Despite what your German shepherd may want you to believe, he shouldn't eat everything in sight. In fact, many foods are quite harmful to German shepherds. Many are foods that most owners wouldn't think would be harmful, such as grapes or onions. Before you feed your dog any human foods, be aware of what is healthy---and harmful---to him.
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Perhaps the most common food you do already know to avoid is. This sweet treat is toxic to German shepherds because of a substance called theobromine, or theophylline. When eaten by dogs, chocolate affects the nervous system and can cause problems with the heart. In addition, the caffeine found in chocolate can also be harmful to your shepherd.
Grapes and Raisins
Though healthy for humans, grapes can be especially toxic to pets. According to PetEducation.com, grapes contain an unknown toxin that can cause damage to dogs' kidneys. Raisins should be avoided as well, as they are simply dried grapes.
Low-Quality Pet Foods
German shepherds should only receive foods that are made with quality ingredients. According to KLGSD.com, some low-quality food companies incorporate euthanized dogs and cats into their pet food. Therefore, low-quality foods should be avoided. Many German shepherd dogs do well eating organic food that contains fresh fruit, vegetables and proteins. Some shepherd owners advocate the use of raw diets, while some make their pets' food themselves. Whichever approach you use, be sure to use food that is chemical- and preservative-free. Consult with your dog's veterinarian as to what food would work best.
Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic, either in the cooked, raw or powder varieties, contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can affect your German shepherd's red blood cells and cause anaemia. Garlic is less toxic than onion, but should still be avoided. Keep baby foods away from your shepherd, as well, as many contain onion.
According to PetEducation.com, German shepherds should not be given milk or other dairy products. Many dogs lack sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to properly break down the lactose in milk. When the appropriate break-down doesn't occur, diarrhoea is usually the result, which can lead to dehydration and stomach pain. If your dog has an affinity for milk, try feeding her lactose-free milk that is formulated just for pets.
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