IT'S THE PITTS -- DOG FOOD

by: Lee Pitts

Tico writes a column for the Citizen's Gazette of Burnett, Texas, which is amazing because judging by his picture in the paper, Tico is a dog. Tico says there are 100,000 cases of pet poisoning per year and these aren't homicides... the pets are offing themselves by eating dangerous foods. Tico found a list on the Internet from a web site called Embrace that listed the top 20 foods that dogs, like Tico, shouldn't eat. They included such things as sugar, macadamia nuts, coffee and corn cobs.

Of all my dogs I've ever owned not one had a Starbucks habit or had any use for corn cobs. I only had one dog killed by food and that's the one who got creamed by a bull while he was gnawing on an old cow chip. But that's hardly a poisoning. I did know a Lab who was owned by the looniest lady on earth who overdosed on a bag of chocolate eclairs once but it was an attempted suicide. If I had to live with that crazy woman I'd have killed myself too.

I am a firm believer that animals know what's best for them. The only species that doesn't apply to is the dog. They are picky eaters... anything they can pick up they will eat. They'll eat anything with great gusto and enthusiasm! Now that we aren't killing horses anymore for dog food, the dogs have had to find alternative foodstuffs; like lizards, spiders, rats, mice, bobcats and mountain lions. Although eating cats is VERY dangerous. My Grandma's Chihuahua named Chiquita tried to eat one of Grandma's beloved cats and let me tell you, Grandma squashed Chiquita like a banana.

I don't want to make light of a serious subject so as a public service I'd like to name the rest of the foods dogs shouldn't eat. First on the list is chocolate. I feel bad about this because we used to feed Tootsie Rolls to a Beagle as a kid and it was actually pretty hilarious. But it didn't die from eating chocolate. It was a Buick. A 1964 model I believe.

The number two food poison for dogs is raisins and they can cause kidney failure in dogs, although I'm sure they wouldn't kill the wolves who've been eating your lambs and calves. (Wink, wink.)

Mushrooms are next on the list which explains the times you called your dog and it didn't come. He or she was probably having a psychedelic experience and didn't want to interrupt. For some dogs that's the only trip they'll ever get to take. A sweetener called xylitol is fourth on the list followed by chewing gum, vitamins, and, get this, bones. I don't agree with the last item because when my wife worked at the grocery store she would frequently bring home big bones for our dog Aussie, and her coat never looked shinier. Although I should warn owners of little dogs, if your dog does choke on a ham hock you may have to perform the ham-lick maneuver.

I've already mentioned macadamias, sugar, bread, coffee and corn cobs but we can also add cookie dough and cake, especially birthday cake for any dog past its 20th birthday. A 20 year old dog is living on borrowed time and isn't going to last much longer anyway, cake or no cake.

I believe the person who came up with this list was a vegetarian because #17 is meat and #18 is rawhide. Are you kidding me? Perhaps they were referring to the lesser meats such as sushi, cod, halibut and salmon (#19 on the list.) They did say that lean meat is okay if it is properly cooked. Heck, I can't even get that in my house so what chance does a dog have? Dogs are drinking out of the toilet and eating fresh cow pies and the veg heads are worried about a little gristle. What do they think dogs ate before humans started feeding them pureed peas?

Last on the list is avocados. Our dogs Misty and Cindy wouldn't come within 100 yards of an avocado tree because the overripe ones would splat on the ground and no dog wants it to say on its obituary that it was killed by an avocado.

I think that comes to 19 dangerous foods and I bet you're wondering, what did I leave off? It was #9: chicken. We had a dog once that ate the neighbors hens and the chicken didn't kill it. The neighbor did. Take it from my dead dog, eating too much chicken can be deadly. Eat beef.

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