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Ten Good Foods, Ten Bad Foods

In This Chapter

Plenty of people can’t resist giving their Dachshunds just a little bite of this and just a tiny smidgen of that. After all, how can you turn down those pleading, hungry faces! A little bit of healthy people food won’t hurt a Dachshund, as long as your Dachsie isn’t ingesting too many calories. In fact, a variety of healthy foods may actually be good for your Dachshund. (Many experts disagree, but it makes sense to me that real whole food is good for dogs on a processed kibble diet.) But you must avoid making the mistake of choosing the wrong foods — meals that could actually hurt your Dachshund. This chapter is your guide to the good foods and the bad.

Ten Great People Foods for Dachshunds

The foods in the following list may be good foods to give, but always feed these foods in moderation. Use them as a flavorful addition to your Dachshund’s regular balanced diet (see Chapter Purchasing Your Dachshund Essentials):

Lean meat: Dogs love meat, and some people (including this book’s illustrious Technical Editor) say they don’t get enough. Examples include beef, chicken, turkey, or fish. Make sure you give small pieces.

Lowfat cottage cheese: Dish out just a spoonful to supplement meals and treats, unless this method disagrees with your dog. Many dogs think it’s just great, and it adds protein.

Olive, canola, or flaxseed oil: Drizzle a teaspoon over your Dachshund’s kibble. Your dog’s skin and coat will feel sooo soft.

Nonfat, plain yogurt: One tablespoon mixed with your Dachshund’s regular food should do the trick. Yogurt is especially good for dogs that are having a mild stomach issue like diarrhea. It helps replenish the gut with friendly bacteria. (Doesn’t sound too appetizing, but it’s true!)

Scrambled eggs: A few bits left over from your breakfast makes for a healthy addition to your Dachshund’s regular food. Some say this is the perfect protein supplement.

Broccoli florets: Small pieces, raw or cooked, make good training treats for dogs that like broccoli.

Lettuce or other greens: Try crunchy bits of Romaine, collards, or kale. Some Dachshunds won’t eat this treat (they prefer the meat and beernuts), but some health fanatics love it. (Just kidding, don’t give your dog beer nuts!)

Baby carrots: These are great for treats — they have all the crunch of a dog cookie but none of the starch and preservatives. Cut them in half for Mini Dachshunds.

Blueberries: These are good fresh or frozen, and they’re so fun to play with before they go down the hatch. Some dogs will bat them around for hours. (And then, inevitably, you’ll step on one with your bare foot, squishing it into your white carpet. But, hey, you have a dog . . . why do you have a white carpet?)

Peanut butter: Every now and then, your Dachshund may enjoy licking a little peanut butter off a spoon. Use the natural kind of peanut butter without the added sugar and salt. Rub some on a chew toy and keep your Dachsie engaged for twice as long.

Ten Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dachshund

The foods in the following list won’t necessarily harm every dog, but many dogs have developed serious illnesses after eating these seemingly harmless people foods. Why take a chance? I suggest that you never, ever feed your Dachshund any of these ten foods. If you believe your dog has ingested any of them, call your vet right away for advice.

Chocolate: Both the theobromine and the caffeine in chocolate can be very harmful to dogs. Baker’s chocolate is the worst, but even milk chocolate can make a dog sick.

Grapes and raisins: These “treats” can cause kidney failure in some dogs — especially if they eat a lot of them. For a small dog, even a few could cause toxicity.

Macadamia nuts: These yummy nuts can be very toxic for dogs, causing vomiting, pain, and neurological symptoms.

Onions or garlic: Frequent ingestion of onions can cause severe anemia and even death. Small amounts can cause gastrointestinal distress, because dogs can’t digest onions very well. Onions may even be more dangerous than garlic, perhaps because foods often contain more onions than garlic. In fact, many natural pet foods, treats, and homemade dog food recipes contain a little garlic. Some people believe garlic can help ward off fleas. However, neither onions nor garlic should be a daily part of your dog’s diet.

Coffee and tea: Don’t let your Dachshund help you drink your coffee, no matter how cute that may be. The caffeine and other acids in coffee are very unhealthy for him. The same goes for your tea. Plus, dogs that eat coffee beans or coffee grounds can get very ill.

Alcoholic beverages: The same goes for your beer, your wine, or your martinis. No, no, and no! (Although I know of one company that makes a non-alcoholic beer for dogs. I haven’t tried it, though.)

High-fat foods: Dogs don’t digest high-fat foods very well, and too many fatty foods can cause pancreatitis — especially in smaller dogs. Your Dachsie may look like a hot dog, but highfat, processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, and deli meats are dangerous because of the high sodium and nitrate content.

Xylitol: This artificial sweetener, which you find in many sugarfree human foods (like sugar-free gum), is very toxic for dogs. If your Dachsie accidentally ingests something with xylitol, call your vet immediately.

Avocado: Some pet foods contain avocado, but experts — including those at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center — say that avocado is extremely toxic to some animals, and its effects aren’t fully understood in dogs and cats. Avoid avocado, just to be safe.

– Milk and cheese: Some dogs can eat small amounts of dairy products without a problem, but many can suffer from intestinal distress from dairy products (other than the fermented kinds, like yogurt and cottage cheese). Avoid the high-fat, hard cheeses. And your dog really doesn’t need to finish the milk in your cereal bowl!

by Eve Adamson

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