You say tomato … and I say not even potato

A trip to my greenhouse coupled with a chance meeting on one of my dog walks today got me thinking.  Now there’s a unique occurrence worthing blogging about right there.  Me – thinking.

I digress … on the second line.  That’s a record even for me.

So, as I was saying, I was picking tomatoes from a seemingly ever-burgeoning crop in my greenhouse and noticed the dogs sniffing around at some fallen fruit.  My first instinct was to stop them, but then I began to wonder (this is where the first thinking episode kicked in) if tomatoes are actually dangerous to dogs.

not bad for October

late crop

A little later we were out on our favourite walk and I met my friend Angela on her bicycle with her stunning 7 month old black Labrador, Razza, who really should be called Rasca because by his antics he has truly earned the right to lose the “L” being now a fully fledged, professional scallywag.  In short, a typical, high spiritied lab.

His latest misdemeanour?

Angela and her husband Dave had spent much time and toil restoring their large kitchen table in readiness for the completion of their new kitchen.  The day finally came at the weekend when the table was put in pride of place and “dressed” accordingly.  This included a striking bowl which Angela filled with grapes.  It must have been just like those home make-over shows on television except instead of the anxious anticipation of the owner’s response, it was Razza’s reaction they should have considered.

Perhaps Razza would have preferred a more ornate Rococo style or maybe he favoured Regency with its signature metal “paw feet” or perhaps the simplicity of Shaker.  My feeling is that Razza has a penchant for the distressed look because that’s what the table exhibited next morning.

More worrying was the fact that every grape was gone.

It is widely acknowledged that grapes, in every form including raisins and currants … and wine, are toxic to dogs causing kidney damage.  Razza, however, suffered no ill effects whatsoever, thankfully.

This got me thinking (second time in one day) about all the foods which are harmful to dogs. (Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog)

There exists a pretty comprehensive and diverse list which includes avocado, a superfood for us but can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs; cat food which is too high in protein and fats for our canine friends; chocolate, tea and coffee which is harmful to their hearts and nervous systems; human vitamin supplements containing iron which can damage their digestive lining, liver and kidneys; macadamia nuts and walnuts which affect their nervous system; dairy products which can cause diarrhea; fish which can lead to a vitamin B deficiency; salt which will cause an imbalance in their electrolytes; mushrooms which can induce shock and affect multiple body systems; onions and garlic which can damage their red blood cells and cause anaemia; raw eggs, surprisingly, which can decrease the absorption of vitamin B; raw meat(!) for fear of E coli and salmonella; nutmeg which can induce seizures; rhubarb leaves which contain oxalates which affect their digestive, urinary and nervous systems; hops which increase their heart rate, cause panting, an increase in temperature, seizures and can be often fatal; potato peelings and raw potatoes are toxic to dogs; fat trimmings which can cause pancreatitis and ham and bacon for the same reason; artificial sweetener which can cause low blood sugar and liver failure and yeast dough which can rupture the stomach and intestines.

These are, of course, in addition to substances such as extremely expensive jewellery which causes mass purchases of Marigolds; bumper boxes of Kit Kats … including the wrapper, silver foil and the box itself which leads to a frantic trip to Costco; money – both cash and change – as this will almost certainly bring about a ticking off; stockings and underwear in general which causes the owner to suspect memory loss and, last but not least, toilet rolls which … well, let’s not go there.

As for tomatoes?  Tomato plants, yes.  But then all parts of tomato plants apart from tomatoes themselves are poisonous to humans too.  There are conflicting views on tomatoes themselves and their danger to dogs so until someone in authority tells me definitively that they are OK I’ll be keeping my girls out of the greenhouse.

And Angela will be keeping her grapes in the fridge and I’ll be keeping my ‘puppies on a roll’ under lock and key.

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