Dogs are not as fussy about what they eat as cats are. A cat will stop and sniff something where as a dog will just wolf it down. If you are eating and toss something to your dog (even a non-food item) your dog will assume you are tossing it food and will probably try to eat it.
Dogs were often used in the past to test different types of mushrooms, if the dog lived, the mushrooms were safe for human consumption, if the dogs died… the mushrooms were off limits.
Dog owners need to be aware that their dog is probably going to try to eat something it shouldn’t at some point in time. This is a good reason why dog owners need to train their dog to “drop it” and “leave it”. It is also a good reason why dog owners should never tolerate any food aggression from their dog – if you have to take food away from your dog, you should be able to do so at anytime.
To this point we must mention that dogs who eat their feces, or who eat cats feces, often do so, not because it smells yummy to them. Cat food contains more meat than dog food so its more appealing to a dog, even after its been through the cat. Sometimes people think dogs eat their own poop because something is missing in their diet, but if something is missing in the dogs diet, they sure are not going it find it in their digested fecal material. This problem is known as coprophagia.
If you own a cat, and a dog, you may note that your cat regulates what it eats, browsing several times a day, but your dog will eat, and eat, and eat, until there is no more food. For this reason dogs are typically fed at specific meal times and food is not left for them to eat at will, because they will overeat. Of course if an owner does have both a dog, and a cat, they must take measures to be sure the dog does not eat the cat’s food, and visa versa.
Dog owners need to realize that their dogs diet impacts its health now, and in the future. Many dog food related problems show up later in life, when the dog is older, but some problems, such as hot spots, and excessive shedding, show up within a few weeks of the dog being on a poor, or incorrect diet. Hot spots are often the result of allergy causing ingredients, while excessive shedding is often the result of a dog eating a low quality food.
If you are a dog owner it is up to you to learn more about dog nutrition, as well you must be mindful to the fact that dogs can, and do, eat things that are bad for them. This is one reason why dogs left alone in the yard are so vulnerable to being poisoned. Dogs are also at risk from chewing and swallowing things they should not (such as panty liners, and kids toys). You need to keep your dog safe from such items.
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