8 Things Your Pet Should Never Drink

Staff Writer
Your dog might think he’s people, but not every tablescrap is good for him
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Yes, he looks impossibly adorable next to a coffee pot, but he shouldn't get a spoonful, even if he begs.

Some people-food really is great for pets. Blueberries, for instance, are excellent for dogs: just like humans, dogs need anti-oxidants, and blueberries are a great source — so if you drop a few on the floor (or if your pup is begging at the breakfast table and you feel like indulging him or her), you can rest assured that a few little blueberries will be just fine for your dog’s system.

8 Things Your Pet Should Never Drink (Slideshow)

Peanut butter, additionally, is a great treat for dogs — and is often a good way to hide necessary (but not great-tasting) heartworm pills your dog might spit out otherwise. Peanut butter is full of vitamins E and B, protein, and heart-healthy fat: it’ll keep them strong and healthy, and can make their coats shinier.

Canned pumpkin is another great people-food addition to a dog’s diet: it’s wonderful for their GI tract and, just like with people, is a killer source of beta-carotene.

Cats can get benefit from small amounts of certain people-foods, too: a little tuna fish, for instance, is a great source of protein that cats love. Because cats are carnivores, they love small scraps of meat, but they also like the occasional piece of cooked asparagus — which is just fine for their system.

But your pet’s digestive system isn’t identical to your own, and there can be problems with giving your pets certain foods and drinks that are perfectly safe with human consumption. 

Beer

We once knew a dog who refused to let you drink a beer without giving him a sip first. That’s all he wanted — just one sip — but he got his sip or you wouldn’t be left alone for days. So while we’ve seen evidence that a sip of beer now and again won’t kill a dog, it’s decidedly not a great idea to give beer to your dog. Why? The hops in beer are actually poisonous to dogs, and those that drink beer can, just like people, experience decreased coordination, vomiting, and central nervous system depression. However, dogs may have stronger reactions than people to just one beer: tremors, abnormal blood acidity, difficulty breathing, and the prospect of landing in a puppy coma. So it's really never a good idea to give a dog beer. If your dog just won't be happy without his brew, a company in Seattle, Bowser Beer, has started making a safe non-alcoholic drink that dogs can lap up to their heart's content.

Grape Juice

Anything derived from grapes — wine, raisins, juice — is a bad idea to give to your pooch. While grape juice might lower LDL (bad) cholesterol in people, it’s terrible for pups.

While your dog probably won’t have experience any ill effects from one sip, it’s better not to risk giving them any at all. Grape juice can lead to kidney failure in dogs, the symptoms of which can include vomiting and seizures. Exposure to grape products can even kill them.

 
Originally published March 16, 2014
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