Monday, April 27, 2009

Homemade Dog Treats

Homemade dog treats have become a sort of a fad nowadays due to the hidden dangers that were discovered in commercial dog foods. So it is very easy to find recipes for dog treats online.

Although finding these so-called recipes online is very convenient for the busy dog owner, he must be on the lookout for unhealthy ingredients. Dog treats must contain foodstuffs that will keep the dog full in the stomach as well as safe from any danger.

This article will help to open the mind of every dog owner on the hidden danger of a common household foodstuff that is commonly given to the dog without thinking of its health effects. This dangerous foodstuff is none other than the onion.

This is not meant to scare anyone from eating the onion. It is perfectly safe for humans but for dogs it can cause a medical condition known as hymolitic anemia. This is an unknown fact unlike the danger of feeding chocolate to dogs. So it is natural to hear of pet lovers having given their dogs leftovers containing onions such as pizza, burgers and even the gravy.

Although taking a small amount of onion may not produce any ill effect on the dog’s health, still it can lead to a life-threatening hemolytic anemia.

How does onion toxicity come about?

Dogs have red blood cells that carry the protein hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is very important because it delivers oxygen to the tissues and organs. However, onions contain a substance called thiosulphate which dogs and cats have difficulty to properly digest because they do not have the right enzyme to break it down. Thiosulphate causes oxidation of hemoglobin in the dog’s red blood cells. It then forms clumps that weaken the cell membranes. These clumps, called Heinz bodies, stick out from the cell and eventually cause rupture. In the end, it shortens the life span of the cell. Anemia results when enough red cells are destroyed as the body begins to starve oxygen. Another foodstuff that contains thiosulphate is garlic although it comes in smaller amounts.

If the amount of red blood cells decreases significantly then many health problems can come about. One of which is heart failure. It is important to mention that the number of red blood cells which is destroyed usually depends on the amount of onion that has been eaten by the dog. However, some dogs can develop very serious reactions even after eating very little amount of onion. Small amounts of onion fed over a period of time can create illness just as a one-time dose can because the Heinz bodies can build up over time. On the other hand, some minor cases of onion toxicity may go undetected because it only results in a slight damage to the red blood cells. Sometimes, it may take several days before symptoms begin to be noticed.

What are the symptoms of Onion Toxicity?

Some of the obvious symptoms of onion toxicity are the following: weakness and lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea, difficulty breathing, pale or bluish gums, bloody urine, jaundice, decreased appetite, and increased heart rate. It can also lead to the death of the dogs if the dog eats a lot of the onion.

Keeping the danger of onions in mind, homemade dog treats must not contain any onion, even in only small amounts.

Here at the Dog Health Report we are concerned that the commercial pet food conglomerates have convinced the majority of pet owners to feed their pets commercial pet food that is made up of very questionable ingredients, and cooked in a way that strips out practically all the nutrients that may have been there. We firmly believe that all dogs deserve to be fed homemade dog food.
For some great healthy homemade dog food recipes, that will seriously make your dog's mouth water, click here.

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