If you wouldn't eat it, don't feed it to your dog, right? Well, not everything that's good for you is good for dogs. Some people food can actually be dangerous to them, so keep your menu and your mini Schnauzer's separate unless you check what's okay and what's not.
Food of the Gods
Chocolate (Theobroma cacao) is dangerous to dogs. The stuff in it that makes people feel so good when they eat chocolate -- theobromine -- is dog-toxic. Unfortunately, dogs can become addicted to its taste, just as some of us can, and even a very small amount of dark or baking chocolate, the most toxic form, can kill a small dog like a mini Schnauzer. Keep any form of chocolate where your dog can't get at it, but make him some treats with carob powder; it tastes like chocolate but is harmless to him. Get it at health food stores.
Lovely Lethal Lilies
Onions and garlic are members of the lily family, and many lilies are deadly poison if eaten. The toxin in these two is thiosulfate, something dogs can't digest. It can make their red blood cells explode, which leads to anemia. Garlic has less of it than onions, but onions have it in all forms -- raw, cooked, dried and powdered -- so your mini Schnauzer will appreciate it if you hold the onions -- as well as garlic and anything containing them. No pizza, no Chinese takeout and no baby food -- yes, even junior's creamed peas might be suspect. Help your mini Schnauzer stay safe with a strict diet.
Fruit of the Vine
Between 2001 and 2004, more than 200 cases of toxic reaction to fresh and dried grapes -- raisins -- were reported to the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center. We still don't know exactly why this happens, and not all dogs are susceptible, but it appears that one raisin can be toxic to a 10-pound dog. Your mini Schnauzer, at under 20 pounds, could react badly to just a few. Be safe and keep these away from him.
The Musical Fruit
Beans are famous for making people get bloated and make embarrassing noises -- they can do the same to your dog. Saponins, the soapy compounds in the beans that foam up in the stomach, can cause vomiting and diarrhea. To make dried beans a tasty meat substitute and low-fat source of fiber for your mini Schnauzer, soak them overnight, change the water and cook at a rolling boil for at least 10 minutes -- or stick to canned beans. Green beans, however, are good eats for your mini Schnauzer, especially if your little buddy has weight problems.
Salt and sugar don't belong in any dog's diet, so don't give your pal chips, pretzels or sweets. The caffeine in coffee and tea will jazz him up just as it does to you -- and nobody needs a freaked-out, hyperactive mini Schnauzer.
Grease Is the Word
Miniature Schnauzers have a tendency to develop pancreatitis, so a low-fat diet is particularly important in preventing this. Don't give him table scraps, especially meat trimmings, bacon or buttered anything.
- Schnauzer image by Stana from Fotolia.com