiosulphate which is in both onions and garlic. Feeding small amounts over time - poisoning could take place with accumulation. One large meal with either could start the poisoning immediately. You may be able to reverse the symptoms by taking all onions and garlic from their available foods. Some breeds may tolerate a bit of garlic but make sure you ask your vet to be sure.
Avoid white potatoes, breads, certain grains and white flours (these are empty fattening calories). Avoid white rice (unless your dog is sick and can’t eat a normal diet).
Find a dog food that does not contain corn or cornmeal (corn gluten appears to be ok) - as a major ingredient in most dry dog foods. Corn is just a cheap filler with calories and largely not digested - just eliminated as waste. Why spend money buying food that is not food to a dog? Why buy food that makes you have to scoop more poop? The other problem with corn is that it's likely GMO corn - in other words, doused with Roundup (glyphosate and other toxic ingredients).
Chicken by-product/by-product meal is leftover parts no one wants, including feathers (in meal), feet and beaks. Don't feed it to your dog. Deceptive labeling may lump all chicken by-product and meal into a label of just "chicken."
Don't buy the dry dog foods that are in major groceries and stores. These foods are usually cheap with bad ingredients. On top of that, there are so many preservatives to help the shelf life because these bags sit for a long time waiting to be purchased. These preservatives are not good for dogs to ingest.
Avoid fatty (fatty fish is ok though) and salty foods. Do not give them avocado, coffee, caffeine, milk, yeast dough, or many fruit seeds and pits.
Don't feed leftovers to your dog - for the most part, there's nothing good for its system. There are spices, sugars, vegetables that are bad... There are certain foods your dog can have - raw carrots, raw green beans, raw asparagus and more. Once you cook them, you add salt, spices, onions, garlic and then it's potentially toxic. You risk constipation or diarrhea from dogs eating the wrong foods.
Dog and cat food recalls - check to see if you have been feeding them the recalled products - Google it. If so, don't feed any more to your pets, and call your vet if your precious pet shows any odd symptoms, or just call and let the vet know - there might be something particular to your pet to look for (especially in combination with other known conditions).
Dogs should eat what you give them and not be coerced with sweet choices or treats - if you teach your dog he has no choice, then you can keep him on his diet better. Once you stray from the food you give him, he may start getting picky.
Human medications and supplements can be harmful to pets. The amount of ingredients are not the same. The human supplements are not regulated for pets – you should get something made for pets. Your vet can tell you if you should try something – like a baby aspirin in a rare case – but don’t try it on your own.
No rawhide - Rawhide expands in a dog's stomach or throat when wet. It is a dangerous treat.
Avoid Chinese products. China has no requirements to avoid toxins, The treats, toys, foods, treats, bedding, and such from China. They may all be toxic to your pets., as they are made cheaply and potentially (and probably) contain toxic ingredients.
Don't use tea tree oil on your pets - it's harmful to dogs.
Beware of car heat! Never leave anyone - no child, baby, pet or person, in your car when it's warm or hot outside. The heat in a car can rise 40 degrees "within" an hour - so if it's already 80 degrees outside, it can get up to 120 pretty fast. It can take only minutes for the temperature to climb to deadly levels. It won't take long to cause serious, if not fatal, problems with anyone in the car. Even if you leave the windows down, it can still get hot in the car. Dogs don't even have many ways to sweat, as humans do - so they can succumb to the heat pretty fast. Report any instances you find of a child or pet in a closed car on a hot day - it could save a life. If you must, make sure to crack open at least two windows for air circulation, park in the shade, and make sure there is water for your pet - and be gone for ONLY a couple of minutes. (I know the intent may be good to be gone for a couple of minutes, but sometimes it ends up being longer - but at least the pet has a chance of being ok if there is moving air and water.) Check the law in your state - you might be within the law to break out a locked pet or child. Do not forget that you had a pet or someone in the car after you reach your destination!
Keep your pets away from chemicals & fumes. If you have a pest or weed control person working in your home or yard - put your pets away while the process is going on, and for some time afterwards - ask your sprayer how long a pet should stay out of the area being treated - some are 20-30 minutes, others longer. If you cook with Teflon (and you should not – those fumes are toxic to birds), keep all pets out of the kitchen area so they don't breathe the fumes. Keep your birds away from the kitchen. Any time you work on the yard, fertilizing or using any chemicals - consult the directions to know how long your pets need to be restrained from the areas affected.
Keep your dogs off hot sidewalks and roads. On hot days the heat on streets and sidewalks can burn the dog's paws, causing blistering and bleeding. Check the temperature with your hand. Keep them on grass if it is hot. Walk across the street on the white concrete instead of the black road - better yet, find a shady stretch of street to cross at. I walk my black pup in the morning, before anything has heated up. He doesn't like to walk when it’s hot - he will find any shady spot in the grass and lie down, over and over during a walk. I can walk farther with him in shorter time if I go in the morning shortly after the sun rises. You might take a water bottle for your dog if there isn’t a water station on your walk.
Holiday pets as gifts are generally not a good idea. Don't ever give a pet as a gift unless you know the recipient even wants it or can afford it. A child may want a dog or cat, but his parents may not want one (allergies, too much work, not enough room or time, or can't afford to feed another stomach, etc.). Make sure you clear all avenues of concern and permission before ever considering giving a pet for a gift.
If you do buy a dog, even for yourself - be aware that many, if not most, smaller pet stores sell puppies that have been brought up in puppy mills. These puppies are cruelly ignored and minimally cared for, cramped in small crates with others, no ground under their feet - just the grating of the crate. These pups may have inbred problems - and certainly can carry kennel cough or parvo or other diseases. Their immune systems are compromised, and they have even been known to die after a few weeks once purchased. Be certain of where the animals were brought into the stores from before purchasing - yes, they are cute but likely not healthy - and you don't want to support a business that promotes such cruelty to animals! When you ask - be aware that employees might not have been told the truth about the origination of the animals that are being sold. Or they may blatantly lie - so keep aware of how the questions are answered.
Better yet - just go to a Humane Society and adopt a pet that needs a home or call a breed rescue group. We got a rejected puppy and he had so many personality issues with unexplained fears of certain things - he was probably a puppy mill puppy and the first owners couldn't deal with him - I did keep him and loved him for his 16 years and adjusted to his quirks.
Certain plants are toxic to pets. Google types for your pets - some are bad for dogs, others bad for cats. Teach your pets to leave plants alone or get rid of potentially toxic ones. More are always added to the list as issues come up.