February 16, 2024

Is Broccoli Good For Dogs?

Discover if broccoli is safe for dogs, exploring its nutritional benefits and potential risks. Perfect for pet owners seeking a balanced diet for their furry friends.


Who hasn't caught those pleading puppy eyes from under the table, especially when you're crunching on something as healthy as broccoli? This might lead you to wonder, "Can dogs have broccoli?" Could you share a bite or would that be a potential health risk?

While we're often cautioned about the dangers of feeding our dogs human food, broccoli stands in a gray area, loved by some for its nutritional benefits but also feared by whispers of risk. 

The question then comes up: Is broccoli good for dogs, or is it best left on our plates alone? And how do you navigate the world of canine nutrition when every choice can potentially impact your furry friend's health? Unpacking the truth requires digging into the science behind this cruciferous vegetable, understanding its nutritional makeup, and balancing its benefits against any potential hazards.

Nutritional Benefits of Broccoli for Dogs 

Broccoli, that tree-like vegetable that divides human opinion, is a powerhouse of nutrients that can offer a health boost to your furry companion. Loaded with vitamins C, K, and A, along with minerals like potassium and calcium, broccoli is a nutritional heavyweight in the vegetable kingdom. But what does this mean for your four-legged friend?

Vitamin C, a well-known antioxidant, can help support a dog's immune system, helping to ward off infections and promote overall health. Vitamin K plays a crucial role in blood clotting, ensuring that your adventurous pup can heal quickly from those minor scrapes and cuts. Plus, the calcium in broccoli supports strong bones and teeth, while potassium aids in proper muscle and nerve function, keeping your dog spry and active.

The antioxidants in broccoli also include compounds like sulforaphane, which studies suggest may have anti-cancer properties. While research is still in the early stages, the potential for broccoli to contribute to a cancer-preventative diet is an exciting prospect for pet owners looking to provide the best care for their dogs.

But it's not just about vitamins and minerals. Broccoli is full of fiber, essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Fiber aids in regular bowel movements, preventing constipation, and can help manage weight by making your dog feel fuller for longer. This is particularly beneficial for those dogs on a diet or prone to overeating.

Potential Risks and Precautions 

While broccoli is filled with nutrients that are good for both humans and canines, it needs to be fed to dogs carefully. These green florets contain compounds called isothiocyanates, which, despite their many beneficial properties, can also cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs if ingested in significant amounts. And the balance between beneficial and harmful lies in the quantity consumed. 

Understanding portion control is key when it comes to sharing this vegetable with your furry friend. As a general guideline, broccoli should not exceed 10% of a dog's daily food intake. In fact, according to AKC Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Jerry Klein, DVM, while broccoli is considered safe for dogs when it constitutes less than 10% of their daily food consumption, amounts exceeding 25% are considered toxic. For a small dog, a couple of small florets may be enough, while larger breeds can handle a bit more. 

As a result, the motto "less is more" should be your guiding principle to prevent any adverse effects. This is also true if you wonder, “Can dogs have broccoli stalks?” The answer is yes, but only in moderation due to their high fiber content.

Symptoms of broccoli overindulgence mirror those of general digestive distress. If your dog starts showing signs of abdominal discomfort, such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea, after chomping down on broccoli, it might be time to reassess their greens intake. More severe reactions could include vomiting or a decrease in appetite, a sign that broccoli might not be the best snack for them.

If you’re ready to give broccoli a try, keep in mind that every dog responds differently to fiber, and it’s best to be strict on portion control, mainly when you first introduce this vegetable into their diet. Above all, portions should remain a treat rather than a major diet staple to ensure your dog’s tummy remains in good health. To be on the safe side, start small and monitor your dog's reaction — just as you would with any new food.

Best Ways to Serve Broccoli to Dogs

Let’s now take a closer look into the great broccoli debate: to serve raw or cooked, that is the question. Both methods have their cheerleaders and critics, but when it comes to our canine companions, cooking wins the race. Cooking not only makes this cruciferous veggie easier for dogs to digest but also reduces the risk of choking, as cooked broccoli is soft and breaks apart easily. 

Before you start steaming or boiling, keep in mind that preparation is key. A light steam is all it takes to soften those tough fibers, making them easier on your dog's stomach while preserving those all-important nutrients. Remember, the goal is to soften, not transform it into mush. Overcooking can strip away the very vitamins and minerals you're aiming to provide. And when it comes to seasoning, keep it plain: Dogs don't need the extra salt, garlic, or onions that we humans might enjoy, and in fact, some of these can be harmful.

Now, for the fun part—getting creative with how you serve it. If you're introducing broccoli for the first time, start small, mixing a few finely chopped or pureed florets into their regular food. For the adventurous pet parent, consider making a dog-friendly veggie medley, combining broccoli with other safe vegetables like carrots or pumpkin. Another hit can be homemade dog treats; blend steamed broccoli with a protein (such as chicken or beef) and a little flour to create nutritious bite-sized snacks.

With a bit of culinary creativity, you can turn this nutritional powerhouse into a tasty addition to your dog’s diet. Whether it's a garnish on their dinner or the main ingredient in a homemade treat, broccoli can safely add variety and vital nutrients to your dog's meal plan when served with care.

Broccoli and Dogs with Special Dietary Needs 

For our four-legged friends with special dietary needs, broccoli can be both a hero and a villain. Dogs battling the bulge or tummy troubles require a tailored approach to nutrition, and that's where broccoli either comes in like a winner or doesn’t come in at all. 

Let's start with the pups on a weight management journey. Because broccoli is low in calories and high in fiber, it can work wonders as a natural appetite suppressant. It will help keep your dog feeling fuller for longer without packing on the pounds, making it an excellent addition to a weight-loss diet.  

Broccoli's high fiber content is a double-edged sword for dogs with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues. On one side, it can aid digestion and keep things moving smoothly. On the flip side, too much can cause gas and irritation. The trick is to introduce broccoli slowly and in small amounts, under the watchful eye of a vet if necessary. 

Now, the big question: When should broccoli be left out of a dog's diet? For starters, dogs with hypothyroidism might need to steer clear, as broccoli can interfere with thyroid hormone production when consumed in large quantities.

In the grand scheme of things, broccoli can be a valuable addition to a dog's diet, especially under veterinary guidance (for dogs with special needs). But it's essential to balance its benefits with its potential drawbacks, always erring on the side of caution and prioritizing your pet's unique health requirements.

Wrapping Up

Broccoli: it's a veggie that brings a lot to the table for our canine companions, from a powerhouse of nutrients to a splash of green in their meals. 

Now that you’ve learned about the nutritional perks, navigated potential pitfalls, and even dished out tips on serving it up safely, you might be ready to give broccoli a starring role in your dog's diet. Just remember that it's all about balance and moderation. 

Before you start steaming up a storm, have a chat with your vet to tailor a menu that suits your furry friend's unique health needs. And when it comes to ensuring your pet enjoys a varied, balanced diet, consider the carefully crafted meals from Cola's Kitchen, designed with your pet's health in mind. So, next time you're chopping broccoli for dinner, set aside a little, vet-approved portion for your pooch, or let Cola's Kitchen take care of the balance for you. After all, sharing is caring—especially when preparing meals that make pets happy and healthy.

February 12, 2024

Can Dogs Eat Grapes?

Thinking of sharing grapes with your dog? 🍇🐕 Hold that thought! Discover why grapes are a no-go for dogs, the risks they pose, and safer treat alternatives to keep your pup healthy and happy.


Imagine you're savoring a juicy grape, and there's your dog, eyeing you with that hopeful gaze. It's a moment every pet owner knows all too well — the dilemma of sharing human food with our canine companions. Unfortunately, the question of “Can dogs eat grapes?” is surrounded by cautionary advice. 

Sadly, although this juicy fruit may be delicious to us, it comes with big red flags for dogs. Join us as we uncover the reasons behind the risks of feeding grapes to pets and why even the most innocent fruits can be a hidden danger to our four-legged family members.

So, Can Dogs Eat Grapes? 

Here's the short and sweet – or rather, the sour truth: No, dogs should not eat grapes. This isn't just a casual suggestion — it's a firm no-go consensus among veterinarians. 

Grapes and raisins, their dried version, pose a serious risk to dogs, potentially causing rapid kidney failure and even death. What's baffling is that scientists haven't pinpointed the exact toxin in grapes responsible for these severe effects. This mystery makes every grape a potential danger, transforming a common fruit into a significant risk for our furry friends.

The final answer? When it comes to grapes and your dog, it's best to err on the side of caution and opt for safer treat alternatives.

Nutritional Profile of Grapes: Benefits and Dangers 

For us humans, grapes are little globes of goodness packed with vitamins C and K, antioxidants, and fiber, all contributing to heart health, hydration, and overall vitality. They're a natural sweet treat, low in calories but rich in nutrients, making them a popular choice for a healthy diet. The antioxidants found in grapes, such as resveratrol, have been celebrated for their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, showcasing grapes as more than just a delicious snack.

So if they’re so nutritious for us, have you ever wondered why can't dogs eat grapes? The truth is that despite the nutritional powerhouse that grapes represent for humans, these fruits pose a severe risk to dogs. In fact, the toxicity of grapes to dogs is so serious that even a small amount is capable of causing acute kidney failure. This proves a critical point: what's beneficial for us can be dangerous for our pets. 

Effects of Consumption: Positive and Negative  

Take a closer look into the world of dogs and grapes and one thing becomes crystal clear: there are no positive effects of feeding your dogs grapes. For our furry friends, eating grapes is a gamble with their health, one where the odds are never in their favor. Grapes, whether seeded or seedless, green, or transformed into raisins, carry a mysterious toxicity that does not discriminate by type or form.

The negative impact of grape ingestion in dogs can be both immediate and severe. Even a small quantity can trigger a number of toxic reactions, leading to acute kidney failure—a condition that can be fatal if not addressed promptly. The exact substance within grapes that causes this toxic effect remains unidentified, but the evidence of its danger is undeniable. 

Reports have shown that the adverse effects can vary widely among dogs, with some experiencing toxicity from just a few grapes, while others may only be affected by a larger quantity. The inconsistency of the reaction adds a layer of unpredictability, making grapes a risk not worth taking.

Symptoms of grape or raisin poisoning in dogs can range from vomiting, fatigue, and diarrhea to an alarming drop in urine output, which could mean kidney failure is looming. This serious situation underscores why it's crucial to keep these fruits far away from curious snouts. 

Grapes might be a juicy, sweet treat for people, packed with health perks, but for dogs, they carry a big risk. Veterinarians everywhere agree on one consistent piece of advice: don't let dogs have grapes to protect them from the possibly catastrophic consequences of grape poisoning.

Symptoms of Grape Toxicity in Dogs  

Grape toxicity in dogs throws a whole spectrum of warning signs, from mild to downright alarming, sketching a scenario no pet lover ever hopes to see. Picture this: your dog snags a grape or two, and before you know it, they're dealing with a bellyful of trouble. The first clues? Usually vomiting and a sudden burst of energy as their bodies fight to eject the unwelcome guest. But things can take a turn with diarrhea swiftly joining the mix, tipping you off that your furry friend is really struggling inside.

When the bad stuff from grapes starts to hit, dogs go from zoomies to snoozies, dragging their paws in a way that's anything but normal for them. This tiredness can get worse, turning into a full-on slump where even the jingle of a leash or the rustle of a treat bag doesn't get a wag. Then comes the scary part: signs that their kidneys are on the fritz. Maybe they're not urinating as much, or maybe they can't go at all, hinting that their kidneys are throwing in the towel.

This whole grape drama is a big deal because you never know how a dog will react. One pup might get sick from just a grape or two, while another could wolf down a whole bunch and only then start feeling rough. That's why grapes are a no-fly zone for dogs. Even a tiny taste could mean a rush to the vet, making it clear that when it comes to our four-legged friends, it's better to be safe than sorry with what we share from our snack stash.

First Aid and Treatment  

If your dog sneakily snatches a grape or two, the best thing you can do is take quick action. Simply put, don't panic, but don't wait-and-see either. Immediate steps can be the difference between a close call and a crisis. 

First aid starts with a call to your vet or an emergency animal hospital. They might advise you to induce vomiting if the grapes were eaten very recently. However, this should only be attempted under professional guidance to avoid further complications.

Getting your furry friend to a vet as quickly as possible is key to recovery. Even if they seem fine, grape toxicity can escalate unseen and quickly. Your vet may start with decontamination procedures, such as giving your dog activated charcoal to prevent further absorption of the toxins. Treatment often involves supportive care: IV fluids to flush out the kidneys, medications to control symptoms like nausea, and monitoring for signs of kidney damage.

This isn’t the time to try home remedies or wait it out — both can seriously damage your dog's health. It's crucial to understand that kidneys have very limited capacity to regenerate or repair themselves. Once they are damaged, their functionality may be permanently reduced. Early and aggressive treatment is vital to minimize the risk of long-term kidney problems.

Veterinarians have the knowledge and tools to act effectively against grape toxicity, providing the best chance for a full recovery. Remember, when it comes to grapes and dogs, erring on the side of caution and seeking professional help immediately is always the best course of action.


When it comes to canine diets, grapes are a definite no-go. Their toxicity to dogs, regardless of type or form, places them firmly on the list of foods to avoid. It's essential to keep these tempting snacks out of paws' reach to prevent accidental ingestion. Always be mindful of their diet, and when in doubt, turn to a veterinarian for advice on what’s safe and what’s not.

The possibilities for safe, dog-friendly snacks are endless, ranging from crunchy carrots to seedless, juicy apples. For pet owners seeking both convenience and quality in their dog's diet, Cola’s Kitchen offers a range of pet-friendly recipes that are not just safe but also deliciously satisfying. Choosing Cola’s Kitchen is more than just a choice for quality—it's a guarantee against the risks associated with harmful ingredients. 

After all, the greatest treats are those served with peace of mind, knowing our furry friends are enjoying the best, without any hidden dangers.

Is liver the superfood your dog needs? 🐶🍽️ Dive into our comprehensive guide on the nutritional benefits and risks of liver for dogs, plus discover delicious homemade liver treat recipes!


Is beef liver good for dogs? what about Chicken liver? At Cola’s Kitchen, we understand the power of healthy, nutritious food for our canine companions. That's why we're taking a closer look at a topic every dog owner should know about – is liver good for dogs? The truth is that liver packs a punch with its high nutrient content, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for every dog.  

This guide will explore not just the incredible nutritional benefits of liver for dogs but also take a critical look at any potential risks involved. Plus, for those who love pampering their pups with homemade treats, we'll be sharing some tail-waggingly good liver treat recipes. 

Whether you're an experienced dog owner or new to the pack, this article is your go-to resource for all things liver in a dog's diet. So, is liver good for dogs? Let's unleash the facts and get cooking on some healthy and delicious treats your furry friend is bound to love!

Nutritional Benefits of Liver for Dogs 

Liver is a powerhouse of nutrition for dogs, boasting a rich array of essential nutrients that are beneficial for your furry friend's health. Packed with high levels of protein and low in calories, liver offers more than just basic nourishment. It's an excellent source of Vitamin A, vital for maintaining healthy vision, immune function, and skin and coat health. The liver also contains a significant amount of D and B vitamins, particularly B12, which play a crucial role in maintaining energy levels and brain function.1

Iron found in liver is highly bioavailable, meaning it's easily absorbed and utilized by your dog's body, supporting healthy blood cells and overall vitality. Unlike some iron supplements, the natural iron in liver is less likely to cause constipation or other digestive issues. Additionally, liver is a great source of essential fatty acids, contributing to joint health and cognitive function.2

When comparing liver to other common dog foods, its nutrient density stands out. While commercial dog foods are formulated to meet basic nutritional needs, liver provides a concentrated source of vitamins and minerals that can enhance your dog's diet. It's especially beneficial for dogs with certain deficiencies or health conditions that require a nutrient boost.

However, it's crucial to balance liver with other foods. Feeding your dog liver exclusively or in large quantities can lead to vitamin A toxicity, which underscores the importance of moderation and variety in your dog's diet. As a part of a balanced diet, liver can be an excellent addition, providing key nutrients that support your dog's overall health and well-being.

Remember, while liver offers significant health benefits, it should complement a well-rounded diet tailored to your dog's specific needs. Always consult with your vet to determine the best dietary plan for your pup.

What type of liver to choose

Liver, beyond being a nutritional powerhouse for dogs, varies in its nutritional profile depending on the type.3 For instance, beef liver is exceptionally high in vitamin A, making it great for your dog's vision and immune system. It also packs a hefty dose of iron, crucial for healthy blood cell formation. What about chicken? Is chicken liver good for dogs? Chicken liver, known for its high nutrient content, is a leaner option and a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, promoting a healthy coat and skin.

Comparatively, lamb liver is rich in zinc, which supports immune function and wound healing, and is a great alternative for dogs that might be allergic to beef or chicken liver.4 Pork liver, while not as common, provides a good balance of these nutrients but should be given in moderation due to its higher fat content.

Each type of liver brings something unique to the table in terms of nutrition. For the best mix of vitamins and minerals, it’s best to rotate between these different types. Remember, regardless of the type, moderation is key to prevent nutrient imbalances. 

Can All Dogs Eat Liver? 

Liver, as a dietary option for dogs, brings a lot to the table in terms of nutrition, but it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Different dogs have varying dietary needs and sensitivities, making it crucial to consider each pet's unique health profile. For example, while liver is packed with essential nutrients, certain dogs, especially those with specific health conditions, may not respond well to it.5

For puppies or older dogs, whose digestive systems are more delicate, introducing liver into their diet requires a careful approach. A gradual introduction, with small portions initially, helps in gauging their body's response. This method is also beneficial for identifying any potential allergies or sensitivities.

Is liver good for dogs every day? Liver can be a great source of protein within a balanced and personalized diet. Incorporating liver into a dog's diet should be done thoughtfully and in moderation. Since liver is high in certain nutrients like vitamin A, overfeeding can lead to health problems. Cooked liver, free of added spices or seasonings, is the best way to serve it, safeguarding against any digestive discomfort or toxicity issues.

By understanding your dog's specific dietary needs and introducing liver cautiously, you can safely add this nutrient-rich food to their diet, enriching their nutritional intake without risking their health.

Potential Risks of Feeding Liver to Dogs 

Feeding liver to dogs, while nutrient-rich, comes with certain risks that pet owners should be aware of. 

While liver is packed with essential nutrients for dogs, it's important to be mindful of the potential risks associated with its consumption. The most significant concern is Vitamin A toxicity. Liver, especially from beef and chicken, is very rich in Vitamin A, and while beneficial in the right amounts, excessive intake can lead to toxicity. Symptoms of Vitamin A overdose include bone deformities, digestive issues, and lethargy. This is especially serious in puppies, where too much vitamin A can lead to developmental problems.

Allergies, though rare, are another risk to consider. Some dogs may have an allergic reaction to liver, leading to symptoms such as itching, redness, or gastrointestinal issues. It's crucial to introduce liver slowly into your dog's diet, watching for any signs of allergic reactions or intolerance.

The liver's source is also a factor. Ideally, the liver should come from organically raised, hormone and antibiotic-free animals. In fact, veterinarians recommend that “if you feed organ meat, this should ALWAYS be organically sourced, especially liver since this organ filters many toxins.”6 

In terms of quantity, moderation is key. Liver should only be a small portion of your dog's overall diet. Generally, organ meats like liver should not make up no more than 5% to 10% of a dog's total dietary intake. This helps avoid imbalances in nutrition and reduces the risk of Vitamin A toxicity. For most dogs, this equates to a few small pieces of liver a couple of times a week.

Given these potential risks, it’s best to always consult with a veterinarian before introducing liver into your dog's diet, especially if your dog has pre-existing health conditions or dietary restrictions. They can provide tailored advice on the appropriate quantity and frequency of liver consumption for your specific dog. Remember, a balanced diet is essential for your dog's overall health and well-being.

Tips for Making Homemade Liver Treats 

Creating homemade liver treats for your furry friend can be both fun and rewarding. Here's how to whip up a batch of these tail-wagging delights:

  • Select the Right Liver: Each type of liver brings its own flavor and nutrition. Beef liver packs a punch with vitamins, while chicken liver is a leaner choice. For variety, try lamb or pork liver too. Each has its unique taste and nutrient profile that your pup will love.
  • Prep and Cook with Care: Start by cleaning the liver and trimming off excess fat. Cooking methods can vary — from boiling for simplicity to baking or dehydrating for a chewy texture. If you're baking, slice the liver into even pieces and cook them slowly in a low-heat oven until they're dry. For a longer shelf life, dehydrating is your best bet. Thinly slice the liver and use a dehydrator until they are crisp.
  • Seasoning Matters: Dogs love liver in its natural state, but feel free to add dog-safe herbs like parsley for an extra health kick. Avoid harmful ingredients like onions, garlic, and excess salt.7
  • Storing Your Treats: Freshly made liver treats can stay in the fridge for about a week. If you've made a large batch, freeze them for up to six months. Dehydrated treats last longer and can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Remember, these treats are just that – treats. They should complement a well-balanced diet, not replace it. Use them as a special reward or for training purposes. Watching your dog enjoy these homemade goodies will be a treat in itself!

Homemade Liver Treat Recipes

Creating homemade liver treats for your dog can be both fun and rewarding. Bring your pup into the kitchen with you, and you can have an afternoon of bonding over yummy (well, at least yummy for your pup!) snacks. 

Here are several recipes to get you started, each offering a unique way to incorporate this nutritious ingredient into your dog's diet.

Simple Baked Liver Treats - Ideal for Training

  • Start by boiling beef liver for about 10-15 minutes until it's no longer pink in the middle.
  • Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C).
  • Cut the cooked liver into small, bite-sized pieces perfect for training treats.
  • Spread the pieces on a baking sheet and bake for 1.5 to 2 hours until they are dry and hard. This low and slow cooking method preserves nutrients while making the treats easy to store.
  • Cool them completely before offering them to your dog.

Liver and Pumpkin Biscuits - Great for Sensitive Stomachs

  • Puree equal parts of cooked chicken liver and canned pumpkin. Pumpkin is gentle on sensitive stomachs and is a great source of fiber.
  • Gradually add whole wheat flour until a workable dough forms.
  • Roll out the dough and cut it into fun shapes with a cookie cutter.
  • Bake the biscuits at 350°F (175°C) for about 20 minutes or until they are crispy.

Liver Jerky - Perfect for Big Chewers

  • Thinly slice raw liver for this chewy treat, ideal for dogs who love to gnaw.
  • Lay the strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Dehydrate in the oven at 200°F (93°C) until they are dry and chewy, typically around 2-3 hours.
  • This method of preparation makes the liver jerky a long-lasting treat.

Grain-Free Liver Cake - Suitable for Dogs with Grain Allergies

  • Blend cooked liver and eggs, then mix in a grain-free flour like coconut or almond flour to create a batter.
  • Pour into a greased baking pan and bake at 350°F (175°C) until the cake is firm and springy to the touch.
  • This recipe is especially good for dogs with grain allergies or sensitivities.

Liver and Vegetable Mash - Nutrient-Rich for All Ages

  • Boil liver with dog-friendly vegetables like carrots and peas until soft.
  • Mash or puree the mixture for a nutritious meal or treat, ideal for dogs of all ages.
  • This recipe combines the nutritional benefits of liver with the vitamins and fiber of vegetables.

Liver and Oatmeal Cookies - Ideal for Older Dogs

  • Boil beef or chicken liver, then finely chop or puree it.
  • Mix the liver with oatmeal, a little bit of water, and an egg to create a dough.
  • Roll out the dough and cut it into shapes suitable for your dog's size.
  • Bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 30 minutes.
  • These cookies are softer, making them perfect for older dogs with sensitive teeth.

Frozen Liver Cubes - Refreshing Summer Treat

  • Puree cooked liver with a bit of water or unsalted chicken broth.
  • Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray.
  • Freeze until solid.
  • These treats are a cool and refreshing snack, especially beneficial during hot weather.

Liver and Rice Balls - For Sensitive Digestion

  • Cook liver and mix it with cooked rice.
  • Form small, bite-sized balls, perfect for dogs with sensitive digestion.
  • These treats are gentle on the stomach and easy to digest.

Liver and Sweet Potato Chews - Rich in Fiber

  • Boil liver and sweet potato separately, then mash them together.
  • Spread the mixture thinly on a baking sheet.
  • Dehydrate in the oven at a low temperature until chewy.
  • These treats combine the nutritional benefits of liver with the fiber-rich goodness of sweet potatoes.

Remember, when introducing new treats to your dog's diet, start with small quantities and watch out for any adverse reactions. Also, consult your vet before making significant changes to your dog's diet, especially if they have specific health issues. 

Summing Up Liver for Dogs

If you’ve ever wondered, “can a dog eat liver?” we hope this article helped put your concerns at ease! Liver has a rich nutritional profile, including high levels of essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins — but it must be fed in moderation due to potential risks like vitamin A toxicity and the need to maintain a balanced diet.

If you’re inspired to give liver a try, make sure you consult with your vet. They can provide tailored advice considering your dog's specific dietary requirements.

At Cola’s Kitchen, we believe in the power of healthy, homemade meals to enrich your dog's life. So, why not give these liver treat recipes a try? It's a fun, rewarding way to ensure your furry friend enjoys a healthy, tasty snack!

Health & Wellbeing
February 1, 2024

Mucus in Dog Poop

Is mucus in your dog's stool cause for concern? 🐾🔍 Dive into our guide to understand the role of mucus in canine health, its causes, and when it's time to see a vet. Keep your furry friend healthy!


Mucus, a common but very misunderstood component in dog stool, actually serves a crucial role in your pet's digestive health. Mucus in dog poop isn't a one-size-fits-all issue, however. Changes in its appearance can signal various health issues, especially if those changes are sudden. As a dog owner, recognizing these signs is essential to keeping your pup healthy.

Mucus in dog stool ranges from benign, white mucus to more concerning types like bloody mucus, each indicating different health conditions. Understanding these differences is essential to help you figure out if the mucus is just a minor hiccup in your dog's diet or a sign of something more serious. 

We have put together an article to guide you through the causes of mucus, the implications if you notice it, and when it's time to consult your veterinarian. By staying informed, you can be proactive about your furry friend's health and address potential problems before they escalate.

Understanding Mucus in Dog Poop 

Mucus in dog poop often raises eyebrows, but before you hit the panic button, let's take a closer look at its role in your dog's health. Intestinal mucus is a slimy substance (similar to what you get when you have a runny nose) that plays a surprisingly important role in your dog's digestive system. It's like the body's own brand of lubricant, helping to ease the journey of food through the intestines. Plus, it's a key player in protecting the intestinal lining from harmful bacteria and irritants.

In many cases, seeing mucus in your dog's poop is no cause for alarm. It could simply mean your dog’s digestive system is just working a bit harder than usual. However, the appearance and amount of mucus can vary — and that's when you have to start paying more attention. 

For example, a coating of white mucus often points to a simple case of intestinal irritation – maybe your furry pal snuck a bite of something they shouldn't have.

On the other hand, mucus that has a jelly-like consistency can be a bit more concerning, as it could be a sign that your dog's system is reacting to something more serious, like inflammation or infection. This type of mucus can sometimes completely envelop pieces of stool, giving it a distinctive, almost protective cover.

So, while a bit of mucus here and there can be perfectly normal, significant changes in its appearance or amount are subtle clues that something is not completely fine with your dog's internal health. Paying attention to these signs is a crucial part of your role as a pet parent — it’s the only way to ensure your dog's digestive health is on track.

Causes of Mucus in Dog Stool 

Navigating the reasons behind mucus in your dog's stool can feel like solving a puzzle. But the first, and most important step, is, to learn to distinguish between causes that are no big deal and those that require a vet visit.  

Here are some of the most common causes of mucus: 

Dietary Changes and Food Sensitivities

It's not unusual for dogs to experience a change in their stool after switching foods. If you've recently introduced a new diet or even a new treat, this could be the cause. Many dogs, just like us, can have sensitive stomachs — when they eat something that doesn't agree with them, their digestive system responds by producing more mucus

This is essentially the body's way of protecting the intestinal lining. Keep an eye on how your dog reacts to dietary changes. A temporary increase in mucus is not rare with a sudden change in diet, but if it persists or worsens, you might need to reconsider your dog’s diet.  

Infections and Parasites

Infections, whether bacterial, viral, or fungal, can lead to increased mucus production. Parasites (including whipworms, tapeworms, and giardia) are another common cause, as these can irritate your dog's gut, leading to mucus-covered stools. 

Infections and parasites often come with other symptoms, like diarrhea, vomiting, or a lack of appetite. Regular deworming and maintaining good hygiene can help prevent these issues, but if you suspect an infection or parasites, a vet visit is necessary.

Inflammatory Conditions

Inflammatory conditions such as colitis, where the colon gets inflamed, can lead to mucus in stools. This inflammation can be triggered by stress, infection, or even chronic diseases like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 

In these cases, the body's immune response goes into overdrive, causing an increase in mucus production as a protective measure. Inflammatory conditions often require medical attention and, in some cases, long-term management.

Stress-Related Factors

Just like humans, dogs can get stressed too. Moving to a new home, changes in the family dynamic, or even separation anxiety can impact your dog's digestive health. Stress can lead to increased mucus production as part of the body's natural response mechanism. If you think stress might be the cause, consider what's changed in your dog's environment and what you can do to help them feel more secure.

Always consult your vet if you're concerned, especially if the mucus is accompanied by other symptoms like changes in appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, or lethargy. Your vet can help you get to the bottom of the issue and ensure your furry friend stays healthy and happy.

When Mucus is a Concern: Recognizing Alarming Signs

Spotting mucus in your dog's poop can sometimes be a red flag, a sign that something is not right in the health department. It's essential to know when to shift from a casual observer to an alert pet parent. Let’s decode the warning signs that indicate it's time to get your furry friend checked out.

Blood in the Mucus: A Red Alert

Bloody mucus in a dog’s poop is one of the most concerning signs. If you see red streaks or dog poop like jelly with blood, it's not something to take lightly. This can indicate anything from a minor irritation in the lower digestive tract to more serious conditions like ulcers, tumors, or even parvovirus, especially in puppies. Blood in the stool can appear bright red or dark and tarry, each pointing to different areas of concern in the digestive system.

Color Changes: More Than Meets the Eye

Mucus itself can tell a color-coded story. While clear or white mucus in dog poop can be relatively normal, a consistent presence or an increase in the amount should raise some eyebrows. White mucus, especially when it’s more than just a thin layer, could also hint at colitis or other inflammatory bowel issues. On the other hand, yellow or green mucus can suggest a bile duct problem or even a parasite infestation.

Accompanying Symptoms: Piecing the Puzzle

Other symptoms in a dog with mucus in poop can provide vital clues. Is your dog showing signs of discomfort or pain during defecation? Are they constipated or experiencing diarrhea? Have they lost their appetite or seem lethargic? Vomiting, diarrhea, or a sudden change in weight are all pieces of the puzzle that, together with mucus in the stool, paint a picture of your dog’s overall health.

Consistency and Frequency: Ongoing Issues

The consistency of the poop and the frequency of mucus appearance also matter. If the mucus is a one-off occurrence, it might not be a major concern. However, if you start noticing a pattern or if the stool is consistently loose or unusually hard, it's time for a vet visit.

Remember, you know your dog best. Trust your instincts and don’t hesitate to seek veterinary advice if you suspect something’s not right. Prompt action can make all the difference in helping your dog recover. 

Diagnosis and Testing 

When you bring your four-legged pal to the vet with concerns about mucus in their stool, the vet will likely start with a thorough physical examination and review of your pet's medical history, followed by a series of tests. Here's what you can expect:

Comprehensive Check-Up

First things first, your vet will conduct a thorough physical examination. They'll assess your dog's overall health, looking for any signs of discomfort, bloating, or pain that could be related to digestive issues. They'll ask you questions about your dog's diet, recent changes in behavior, and any other symptoms you've noticed. This is one of the most important steps in the diagnosis — it gives the vet valuable clues before moving on to more specific tests.

Fecal Exam

One of the first go-to tests is a fecal examination, where the vet will analyze a sample of your dog's stool under a microscope. They're looking for hidden culprits like parasites, eggs, or even blood that's not visible to the naked eye. This test can also reveal if there's an imbalance in the normal flora of the gut or the presence of pathogens. In some cases, the vet might ask you to collect a larger stool sample over several days to send to a lab for deeper analysis.

Blood Work and More

Blood tests can also tell a lot about your dog's internal health. These tests will check for signs of infection, inflammation, and organ function, all of which can contribute to mucus in the stool. But the investigation doesn't stop there. Depending on the initial findings, your vet might recommend further tests like X-rays or ultrasounds. These imaging tests can spot abnormalities in the abdominal area, like blockages or growths that might be causing the issue.

Specialized Tests

In some cases, more specialized tests may be necessary. This could include endoscopy, where a tiny camera is used to take a closer look inside the gastrointestinal tract, or specific tests for conditions like pancreatitis or IBD.

This thorough approach helps the vet piece together the puzzle and zoom in on any serious concerns. Remember, every test is a step closer to understanding your dog’s health better and finding the right solution to get their tail wagging happily again.

Treatment and Management 

Treating and managing this condition varies, depending on the underlying cause, but here are some general guidelines to help you navigate the problem. 

Dietary Adjustments: The First Line of Defense

The road to recovery begins with what's in your dog's bowl — after all, dietary changes can work wonders to address many health issues. If the mucus is due to a dietary indiscretion, your vet might recommend a bland diet for a few days — think boiled chicken and rice, easy on your dog's digestive system. 

For more serious or chronic conditions, a long-term diet change may be in order. This could mean switching to hypoallergenic or highly digestible foods, like the fresh, nutritionally rich recipes we create here at Cola’s Kitchen. Fiber supplements might also be a good option to help regulate the digestive system. Remember, changes in diet should always be gradual to avoid further upsetting your dog's stomach.

Medication: When Diet Isn't Enough

In cases where an infection or parasites are to blame, your vet will prescribe the appropriate medications. This could range from antibiotics for bacterial infections to dewormers for parasitic infestations. For inflammatory conditions like colitis, anti-inflammatory medications might be necessary. 

If your dog is diagnosed with a chronic condition, long-term medication may be part of their daily routine. Never self-prescribe or use over-the-counter medications without consulting your vet, and make sure you follow the prescribed dosage and schedule.

Probiotics: The Gut's Ally

Probiotics are increasingly becoming a go-to for supporting digestive health. They help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which can be beneficial in managing mucus in the stool. Your vet can recommend a suitable probiotic supplement for your dog.

Stress Management: A Holistic Approach

Never underestimate the impact of stress on your dog's digestive system. Identify and minimize stress triggers in your dog's environment. Regular exercise, playtime, and a stable routine can work wonders in reducing stress.

Regular Monitoring and Follow-Ups

Stay vigilant. Keep an eye on your dog's stool, behavior, and overall health. Regular follow-ups with your vet are important, especially if your dog is on medication or a special diet. These check-ups help ensure that the treatment is working and allow for timely adjustments if needed.

Above all, the key to successfully treating and managing mucus in your dog's poop lies in closely following veterinary advice. Your vet's recommendations are based on a good understanding of your dog's specific health needs. With the right care and attention, you can help your dog bounce back to their healthy self in no time.


Mucus plays a crucial role in a dog's digestive health, but its presence, especially when excessive or changed, can be a signal to pay closer attention.

Understanding the reasons behind mucus in dog poop is key. Whether it's a response to dietary changes, an indication of infections, parasites, inflammatory conditions, or stress-related factors, each scenario requires a unique approach. Recognizing when this symptom shifts from normal to concerning is vital. Alarming signs like bloody mucus or significant changes in color and consistency warrant prompt veterinary consultation.

Diet plays a crucial role in both preventing and helping address mucus in stool. This is where our food can make a difference. Cola’s Kitchen is committed to creating personalized nutritious, balanced dog food that supports overall digestive health, potentially minimizing issues like abnormal mucus production.

Encouraging dog owners to remain vigilant about their pet's digestive health and to share this knowledge with others can elevate the standard of care for dogs everywhere. 

Our focus on high-quality, health-supportive food, aligns perfectly with this mission, offering a practical way to support and enhance canine digestive health. It's about creating a world where dogs thrive, and their owners are equipped with the knowledge to help them do so.

Unravel the mystery behind your dog's white foamy vomit. 🐶🤍 Our guide helps you understand causes, symptoms, and when to seek vet care. Keep your furry friend healthy and happy! #DogHealth #PetCare


Discovering your dog's white foamy throw-up on the kitchen floor can be an alarming experience for any pet owner. While often a benign symptom, vomit of any kind can sometimes be a red flag, signaling health issues that shouldn't be ignored.  

Learning to understand the potential causes and appropriate responses to white foamy vomit can help you provide immediate comfort and make informed decisions about your dog’s health. However, it's crucial to remember that while being informed is beneficial, nothing replaces professional veterinary advice. Consulting a vet ensures that your dog receives a proper diagnosis and the best possible care, keeping them happy and healthy for years to come.

What is White Foam in Dog Vomit? 

White foamy vomit isn't like typical vomit that may contain food or bile — instead, it's usually a mixture of air and stomach fluids, which creates a foamy appearance. 

Unlike the more substantial, chunkier vomit that occurs after eating, this foamy vomit is less about what your dog has ingested and more about what's happening inside their digestive system. It's a clear indicator that something is off balance. 

While it's a common occurrence and often not a major concern, understanding the underlying causes of this particular type of vomit is crucial for keeping your furry friend happy and healthy.

Why is my dog vomiting white foam? 

One of the most common reasons for white foamy throw up is an empty stomach. When a dog’s stomach is empty, this can lead to a buildup of stomach acid. This means that the white foam is a mix of saliva and digested fluids, and the vomiting occurs as the result of acid reflux causing irritation or discomfort in the gut. 

But foamy dog vomit can also be traced back to other issues. The digestive system of dogs is quite sensitive, and even minor changes can lead to issues like vomiting.  

Here are some of the most common causes of white foamy throw up in dogs:

Indigestion and Dietary Issues 

Dietary changes are a frequent trigger for white foamy vomit. Switching a new type of food or introducing new treats can upset easily upset your dog’s stomach and cause problems.

Food intolerances or allergies can also lead to digestive upset. Just like humans, dogs can develop sensitivities to certain ingredients in their food, including things like beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, and fish. If you notice your dog repeatedly having episodes of vomiting, it might be worth discussing an elimination diet with your vet to try to discover any potential allergens.

Finally, dogs are naturally curious and often ingest inappropriate substances that can irritate their stomach. This includes everything spoiled food or toxic substances to non-edible items like toys or pieces of clothing. Even grass can cause stomach irritation and result in white foamy vomit. Consumption of toxic plants can be particularly dangerous, so if you suspect your dog has ingested something harmful, it's better to seek veterinary care immediately.

Gastrointestinal Issues  

Gastrointestinal issues are another common cause of white foamy throw up in dogs. Among these, gastritis, pancreatitis, and intestinal parasites are particularly common.

Gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining (often the result of irritation caused by ingesting something inappropriate), can cause your dog to vomit white foam. Pancreatitis is another condition that can lead to vomiting, including white foam sometimes. The pancreas has a crucial role in digestion and regulating blood sugar. When it becomes inflamed, it can cause intense abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and a hunched back. This is a serious condition that requires immediate veterinary attention. 

Intestinal parasites, like roundworms, hookworms, and giardia, can also disrupt the digestive system and lead to white foamy dog vomit. Along with vomiting foam, your dog might experience weight loss, a dull coat, and a change in appetite. If you suspect your dog has parasites, a visit to the vet for diagnosis and treatment is crucial. 

Other Health Concerns 

Infectious diseases are a serious concern for dog owners and can be the underlying cause of white foamy throw-up in dogs. These include infections like parvovirus, distemper, and kennel cough.

These viral diseases can affect a dog's respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems and can lead to severe vomiting. 

Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is a life-threatening condition that occurs when a dog's stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, blocking blood flow. It can lead to rapid onset of vomiting white foam, restlessness, abdominal pain, and bloating, and requires emergency veterinary intervention.

Liver disease in dogs can manifest in various forms, from infections and inflammations to obstructions in the bile ducts. Vomiting white foam can occur as the disease progresses and toxins build up in the body due to the liver's inability to filter them out.

Kidney disease, whether acute or chronic, can lead to vomiting and dehydration. As the kidneys fail to filter waste products from the blood effectively, your dog might begin to vomit a white foamy substance, as well as exhibit symptoms like increased thirst and urination, weight loss, and lethargy.

Diagnosing the Cause of White Foam Vomit

A professional diagnosis is essential when you notice persistent vomiting of any kind, as it can help guide the treatment plan and prognosis. Self-diagnosis or delay in seeking professional help can lead to worsening of your dog's condition, potentially turning a treatable issue into a life-threatening one.

Common diagnostic tests and procedures

Physical Examination

The first step in the diagnostic process is a thorough physical examination. Your vet will assess your dog's overall condition, checking for signs of dehydration, or other abnormalities that might be contributing to the vomiting. The vet may also check your dog's temperature, listen to their heart and lungs, and palpate various parts of the body to assess for pain or enlargement of organs. This can help provide immediate insights and often guides the direction of further diagnostic testing.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are a window into your dog's health. They can reveal issues such as infections, pancreatitis, or organ dysfunction. Bloodwork can include a complete blood count (CBC), which looks for infections, anemia, and other blood-related conditions, and a biochemistry profile, which evaluates organ function and electrolyte status. The results can help the vet understand the severity of the condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan.

Imaging (X-rays, Ultrasound)

Imaging techniques like X-rays and ultrasound are non-invasive methods that provide a visual understanding of your dog's internal structure. They can reveal issues like blockages, tumors, or structural abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract. 

X-rays offer a two-dimensional image and are particularly useful for spotting abnormalities in bone structure and detecting foreign objects. Ultrasound, on the other hand, provides a real-time, three-dimensional image of your dog's internal organs, allowing for a more detailed assessment of organ shape, size, and texture.


Endoscopy involves the use of a flexible tube with a camera inserted through the mouth into the stomach. This allows the vet to visually inspect the esophagus, stomach, and beginning of the small intestine. It's particularly useful for detecting inflammation, ulcers, or foreign objects that might not show up on X-rays. 

During an endoscopy, the vet can also take biopsy samples from the stomach lining to test for infections, cancer, or other diseases — all in a relatively non-invasive way compared to surgical exploratory procedures.

Each of these diagnostic tools plays a crucial role in unraveling the mystery of your dog’s white, foamy dog vomit. They provide a comprehensive view of your pet's health and are instrumental in formulating an effective treatment plan.

Treatment Options  

When it comes to treating white foamy throw-up in dogs, the approach mostly depends on the underlying cause. Treatment can range from simple home care remedies to more intensive veterinary interventions.

Dietary Management

If the cause is related to dietary indiscretion or mild stomach upset, your vet might recommend a bland diet of boiled chicken or turkey and rice to allow the stomach to rest. Once the vomiting stops, you will be able to reintroduce regular food as long as it’s gradually and in small portions to avoid irritating the stomach again. 

For dogs who seem to vomit due to an empty stomach, changes in the feeding schedule might solve the problem. According to experts at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, two effective methods that often stop or lessen vomiting are serving smaller meals more often and adding a last meal late in the evening to shorten the time the dog goes without food overnight.

Hydration and Electrolyte Balance

Frequent vomiting can lead to dehydration, so it’s important that you encourage your dog to drink small amounts of water regularly. If they are severely dehydrated, your vet might recommend electrolyte solutions to restore the balance and prevent complications.

Rest and Monitoring

Your dog should get plenty of rest in a comfortable, quiet space while they recover. Keep a close eye on their behavior, appetite, and any further episodes of vomiting. If their condition doesn't improve or worsens, call your vet.  


Depending on the diagnosis, your vet might prescribe medications such as antiemetics to control vomiting, antibiotics if an infection is present, or other specific drugs tailored to the underlying cause. 

Intravenous Fluids and Supportive Care

In cases of severe dehydration or if your dog is unable to keep down any fluids, they may require hospitalization for intravenous fluid therapy. This ensures they stay hydrated and receive essential nutrients directly into the bloodstream.

Surgery or Other Invasive Procedures

For more severe conditions like obstructions or tumors, surgery might be necessary, but it’s essential to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your vet in advance. Post-operative care is crucial for a successful recovery.

In all cases, follow-up with your vet to make sure your dog is recovering well and to make any necessary adjustments to their treatment plan. Remember, timely intervention can make a significant difference in the outcome, so don't hesitate to seek professional help if your dog is experiencing vomiting, no matter what kind.

Preventive Measures 

Taking proactive steps can significantly reduce the chances of your dog experiencing white foamy throw-up in dogs. Here are some key preventive measures to keep your dog’s tummy healthy.

Dietary Management and Feeding Practices

Stick to a consistent, well-balanced diet suited to your dog's age, breed, and health status. Avoid sudden changes in diet and ensure that your dog doesn't have access to garbage or spoiled food. It's also wise to supervise them during walks to prevent them from ingesting harmful substances.

Regular Health Check-ups and Vaccinations

Routine veterinary check-ups can help catch potential health issues early on. Ensure your dog is up-to-date with vaccinations, especially against infectious diseases like parvovirus and distemper, which can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms.

Parasite Control

Regular deworming and flea control are essential in preventing parasitic infections, which can cause vomiting and other health issues. Consult with your vet about the best parasite control methods for your dog.

Awareness and Avoidance of Potential Toxins

Educate yourself about common household toxins and plants that can be harmful to dogs. Then make sure you keep those items out of your dog's reach and be vigilant about what your dog might find while exploring outdoors.

When to Seek Immediate Veterinary Attention

Continuous vomiting, blood in vomit, lethargy, or abdominal distension can indicate a severe or potentially life-threatening condition. If your dog throws up white foam and also has other symptoms like diarrhea, loss of appetite, or dehydration, seek veterinary care immediately.

Wrapping Up

Understanding the reasons behind white foamy throw-up in dogs is crucial for your pup’s health and well-being. While it's a relatively common issue, you might want to talk to your vet if this happens more than a few times or if your dog shows other symptoms.  

Always remember — a significant part of your dog's health is in your hands. Regular check-ups, preventive measures, and a keen eye for any changes in behavior or appetite are vital. Integrating wholesome, nutritious meals like those from Cola’s Kitchen into your dog’s diet is also essential to support your dog’s well-being and vitality. With love, care, and proper attention, you can make sure your furry friend enjoys a long, happy, healthy life.

Health & Wellbeing
January 5, 2024

Can Dogs Eat Cherries? 

Cherries for dogs: sweet treat or toxic snack? Find out in our guide! Learn about the risks and safe alternatives to keep your furry friend healthy and happy. 🍒🐶 #DogDiet #PetHealth


Ever caught your furry buddy eyeing those shiny, red cherries in your fruit bowl? While delicious and nutritious for us humans, cherries come with a bit of a question mark when it comes to our canine companions. 

So before you reach for that cherry to share it with your eager pooch, pause for a minute and consider: are cherries safe for dogs? Keep reading to see if these fruits are a yay or a nay for your four-legged friend. 

Can Dogs Have Cherries or Not?  

When it comes to the question, "Can dogs eat cherries?", veterinarians generally lean towards caution. While the flesh of a cherry isn’t toxic to dogs, the pit, stem, and leaves are. They contain cyanide, a chemical that can be harmful in large quantities. The pits also pose a choking hazard and can cause intestinal blockages if ingested.

Considering the many risks, vets will usually advise against feeding cherries to dogs. The small amount of nutrients dogs can get from the cherry flesh does not outweigh the potential dangers — and you can get most of the same benefits from other, safer fruits like apples (without the seeds), blueberries, and bananas.  

Are Cherries Good For Dogs? 

Cherries are a nutritional powerhouse for humans. These small fruits are rich in vitamins A and C, which are essential for maintaining good health. Vitamin A plays an essential role in supporting vision and skin health, as well as helping the immune system. Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, helps in fighting free radicals and boosting overall immune function. 

Cherries are also a good source of dietary fiber, which helps digestive health, and melatonin, known for its ability to regulate sleep cycles. Cherries are also loaded with antioxidants, which help in reducing inflammation and combating oxidative stress.

For dogs, however, the benefits that these nutrients offer are overshadowed by the risks of poisoning, choking, and obstructions. 

What about maraschino cherries? Can dogs eat cherries without pits? While maraschino cherries are typically pit-free, they are still not a recommended treat for dogs, as they’re heavily processed and sweetened with significant amounts of sugar. Excessive sugar can lead to dental issues, obesity, and even diabetes and pancreatitis in dogs

Effects of Consumption  

Properly fed and prepared, cherries can be a nutritious treat for dogs, offering antioxidants, melatonin, vitamins A and C, and fiber. These nutrients can contribute to a dog’s overall health, helping to reduce inflammation, improve sleep, and support the immune system.  

However, the benefits of cherries come with significant risks. Their high sugar content can be problematic for dogs, causing everything from an upset stomach to diabetes, obesity, and related hip and joint problems. This means dogs with weight issues or diabetes should stay away from cherries.  

So, can a dog eat cherries? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. While the flesh of the cherry is not toxic, the pits pose a real danger. In addition to cyanide, the hardness of the pits can cause dental damage and pose a choking hazard. They can also lead to gastrointestinal blockages, particularly in smaller breeds or puppies. 

All things considered, it’s usually better to keep cherries, in all forms, away from dogs to prevent any accidental ingestion of the toxic parts.  

Toxicity Level  

The main danger cherries pose to dogs comes from cyanide in the pits, stems, and leaves. Cyanide is a well-known poison that, even in small quantities, can be harmful. When dogs chew and swallow cherry pits, cyanide gets released into their bodies. This toxin prevents the cells from using oxygen, leading to cell death and, in severe cases, organ failure.

How badly cherry pits affect a dog can vary. It depends on things like how big the dog is, how many pits they've eaten, and their overall health. Smaller dogs are at a higher risk because it takes fewer pits to cause harm due to their smaller size and lower tolerance levels. The ingestion of a single cherry pit may not cause immediate or severe poisoning in a larger dog, but multiple pits can accumulate and lead to significant health risks.

Even if the ingestion of cherry pits doesn't lead to immediate symptoms, the potential for toxicity and other complications like intestinal obstruction makes cherries a risky choice for dogs.


If your dog eats the pit, stem, or leaves of a cherry, keep an eye on potential signs that might point to cyanide poisoning. The severity of these symptoms can differ based on how much the dog ate and their size. 

Symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Difficulty breathing: Cyanide inhibits the body's ability to use oxygen, leading to respiratory distress. Dogs may experience rapid, shallow breathing or panting excessively.
  • Bright red gums: Their gums might look brighter red than normal. This happens because there's too much oxygen in their blood that their body can't use properly.
  • Dilated pupils: The pupils might be more dilated than usual, a response to the body's increasing desperation for oxygen.
  • Lethargy and weakness: A lack of oxygen can quickly make your dog very tired and weak.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea: These are common symptoms in cases of gastrointestinal upset, which can occur if a dog ingests cherry pits.
  • Convulsions or seizures: In severe cases of cyanide poisoning, dogs may experience convulsions or seizures, which are a sign of significant distress and toxicity.
  • Collapse or coma: In the most severe cases, especially if a large number of pits are ingested, a dog may collapse or even fall into a coma due to the overwhelming toxicity.

Symptoms typically occur within 15 to 20 minutes of ingestion and can rapidly progress over the next few hours. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek immediate veterinary attention. Acting quickly is crucial for effectively treating cyanide poisoning in dogs.

First Aid and Treatment 

If your dog has swallowed the pits, stems, or leaves of cherries, acting quickly is key. Here are some basic first-aid steps to follow:

  • Remove any remaining cherries: If your dog can still get to any cherries or cherry bits, make sure to pick them up right away to stop them from eating more.
  • Check for symptoms: Observe your dog closely for any signs of distress or symptoms of cyanide poisoning, such as difficulty breathing, bright red gums, or lethargy.
  • Rinse their mouth: If you catch your dog eating cherries, gently rinse their mouth with water. This can help remove any remaining pieces and reduce the amount of toxins they might absorb.
  • Do not induce vomiting: It's best not to try to make your dog throw up unless a vet tells you to. Doing this could actually make things worse, especially if your dog is already in distress.

Home care after ingestion can be tricky, as the severity of the situation depends on how much and what part of the cherry your dog has eaten. If your dog consumed a few cherry pits, keep a close eye on them for any developing symptoms. In general, however, it’s best to err on the side of caution and consult with a veterinarian, even if your dog appears to be fine initially.

When to Seek Vet Support

Immediate veterinary intervention is critical if your dog shows any symptoms of cyanide poisoning, such as difficulty breathing, bright red gums, lethargy, vomiting, or seizures. Even if the symptoms seem mild at first, they can quickly escalate, making prompt action essential.

If you know or even suspect that your dog has eaten cherry pits, stems, or leaves, don't wait for your dog to get sick. Symptoms can show up quickly after your dog eats something they shouldn't, so getting them to the vet fast can really improve their chances of getting better. In cases like these, it's always better to be cautious. Acting swiftly and calling your vet right away can make a huge difference, giving your furry friend the best chance for a quick recovery. 

A Final Word

The dangers of cyanide toxicity from the pits, stems, and leaves, along with the potential for gastrointestinal upset due to the high sugar content, make cherries a risky choice for dogs. Always remember to prioritize your pet's safety and health, opting for dog-safe fruits and snacks.

At Cola’s Kitchen, we understand the importance of feeding your furry friends with only the best. Our foods are carefully prepared with fresh, high-quality, and safe ingredients, ensuring that your pet's diet is both nutritious and delicious. Responsible pet ownership means being aware of what foods are safe for your pets and which ones to avoid. By keeping informed and vigilant about your dog's diet, you ensure they remain healthy and happy.

Health & Wellbeing
December 10, 2023

A Comprehensive Guide to Allergy Test for Dogs

Is your dog struggling with food allergies? Our blog guides you through conducting an elimination diet trial at home to identify allergens. Learn how to help your furry friend today! 🐕🥘#DogAllergies


Recent studies suggest that up to 15% of dogs suffer from some food allergies,1 making it a significant health issue among our canine companions.  

Understanding and managing these allergies is important not only to improve the well-being of our dogs but also to prevent more serious health issues down the road.  

Understanding Dog Allergies

Dogs experience three primary types of allergies: food allergies, environmental allergies, and flea allergy dermatitis — but food allergies are the most common and serious ones. According to a recent study, “up to 35% of cases of non-seasonal canine pruritus (skin itching) were due to a food reaction.”2 If nothing else, this highlights the importance of paying attention to diet as a way to manage allergies.  

The symptoms of dog allergies, especially food allergies, can vary widely from dog to dog, so it’s sometimes hard to even realize your dog has an allergy. Many dogs with food allergies are constantly itchy, which leads to incessant scratching, skin damage, and infections. 3 

Many dogs with allergies also experience frequent ear problems, including irritation, inflammation, and infection. Left unattended, these can lead to hearing issues.  

For other dogs, the main symptom of a food allergy is gastrointestinal problems such as chronic diarrhea, vomiting, and other digestive upsets. In addition to making life quite miserable for your dogs, these symptoms can lead to more serious issues, including dehydration and nutrient malabsorption.

Chronic allergies can also cause emotional and behavioral issues because the dog is in constant distress and agitation.

Once you understand the types and symptoms of allergies in dogs, you will be more prepared to take proactive steps to enhance the well-being of your furry companion.

Professional Dog Allergy Tests 

Veterinarians use two main types of pet allergy tests to accurately diagnose allergies in dogs: blood tests and skin tests. 

According to Today's Veterinary Practice, the diagnostic process for dogs showing allergy symptoms usually begins with a physical examination, where the vet might look for skin irritation, redness in the ears, and itching. From there, the vet can then decide to try some skin tests, where the dog's skin is exposed to various allergens, and reactions are observed.  

For dogs showing gastrointestinal signs, vets could then order a complete blood count, urinalysis, and complete fecal analysis. Sometimes ultrasound and X-rays are used to rule out other causes of GI symptoms before a diagnosis of allergies can be made. 

Special serum testing for food allergies (measuring IgE or IgG antibodies against foods) is available, but the process is very expensive and, unfortunately, often leads to false-positive or false-negative results, making it less reliable. If your dog has a serious allergy, consider talking to a specialist rather than a general vet to decide what tests would be best for your pooch.  

Home Pet Allergy Tests: The Elimination Diet Trial

The elimination diet trial — also known as the elimination-challenge diet trial or ECDT — is a relatively easy but long and slow home testing of food allergies for dogs. Simply put, it’s a 4-phase process —eliminate, challenge, confirm, and identify— to help determine what ingredients your dog is allergic to.

ECDT involves feeding the dog a diet with limited ingredients, usually consisting of proteins and carbohydrates that the dog has never tried before. By eliminating common allergens and introducing new, less allergenic food sources, this diet might be able to reset the dog’s immune response.

How To Conduct an Elimination Diet Trial 

This home-based approach offers many benefits. For starters, it’s very affordable compared to professional dog allergy tests. It also allows dog owners to take an active role in identifying their pet's food sensitivities in a controlled environment — but only if you’re ready to commit to the process. 4

PHASE 1: Eliminate 

You start by selecting a novel diet, which usually includes less common meats like venison, rabbit, or kangaroo (must be meats your dog has not tried before), and carbohydrates like sweet potato or peas. Today’s Veterinary Practice recommends using “veterinary therapeutic limited-ingredient diets, veterinary therapeutic hydrolyzed-protein diets, or complete and balanced home-cooked diets,” as these are the only options you can be absolutely sure have not been cross-contaminated with potential allergens. 

After a gradual transition to the new diet (over 5-7 days), pets must adhere strictly to it for up to 12 weeks. This means dogs should not eat anything else (no treats, no flavored medications, dental chews, or crumbs picked up from the ground) outside of the elimination diet until gastrointestinal and skin symptoms start to improve significantly.  

PHASE 2: Challenge

With allergy symptoms now significantly reduced from Phase 1, now it’s time to slowly reintroduce the original diet and watch for the reappearance of allergy symptoms (itchiness, diarrhea). If the allergen is present in the food, symptoms might return within just a couple of days, but experts recommend waiting for up to two weeks to confirm a flare-up of symptoms.  

PHASE 3: Confirm

Now that you know something in the original diet is potentially causing an allergic reaction, switch back to the elimination diet and wait for the clinical signs to disappear again. This confirms your suspicion that it’s the diet causing the allergic symptoms and not something in the environment. 

PHASE 4: Identify

At this point, it’s necessary to identify which ingredient in the original diet needs to be avoided. To do this, one new ingredient can be introduced at a time. This is especially important for dogs that usually eat complex diets with many ingredients. 

This will allow you to better identify the exact allergens — if your dog experiences symptoms when reintroducing an ingredient, this suggests that ingredient is likely the reason behind your dog’s allergy.  

To do this, keep your dog on the elimination diet and add one single previously fed ingredient in very small quantities (less than 10% of your dog's total daily calories). Stay with that ingredient for two weeks and watch for allergy symptoms to appear. If no symptoms appear, you can keep that ingredient and try adding another new one. Anything that triggers symptoms should be excluded from your dog’s diet permanently.

Elimination diet trials only work if you truly commit to excluding 100 percent of other foods and treats during the 8 to 10-week period. It also requires significant patience and vigilance from the pet owner. The process can also be time-consuming, as in many cases you might need to prepare home-cooked meals to meet the trial's requirements.

A final word of warning: it’s important that the elimination diet you choose is nutritionally complete and balanced, to maintain your dog's overall health during the trial period. When in doubt, talk to a veterinarian o veterinary nutritionist to ensure that the diet meets your dog's dietary needs.

The Role of Diet in Dog Allergies

Diet plays an important and complicated role in both causing and controlling allergies in dogs. For example, have you ever wondered “Can dogs be allergic to chicken” or “Can dogs be allergic to peanut butter”?  The answer is yes, a large number of common foods are linked to food allergies in dogs — but the difficult part is pinpointing what food exactly your dog might be allergic to. 

One of the major issues when it comes to commercial dog food is that most contain a mix of proteins and animal products, so it’s difficult to figure out which ingredient exactly is causing the allergy. For example, a recent study looking at food and allergens showed that “the most frequently reported food allergens involved in CAFRs in dogs were beef (34 %), dairy products (17 %), chicken (15 %), wheat (13 %) and lamb (14, 5 %). Other less commonly reported offending food sources were soy (6 %), corn (4 %), egg (4 %), pork (2 %), fish and rice (2 % each).” 5 

Commercial dog food often contains poor-quality ingredients, including an excessive number of components and ingredients from unknown sources. This complexity of ingredients can make it challenging to identify specific allergens when a dog shows symptoms of an allergy. In addition, kibble often includes fillers, artificial colors, and preservatives, which are not only unnecessary for a dog's diet but can also worsen allergic reactions.  

Another big issue with kibble is the manufacturing process, which includes high heat that can change the structure of proteins — which in some cases could cause the dog's immune system to react negatively to these proteins. A recent study showed that “Dry pet food production consists of several processes that can have different effects on nutrient bioavailability and digestibility.” 6

In the end, the important thing to remember is that diet has a significant impact on your dog’s health and well-being — and that includes any potential allergies. Even more important, the quality of ingredients in your dog’s food and how that food is prepared can also be directly related to your dog’s allergies. The lesson? We should all think carefully about what our dogs eat, especially if they have or we suspect they might have food allergies. Choosing dog foods that are high-quality, less processed, and have fewer and more natural ingredients can help in controlling these allergies.

Gently Cooked and Personalized Diets as a Solution

Gently cooked, personalized diets like those offered by Cola’s Kitchen can be particularly beneficial for dogs with allergies. Because these diets typically feature a limited number of high-quality ingredients, they reduce the risk of allergic reactions.

Limited ingredients not only simplify the diet, but they also make it easier to identify potential allergens if your dog already has allergies. Plus, high-quality ingredients are less likely to contain allergens and are more digestible for dogs. Have a dog with a specific dietary need? Fresh food diets allow for easy personalization that takes into account any known allergies or sensitivities.

At Cola’s Kitchen, we use only fresh, whole ingredients in our meal plans. This not only makes the food taste a lot better, but it also preserves the nutritional value of the ingredients. And because all our diets are formulated to meet the specific nutritional requirements and allergy needs of individual dogs, you’ll never have to worry about hidden chemicals or poor-quality ingredients that could make your allergic dog sick.

Discover when to switch your puppy to adult food for optimal health and growth in our guide. Ensure a smooth transition with Cola's Kitchen. 🐾🍲


Bringing a new puppy into your home is always an exciting and heartwarming experience. You've done your research, stocked up on chew toys, picked out the comfiest bed, and puppy-proofed every corner of your living space. But one question likely remains: when to switch from puppy to adult food. 

It's a crucial decision that affects your pup's growth, development, and overall well-being. In this comprehensive guide, we'll take a closer look at the differences between puppy food and adult food, explore the ideal timing for the switch, and introduce a solution that simplifies this transition—Cola's Kitchen fresh food. 

The Peculiar Pup Diet: Puppy Food vs. Adult Food

First things first — let's unravel the mysteries of puppy food and adult food. Each type is formulated to meet the specific nutritional requirements of dogs at various stages of their lives. Understanding these differences is essential that your puppy grows into a healthy and happy adult dog.

Puppy Food 

Puppy food is specially formulated to meet the unique dietary requirements of growing pups.1 During their early months, puppies are like miniature whirlwinds of energy, constantly on the move as they explore the world around them. Because of this, they have significantly higher energy needs and nutritional demands compared to adult dogs.

Puppy food is characterized by:

  • Higher Protein Content: Puppies require more protein to support the rapid development of muscles, tissues, and organs.
  • Increased Fat: Fat provides essential energy, making it vital for puppies who are always on the go.
  • Adequate Calcium and Phosphorus: These minerals promote healthy bone and teeth development, crucial during the growth phase.
  • DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid): DHA supports cognitive development, enhancing your pup's ability to learn and adapt.

Adult Food 

Adult dog food is different and it’s designed to meet the maintenance needs of fully grown dogs. It provides the necessary nutrients to keep adult dogs healthy and active, without the excesses required during the puppy growth spurt.

Adult dog food typically features:

  • Balanced Protein: While still important, protein levels are lower than in puppy food, as adult dogs require less protein for maintenance.
  • Moderate Fat: Adult dogs need sufficient energy to stay active, but excessive fat can lead to obesity amongst other issues.
  • Stable Calcium and Phosphorus Levels: To help maintain healthy bones and teeth as dogs get older.
  • DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid): Although less essential than for puppies, some adult foods may include DHA to support cognitive function in mature dogs.

Timing Is Everything: When to Make the Switch

Now that we’ve gone over the differences between puppy food and adult food, the next burning question is: when should you transition your puppy to adult food? The answer isn't one-size-fits-all, as it depends on many things, including your pup's breed, size, and individual growth rate.2

Here are some guidelines to help you determine the ideal timing:

1. Age Matters

Figuring out when to transition a puppy to adult food is key to their development. Puppies generally switch to adult food between 6 and 20 months of age. Smaller dog breeds tend to mature more quickly than larger ones. Toy breeds, for example, may transition around 6-8 months, while giant breeds may continue on puppy food until closer to 20 months.3 Keep a close eye on your pup's growth and consult your veterinarian for personalized advice if you’re unsure about switching.

2. Weight and Size

The size of your dog also plays a crucial role in determining when to switch to adult dog food. Smaller dogs can switch earlier, as they reach their adult size sooner. Knowing when to stop feeding puppy food to a large breed is crucial too — larger breeds may take longer to mature, so they will benefit from the extra nutrients in puppy food for a more extended period. The proper food is imperative in the correct growth of your puppy.

3. Consult Your Veterinarian

The decision of when to stop puppy food should be based on your dog's growth and development — and your veterinarian is your most reliable ally in making this decision. They can assess your pup's individual growth and development, taking into account any breed-specific considerations. Regular check-ups are an excellent opportunity to discuss your pup's diet and ask for recommendations.

4. Monitor Body Condition

Pay attention to your puppy's body condition. If they are growing at a healthy rate, maintaining an appropriate weight, and have a shiny coat, it might be a sign that it's time for the transition.

5. Gradual Transition

When the time comes to make the switch, do it gradually. Mix the new adult food with the puppy food over a period of about a week, increasing the ratio of adult food each day. This gradual shift minimizes the risk of digestive upset.

The Cola's Kitchen Solution: Tailored Nutrition for Your Pup

While the guidelines above provide a general roadmap for when to switch from puppy to adult food, at Cola's Kitchen we offer a revolutionary solution to simplify the process. We understand that a puppy's nutritional requirements change multiple times during the puppy stage. That's why we've created an individually balanced food that adapts as your puppy grows, reformulating their food once a month to ensure they receive everything they need at each stage of development.

Cola's Kitchen fresh food is a game-changer in the world of pet nutrition. We offer tailored nutrition to meet your puppy's unique needs at every stage of growth, including the changing requirements for protein, fat, and essential nutrients as your pup matures. Unlike traditional dog foods that remain static, Cola's Kitchen adapts. We reformulate recipes monthly to ensure your puppy receives precisely what they need when they need it. This means you don't have to worry about switching between puppy and adult food—you're always providing the right nutrition. Say goodbye to the guesswork of determining when to make the transition. With Cola's Kitchen, you can trust that your pup is getting a balanced diet tailored to their specific age and stage of development.


Switching your puppy from puppy food to adult food is a significant milestone in their development. It's a decision that should be made thoughtfully, taking into account factors like age, size, and individual growth. While there's no one-size-fits-all answer, the guidelines provided here can help you make an informed choice.

However, if you're looking to streamline the transition and provide your puppy with consistently tailored nutrition, Cola's Kitchen fresh food is the ultimate solution. With monthly reformulations and a commitment to your pup's well-being, we take the guesswork out of the equation.

Remember, your puppy's journey from puppyhood to adulthood is a unique and exciting adventure. By making the right dietary choices, you're ensuring they have the best possible start on their path to a healthy and happy life.

Raw vs. fresh food diets for dogs: uncover the pros, cons, and what's best for your pet's health in our informative blog. 🐶🥩🍲 #DogDiet


Have you ever considered a raw food diet for dogs? Deeply rooted in the primal eating habits of our dogs' ancestors, raw diets have become a topic of discussion among today's pet owners. These diets promise a return to nature and many potential health benefits that conventional feeding methods might miss. 

But are you aware of what switching to a raw food diet truly means for your dog's health and lifestyle? Let's take a closer look at its benefits and the concerns it brings to the table for our canine companions.

Understanding the Raw Food Diet

A raw food diet for dogs usually includes muscle meat, bone, organ meats, raw eggs, vegetables, fruits, and sometimes dairy, like yogurt. This diet mimics what dogs' ancestors, wolves, would eat in the wild. Advocates of raw feeding argue that this diet leads to shinier coats, healthier skin, higher energy levels, and smaller stools.1 Plus, studies have shown improved dental health and digestive function in dogs on a raw diet.

However, a raw diet requires careful balance — something that’s hard to achieve by just mixing things at home. For example, proteins like chicken, beef, and lamb are essential, but the diet also needs a precise amount of calcium, which is typically derived from bones — a choking hazard that can also damage teeth.2 On the other hand, organ meats should only be a small part of the diet, and fruits and vegetables (like leafy greens, carrots, and apples) need to be added in a precise amounts to provide adequate fiber and micronutrients. 

Many dog owners are turning to raw meat diets for dogs as they seek more natural feeding options for their pets. But even with all these ingredients added in, raw diets are usually not complete and require supplements to fill nutritional gaps. Without proper knowledge or guidance from a professional nutritionist, there’s a very serious risk for nutritional imbalances that can lead to health issues. For example, vitamin E and fish oil supplements might be needed to support skin and coat health, while probiotics aid in maintaining digestive health. Nutrients also need to be provided in the right ratio to avoid negative interactions. These include, but are not limited to, the proper ratio of protein to calories, the proper balance of Calcium and Phosphorus and the proper ratio of Calcium to trace elements. A raw diet for puppies most likely will require additional supplements to ensure proper growth. 

Why a Fresh Food Diet is a Better Option

Given the many risks associated with raw diets, pet parents wanting to feed a clean, natural diet might want to look into a fresh food diet for a safer and more balanced alternative. Unlike raw diets, fresh dog food is cooked, reducing the risk of bacterial contamination. Cooking also makes it easier to ensure a balanced nutritional profile, as it allows for the precise measurement and integration of all necessary nutrients.  

Here’s a brief comparison between raw and fresh food diets:

Nutritional Balance and Completeness:

  • Raw Diet: Formulating a nutritionally balanced raw diet is complex. It requires a deep understanding of canine nutritional needs and exact measurements of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. The wrong combination of ingredients can lead to deficiencies or excesses, potentially causing health issues like bone malformations or organ dysfunction. Raw food diets for puppies, especially, must be carefully balanced to ensure they receive all necessary nutrients for healthy growth.
  • Fresh Food Diet: Fresh food diets, especially those commercially prepared, are often developed with the input of veterinary nutritionists. This ensures that they meet the nutritional standards set by organizations like the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). These diets are carefully designed and balanced in a way that's difficult to achieve with homemade raw diets. 

Safety in Storage and Handling:

  • Raw Diet: Raw diets require careful storage to prevent spoilage. Meat needs to be kept frozen and then thawed safely to minimize bacterial growth. There's also a risk of cross-contamination in the kitchen, which can endanger both pet and human health.3
  • Fresh Food Diet: Fresh diets are typically easier to store and handle. They can be refrigerated or frozen, with a lower risk of bacterial growth compared to raw meat. Additionally, the risk of cross-contamination is significantly reduced since the food is cooked.

Risk of Contamination and Pathogens:

  • Raw Diet: One of the biggest concerns with raw diets is the risk of contamination with pathogens like Salmonella and E. coli.4 Both pets and owners can be at risk of infection from these bacteria. This is particularly risky in households with young children or immunocompromised individuals, where bacterial infection from raw foods is a significant concern.
  • Fresh Food Diet: Cooking reduces the risk of bacterial contamination, making fresh diets a safer option. The cooking process kills most pathogens too, providing a safer meal for your dog and a safer preparation environment in your home.

Ease of Digestion and Absorption:

  • Raw Diet: While some argue that raw food is more 'natural' for dogs, it's not always the easiest for domesticated dogs to digest. This is especially true for dogs with sensitive stomachs or specific health issues.
  • Fresh Food Diet: Cooked foods are generally easier for dogs to digest and absorb nutrients from. The cooking process breaks down tough fibers and proteins, making it easier for dogs to extract the essential nutrients they need.

Palatability and Acceptance:

  • Raw Diet: The palatability of raw diets can vary greatly among individual dogs. Some may find it highly appealing, while others might be hesitant or even refuse to eat certain raw ingredients.
  • Fresh Food Diet: Generally, fresh food diets are well-received by most dogs due to the enhanced flavors and aromas that cooking brings out in the food. This can be especially beneficial for picky eaters or older dogs with diminished senses of taste and smell.

While raw diets have their fans, fresh food diets offer a more balanced, safer, and flavorful option for our canine friends. They combine the benefits of fresh, natural ingredients with the safety and convenience of a cooked diet. This makes fresh food diets like Cola’s Kitchen a great option for pet owners who want to provide their dogs with a nutritious diet without the risks associated with raw feeding.  


The raw food diet for dogs is a complex topic with strong opinions on both sides. While there are potential benefits, it's not without risks. The key is to make informed decisions based on your dog's specific needs and under veterinary guidance. Whether you choose to feed raw or not, the ultimate goal is the health and happiness of your beloved canine companion. 

Fresh diets like Cola’s Kitchen offer a safer, more convenient alternative that still provides the benefits of raw feeding without the associated risks. As always, any significant change in your dog's diet should be discussed with your veterinarian to ensure it's a healthy choice for your pet.

Health & Wellbeing
November 23, 2023

Human Food For Dogs: The Pros and Cons

Confused about human foods for dogs? Our latest post demystifies which foods are safe and nutritious for your pup. Dive in to ensure a happy, healthy mealtime! 🍎🥕🐕 #DogDiet


"Is it okay for my dog to eat this?" We’re sure you have asked yourself this question more than once, especially when you encounter those big, pleading eyes from under the dinner table. Sharing your meal with your four-legged family member may feel like an expression of love, but it can also carry a number of risks if you’re not feeding the correct thing. 

When considering human food for dogs, it's important to research which items are safe and nutritious for your pet. To help you make the right choice, we’ll take a look at the nutritional benefits of certain human foods, which ones to avoid, and why sharing human food with your canine friend can be both good and bad. 

Is Human Food for Dogs a Good Idea?   

As people have become more health-conscious, this change has significantly changed how we think about our dogs' meals too. Gone are the days when pet nutrition was a one-size-fits-all kibble solution. Today, more and more dog owners are turning towards fresh, human-grade foods to provide their furry companions with more exciting, nutritious diets.

This change is mostly due to owners wanting their dogs to eat a diet that benefits their health and well-being. In fact, research shows that 50% of pet parents are looking for higher-quality food that takes into consideration “humanization, premiumization, and sustainability.” An additional 19% of pet parents prefer non-GMO ingredients and 13% want human-grade ones. 1

This includes incorporating fresh human foods into their diets, which can offer benefits like improved digestion, enhanced energy levels, and a shinier coat.

While some human food for dogs, like carrots and lean meats, can provide essential nutrients, others can pose serious risks — and this is why it's important for pet owners to always research the best human food for dogs before sharing anything with your canine companion. 

What Human Food is Good for Dogs?

Introducing certain human foods into your dog’s diet can provide a variety of health benefits, serve as delicious snacks, and even aid in training as high-value treats. Other human foods can provide added nutritional value, serving as natural supplements to regular meals. They can also offer variety, keeping your dog's interest in meals high, which can be especially beneficial for picky eaters.  

Here are some more human foods that are not only safe but can also be beneficial for your dog:

  • Carrots: These crunchy snacks are low in calories and high in fiber and vitamins. Research suggests that carrots can help maintain dental health in dogs by minimizing plaque buildup, as well as providing relief for teething puppies (when offered cold or frozen).2
  • Lean Meats: Chicken, turkey, and lean beef are excellent sources of protein for dogs. Protein is essential for your dog's muscle development and energy levels. However, always ensure that the meat is cooked and free from spices and sauces, and remove any excess fat, as it can be difficult for dogs to digest and may lead to health issues. 
  • Fish: Fish like salmon and sardines are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for a dog's coat and skin health. These types of fish provide lean protein and are typically low in harmful contaminants, making them a healthy and safe choice for your dog's diet.
  • Peanut Butter: A favorite treat for many dogs, peanut butter is a good source of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins B and E. Just make sure you read labels to confirm the one you choose is free from xylitol, a sweetener harmful to dogs.
  • Blueberries: Blueberries are antioxidant powerhouses, great for your dog's immune system and overall health. They also provide vitamin C and fiber, making them a healthy snack for dogs. 
  • Apples: A crunchy, sweet treat, apples are a source of vitamins A and C and fiber, making them a healthy snack in moderation. Just remember to remove the seeds and core, as they can be toxic.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Cooked sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. They can aid in digestive health and are often used in high-quality dog foods.
  • Oatmeal: A great source of soluble fiber, oatmeal is great for dogs with bowel irregularity issues. Make sure it's cooked well and served plain, without sugar or flavorings.
  • Pumpkin: Rich in fiber and beta-carotene, pumpkin can help with your dog's digestion. It's often recommended by veterinarians as a remedy for constipation or diarrhea.
  • Green Beans: All types of green beans are safe for dogs, and they are full of important vitamins and minerals. They’re also low in calories and can be a healthy snack for weight management. Don’t feel canned beans, though, as these are usually high in sodium. 
  • Yogurt: Plain yogurt is a good source of calcium and protein. It's also beneficial for your dog's digestive system, thanks to its probiotics. Just be sure to choose yogurts that do not contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Also, keep in mind that some dogs are lactose intolerant, so feed a small amount (1 teaspoon or less) at first to see how your dog reacts. 
  • Eggs: Cooked eggs are a wonderful source of protein and can help settle upset stomachs. However, make sure they are cooked well (without oil) to avoid the risk of salmonella.
  • Rice: Plain, cooked rice can be a helpful part of your dog’s diet, especially if they are experiencing gastrointestinal upset. It’s easy to digest and can help bind stools. 

The Bad: Human Foods That Are Dangerous for Dogs

Just as some human foods can be beneficial, others pose a serious risk of illness or even death. Understanding these dangers can help you make better choices about what to share with your canine companion.

Here are some human foods that can be dangerous for dogs:

  • Chocolate: Perhaps the most well-known toxic food for dogs, chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which can be harmful to your dog’s heart and nervous system. The AKC warns against any chocolate consumption for dogs, as even small amounts can be dangerous.3
  • Grapes and Raisins: Though the exact toxic substance in grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure in dogs. Even small amounts can be dangerous, so it's essential to avoid giving them to your dog entirely.
  • Onions and Garlic: These common kitchen foods can cause gastrointestinal irritation and lead to red blood cell damage in dogs. Even small amounts, if consumed regularly, can be harmful.
  • Xylitol: Found in many sugar-free products, including some peanut butter, xylitol can cause insulin release in dogs, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This artificial sweetener can also lead to liver failure and seizures in dogs. 
  • Alcohol: Even small amounts of alcohol, both in drinks and foods, can be toxic to dogs. Alcohol affects a dog's liver and brain and can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and even death in severe cases. 
  • Avocado: Avocados contain persin, a substance that can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The pit also poses a choking hazard and can cause obstructions in the digestive tract.
  • Macadamia Nuts: These nuts are notoriously toxic to dogs, causing symptoms like weakness, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia. Even a small amount can make a dog ill.
  • Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums: The seeds or pits from these fruits can cause intestinal obstruction in dogs. Additionally, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs. The flesh of the fruit is safe in small quantities, but it’s best to completely avoid giving these pits or seeds to your dog.
  • Cooked Bones: While raw bones are often safe for dogs, cooked bones can easily splinter and cause choking or serious damage to the dog's mouth, throat, or intestines.
  • Cherries: Apart from the choking hazard posed by the pits, cherry plants contain cyanide and are toxic to dogs. Cyanide inhibits cellular oxygen transport, meaning that a dog’s blood cells can't get enough oxygen.
  • Salt and Salty Snack Foods: Too much salt can lead to sodium poisoning in dogs, leading to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures, and even death.
  • Corn on the Cob: While corn itself is not harmful to dogs, the cob can be a choking hazard and can also cause intestinal blockage if ingested. This is particularly dangerous because it can go undetected until it causes severe complications, requiring urgent veterinary care.
  • Mushrooms: Certain types of wild mushrooms can be toxic to dogs and can lead to severe liver disease, neurological disorders, kidney failure, and more. If you want to share mushrooms with your dog, stick to store-bought varieties like white button, cremini, and portobello mushrooms (but serve in moderation).   


More and more pet owners are exploring the benefits of incorporating human food for dogs into their regular diet for a healthier lifestyle. Sharing your snack with your four-legged friend can be tempting, but as a responsible pet owner, it’s important to know what's safe and what's not.  

To keep your furry friend happy and healthy, incorporating the best human food for dogs into their meals can be a wise and rewarding choice — but also a confusing one.. At Cola's Kitchen, we are stepping up to provide pet owners with peace of mind. Our meals are crafted using only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients, focusing on human foods that are not just safe for dogs but also offer substantial nutritional benefits. Our recipes are also carefully and individually balanced to ensure they meet the dietary needs of dogs, offering a convenient and healthy alternative to conventional pet food.  

November 21, 2023

Best Dog Treats at Home

Looking for healthy dog treat ideas? Check out our latest post featuring 15 homemade treats made from fruits and veggies! Perfect for keeping your furry friend happy and healthy. 🍏🥕🐶 #HealthyDog


As pet owners, we always want the best for our furry friends, especially when it comes to their diet. So while there are numerous commercial options available for dog treats, nothing beats the freshness and healthiness of homemade treats. 

Let’s take a closer look at the top 15 healthy treats for dogs made from fruits and veggies, each carefully selected for their nutritional benefits and taste appeal to ensure your pet enjoys a variety of wholesome, delicious snacks.

The Benefits of Fruits and Veggies as Dog Treats 

When searching for treats good for dogs, think low-calorie, nutrient-rich — and that’s where fruits and vegetables come in. These natural treats for dogs provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fibers that can help digestion, improve skin and coat health, and keep healthy tails wagging. 

Fruits and vegetables aren't just staples in a healthy human diet; they're also superstars in the world of canine nutrition. These healthy homemade dog treats also come packed with numerous benefits:

  • Rich in Essential Nutrients: Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and minerals vital for keeping your dog healthy. For example, carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which is important for eye health, while blueberries come loaded with antioxidants that support immune health.
  • Low in Fat and Calories: On the hunt for waistline-friendly snacks for your dog? Many fruits and vegetables make great low-calorie dog treats. They provide a satisfying crunch without the excessive calories found in many commercial treats.
  • Hydration and Fiber: Water-rich fruits like watermelon and cucumber offer hydration, perfect for keeping your pup cool during those long summer days. Vegetables like pumpkin and apple are high in fiber, which aids in digestion and can help prevent constipation.
  • Variety and Enjoyment: Why settle for boring when you can mix it up? Introducing a variety of fruits and vegetables as treats can keep your dog’s meals interesting. It's a great way to add both diversity and nutritional benefits to their diet.
  • Natural and Safe: By preparing healthy treats for dogs at home, you have control over what goes into them and you can skip unwanted additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors that often sneak into commercial treats.

Whatever dog treats you choose, keep in mind that treats should only make up about 10% of your dog’s total daily calorie intake.1 The amount and size of treats that are right for your dog depend on their weight, size, and calorie needs. For example, a smaller breed with a lower calorie requirement will need smaller or fewer treats compared to a larger, more active dog.  

Remember, while fruits and veggies are healthy, they should be introduced gradually into your dog’s diet to avoid gastrointestinal issues. You should also be mindful of foods that are a no-go for dogs, like grapes and onions. Making a big dietary change? It's a smart move to check in with your veterinarian first to make sure that the new diet plan suits your furry friend's health needs perfectly.

The 15 Best Dog Treats to Give at Home:

  1. Carrot sticks or slices (30 calories/medium carrot): These are not only rich in beta-carotene and fiber but also serve as excellent healthy puppy treats. Their hard texture aids in dental health by cleaning teeth. Serve them raw for a crunchy snack or steamed for a softer texture.
  2. Apple Slices (52 calories/apple): A great source of vitamins A and C, apples can help boost your dog's immune system. Make sure you remove the seeds and core, as they can be toxic. Apples can be served in thin slices or small chunks, making them an easy, digestible treat. Just remember to serve them in moderation due to the natural sugars.
  3. Blueberry Pops (85 calories/cup): Freeze blueberries for a refreshing summer treat. Packed with antioxidants, they help maintain your dog’s brain health and can prevent cell damage.
  4. Sweet Potato Chews (86 calories/medium potato): Slice and dehydrate sweet potatoes for a chewy snack that's rich in vitamins A, C, and B6. This treat is especially good for digestive health.
  5. Green Bean Crunchies (31 calories/cup): Fresh or frozen, green beans are an excellent low-calorie treat. They are full of important vitamins and minerals and can be a great addition to a weight-loss diet for dogs. 
  6. Banana Bites (105 calories/medium banana): Freezing banana slices creates a creamy, potassium-rich treat. Given their natural sweetness, they should be offered as a special treat rather than a daily snack. 
  7. Watermelon Cubes (30 calories/cup): Providing hydration and sweetness, seedless and rind-free watermelon cubes are a perfect summer snack. They're also a good source of vitamins A, B6, and C.
  8. Pumpkin (49 calories/cup): Plain, cooked pumpkin aids in digestion and can help with both constipation and diarrhea. Serve it pureed for a smooth treat or frozen (after cooking and pureeing) for a longer-lasting snack.
  9. Zucchini Chips (20 calories/cup): Thinly sliced and baked or dehydrated zucchini chips are low in calories and make a crispy, healthy treat. They're also a good source of Vitamin C and potassium.
  10. Pear Pieces (57 calories/pear): Pears are high in fiber and vitamins K and C. Remove the seeds and core to avoid any risk of choking or toxicity, and serve them fresh or frozen.
  11. Cucumber Slices (16 calories/cup): Great for hydration and freshness, cucumbers are low in calories, making them a suitable treat for weight management. Serve them raw for a crunchy, refreshing treat.
  12. Spinach Bite (7 calories/cup): Rich in iron, spinach can be steamed and frozen in small portions. Introduce spinach slowly into your dog’s diet as it's high in oxalic acid, which can lead to kidney problems in large amounts.
  13. Broccoli Florets (31 calories/cup): Serve broccoli raw or steamed but in moderation to avoid potential gas. It's high in fiber and vitamin C and can be a healthy addition to your dog's diet.
  14. Kale Chips (50 calories/cup): Baked or dehydrated kale chips are a crunchy, nutrient-rich snack. They are high in vitamins A, C, and K but should be given in moderation due to the potential for causing gastrointestinal upset.
  15. Strawberry Hearts (50 calories/cup): Strawberries are a sweet treat high in fiber and vitamin C. Serve them fresh or frozen, but in moderation due to their sugar content. They can also help whiten your dog’s teeth.


Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your dog’s diet is a wonderful way to enhance their diet with nutrients while keeping calorie intake in check. As with everything, though, moderation is key, and you should always consult your vet before introducing new foods to your dog's diet.

For those looking for convenient, nutritious dog food, Cola’s Kitchen offers fresh dog food options rich in natural ingredients and tailored to meet the specific dietary needs of your pet. Cola’s Kitchen customers also have the exclusive opportunity to purchase some of the best dog treats in the market — our multi-purpose superfood treats. These treats are packed with nutrient-dense ingredients, delivering both exceptional taste and health benefits. 

November 21, 2023

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?  

Ever wondered why your dog loves munching on grass? Our latest post dives into the surprising reasons behind this quirky habit. Unearth the secrets of your canine's grass appetite! 🌿🐕 #DogBehaviors


"Is my dog turning into a cow?" This question has probably crossed your mind once or twice when you see your pooch happily grazing on your lawn. We get it, dogs’ passion for grass-eating is a bit of a head-scratcher. After all, why do our canine pals, known for their meat-loving tendencies, suddenly decide to snack on greenery?

Turns out that grass-eating is actually very common. A survey conducted by the University of California, Davis, found that out of 1,000 dog owners, 79% claimed their dogs ate grass at some point.1 This makes the behavior quite common and “normal” rather than suggesting nutritional or behavioral problems. 

So why does a dog eat grass? Let’s take a closer look into the world of canine science to figure out why our dogs have become the cutest 'lawnmowers' we've ever encountered.

Tracing the Roots: The Evolutionary Story Behind Dogs Eating Grass

Would you be surprised to hear that when dogs eat grass, it's often due to their wild ancestors? Well, that’s exactly how it is — while dogs are primarily known for their carnivorous diet, their ancestors had a more varied diet. 

Studies looking into canine ancestry have found that ancient dogs were a mix of hunters, scavengers, and foragers before humans came into the picture.2 The behavior, still observed in wolves today, is not just about filling a gap in their diet but also about seeking medicinal benefits. For example, wild canids are known to consume certain plants and grasses to aid in digestion or expel intestinal parasites.3 While your dog likely doesn’t need to eat grass anymore to get rid of parasites if he’s regularly dewormed, they might have retained this trait from their wolf ancestors.  

So while the sight of a dog eating grass can be puzzling, it's often just a normal part of canine behavior — a reminder of their rich and wild heritage.  

Other Reasons Behind Dogs Eating Grass

While evolutionary habits play a significant role in why dogs eat grass, there are also other reasons such as health issues, nutritional needs, or psychological factors. More importantly, the reasons why dogs eat grass may vary from dog to dog, ranging from boredom to dietary deficiencies.  

For example, you might have noticed that when dogs eat grass, they sometimes do it to induce vomiting if they're feeling unwell — especially if they have eaten something that doesn’t agree with their stomach.4 However, this reason may not be as common as you think. In fact, experts point out that less than 25% of dogs that eat grass actually vomit afterward and only 10% “seem to be sick before eating grass” — which suggests that nausea might not be the primary reason why dogs eat grass.5

If you notice your dog eating grass frequently, it might also be a good idea to check their diet for any nutritional deficiencies. Studies suggest that some dogs might be eating grass to supplement their diet, particularly to fulfill a need for fiber.6 Fiber is essential for digestive health, and grass is an easy-to-access source. While commercial dog foods are designed to provide balanced nutrition, some contain a low amount of fiber, which might lead to your pooch hunting for some extra in your yard. 

Finally, boredom or anxiety can also lead your dog to nibble on grass — especially in dogs that are left alone for extended periods, lack sufficient mental and physical stimulation, or experience anxiety. For many dogs, the act of eating grass can become a distraction or even a self-soothing behavior.  

The Effects of Grass Eating on Canine Health 

So is it okay for dogs to eat grass? The short answer, according to experts, is that grass, in its natural state, is not harmful to dogs. However, lawns that have been treated with chemicals like pesticides or fertilizers can pose a significant risk to dogs. Many of these substances can be toxic if ingested, causing everything from mild gastrointestinal upset to more severe poisoning symptoms. 

While untreated grass is generally safe, it could potentially cause stomach irritation, gastrointestinal upset or blockage if consumed in large amounts or too quickly. Plus, there’s always the risk your dog might ingest intestinal parasites that can be present in soil or on grass. 

Finally, it's important to keep in mind that eating grass could be a sign of an underlying health issue, such as gastrointestinal distress or a nutritional imbalance, which might require attention from a veterinarian. Veterinarians will examine behavioral patterns to understand why dogs eat grass, considering both psychological and physical health aspects. 

Managing Your Dog’s Grass-Eating Habit

Observing your dog munching on grass can be a peculiar sight, but as pet owners, it’s crucial to know how to manage and respond to this behavior. This includes recognizing when to be concerned, making dietary adjustments if necessary, and providing environmental enrichment to prevent boredom-induced grass eating.  

If the grass-eating behavior is something new (and it appeared suddenly), a veterinary check-up can help rule out or diagnose any medical concerns. Additionally, if your dog shows signs of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, along with increased grass eating, you should contact your vet right away.

Other changes you can make: 

  • Dietary Adjustments. If you suspect your dog is eating grass due to a lack of certain nutrients, a diet change or supplement might be a good idea. Any big diet changes should be made under the guidance of a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to ensure it's appropriate and safe for your pet.
  • Environmental Enrichment. The AKC recommends increasing exercise and interactive playtime to keep your dog mentally and physically engaged. Activities like long walks, fetch, agility training, or puzzle toys can significantly enrich your dog's environment and help fight boredom and anxiety. These activities might prevent grass eating but also contribute to your dog's overall health and happiness. 


While grass-eating is generally harmless, staying vigilant about your dog’s overall behavior and health is key. Remember, when in doubt, a vet’s insight can help keep your grass-munching buddy healthy and happy! 

At Cola's Kitchen, we provide nutritionally balanced, high-quality food that caters to the specific needs of dogs. Our recipes are crafted to provide a well-balanced diet that minimizes the need for dogs to seek out supplementary nutrients from sources like grass.  

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