Probably you asked yourself a few times: which are the best dog treats for my Chihuahua? Dogs of all ages love treats and table food, but these goodies can unbalance your Chi’s diet and lead to a weight problem if you don’t choose and feed them wisely.
Table food, whether fed as a treat or as part of a meal, should not account for more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake. If you plan to give your puppy the best dog treats possible, be sure to include “treat calories” when calculating the daily food requirement, so you don’t end up with a pudgy pup!
When shopping for packaged treats, look for ones that provide complete nutrition. They’re basically dog food in a fun form. Choose crunchy goodies for chewing fun and dental care. Other ideas for tasty treats include:
- small chunks of cooked, lean meat
- dry dog food morsels
- veggies (cooked, raw or frozen)
- breads, crackers or dry cereal
- unsalted, unbuttered, plain, popped popcorn
Foods to avoid
Some foods, however, can be dangerous or even deadly to your dog. The following can cause digestive upset (vomiting or diarrhea) or toxic reactions that could be fatal:
- Avocados: can cause gastrointestinal irritation, with vomiting and diarrhea, if eaten in sufficient quantity.
- Baby food: may contain onion powder; does not provide balanced nutrition for a dog or pup.
- Chocolate: contains methylxanthines and theobromine, caffeine-like compounds that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, heart abnormalities, tremors, seizures and even death. Darker chocolates contain higher levels of the toxic compounds. Children often want to share their treats with their pets; unfortunately, their favorites usually include chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and chocolate ice cream. You must let your kids know that chocolate, in all forms, is off limits to your Chihuahua.
- Onions or any highly spiced, greasy, or salty foods: can cause gastrointestinal irritation and anemia if eaten in sufficient quantity.
- Eggs, raw: whites contain an enzyme that prevents uptake of biotin, a B vitamin; may contain salmonella.
- Garlic (and related foods): can cause gastrointestinal irritation and anemia
- Grapes and raisins: can cause kidney failure if eaten in sufficient quantity (the toxic dose varies from dog to dog).
- Macadamia nuts: can cause vomiting, weakness, lack of coordination and other problems.
- Meat, raw: may contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli
- Milk: can cause diarrhea in some puppies.
- Yeast bread dough: can rise in the gastrointestinal tract, causing obstruction; produces alcohol as it rises.
- Bones: chicken, turkey, and pork chops bones, for example, can shatter and slice open your dog’s intestines. There is an exception, however. Bones cooked in a pressure cooker until they’re soft are actually good for dogs.
- Cat food: feed your cat out of your Chihuahua’s reach. Dogs love cat food, but it contains more protein and fats than they can handle.
- Beer, wine, or any other alcoholic beverage: alcohol poisoning is deadly, and it doesn’t take much to poison a little dog. Also, be careful not to leave leftover cocktails where your Chi can find them.
- Spoiled or moldy stuff: Don’t even consider giving your dog the leftover piece of chicken that you ignored for several days in the fridge. And be careful that she doesn’t snatch it out of the garbage. The bad food’s “enticing” odor will attract her. If the food is too old for you to eat, it’s just as dangerous for your puppy.
Of course, you wouldn’t even think of feeding your Chi any of the following dangerous items, but we mention them because it’s important to always keep them out of her reach:
- Baking power and baking soda: if you spill some, clean up the mess before your Chi can lick it. These agents can cause myriad problems in dogs, including congestive heart failure.
- Coffee grounds or coffee beans: these items can cause caffeine toxicity.
- Fruit seeds, pits, and stones: fruit seeds contain cyanide, which is poisonous to people and pets. Most people have the good sense not to eat them, but pets may consider them chew toys.
If you have extra free time, and you like to be creative, you can also prepare yourself different type of dog treats. After all, the best dog treats, are the homemade ones.