What are the most harmful things you can give your pets?
Updated: May 1
I grew up in a time when it was common place to feed the family dog scraps right off the dinner plate.
I have seen pets given all kinds of crazy things. An easy rule of thumb, if it isn't particularly healthy for you, it most likely will not be great for your cat or dog either. Some pets try, and will eat almost anything, so pet parents need to be responsible or they could end up in their local emergency room.
Like all research, the research into an appropriate diet for our four-legged family members, has increased and improved our knowledge base. We now know a great deal more about the bad effects an inappropriate diet can have on our furry friends, from bad health to a shorter life span. The good news is we can avoid this outcome by simply staying up to date on current pet health research and paying closer attention to what we feed our pets. Keeping your pet on a healthy diet and avoiding harmful foods will lead to your family pet living a longer happier life.
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This article is not meant to be medical advice, if you feel your pet has been poisoned, “Please contact your veterinarian immediately”.
The following are a list of ten things you should never give your pets.
#1 The first on our list bones. Bones are bad for pet’s period! Every year countless numbers of animals end up in the emergency room from being given bones by their owners, or friends of the family, usually as a treat.
The fact is that dogs are omnivores, not carnivores and the majority of dogs and cats cannot tolerate bones. Bones can splinter or become lodged in the intestinal tract with disastrous results, most likely requiring surgery. They can also get stuck in their gums or throat, which can be just as dangerous. All bones are bad, including chicken, pork and beef. So when you feel the urge to give your dog a bone as a treat, just make sure it's a milk bone or another safe alternative. Your pet will love you just as much for it.
#2 Milk is also not the greatest thing you can give pets, because many of them are lactose intolerant and will develop diarrhea. Pets often lack the enzyme that is required to break down the sugar in milk, this can lead to them to developing diarrhea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Even though they like it, especially our cats, try to avoid giving your pets milk.
#3 Chocolate can be lethal to our beloved pets because it contains a chemical called “theobromine”, which causes an increased heart rate, effects the central nervous system causing stimulation and constriction of arteries. Clinical symptoms can range from vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, and excitability to cardiac failure, seizures and death. This can take place in as quickly as four to six hours after ingestion. Baking chocolate can be the worst because it contains the highest amount of “theobromine”. A potential lethal dose is only one pound of chocolate in a 16-pound dog. If your pet has gotten into chocolate, “Please contact your veterinarian immediately”.
#4 Ham like all salty meats and foods, can be very dangerous to pets. In addition to being high in fat, they can also have very high amounts of salt which can cause serious stomach ache or pancreatitis. Also, larger breeds of dogs that eat salty food may drink too much water and develop a life-threatening condition called "bloat." This is where the stomach can fill up with gas and within several hours may twist, this will cause the pet to unfortunately die. Please avoid giving ham and salty foods to your four-legged family members.
#5 Alcohol can also be very harmful for our cats and dogs. It doesn't take much alcohol to intoxicate a pet. Animals can stagger and bump into things, hurting themselves, and it can also cause them to urinate uncontrollably.
In high doses, alcohol will suppress the central nervous, respiratory and cardiac systems and can lead to death. Leaving open glasses or containers of alcohol should be avoided. Even if your furry friend has had a hard day, it is probably best to just give your pet water.
#6 Onions are toxic to our pets. They contain allyl propyl disulfide, this damages their red blood cells and can cause fatal consequences in in our furry friends. They may become anemic, weak and may have trouble breathing. The best thing to do if your pet accidently ingests onions is to get them to the vet as quickly as possible.
#7 Caffeine is also bad for pets. It contains a chemical called “methylated xanthine” and like chocolate, this stimulates the central nervous and cardiac systems and within several hours can cause vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, heart palpitations and even death. So, its always best to make sure your pets stay well away from that early morning coffee.
#8 Avocados are also bad for our pets. First, they are very high in fat and can cause an upset stomach, vomiting and may even cause pancreatitis. Secondly, the pit is also toxic, this can get lodged in the intestinal tract of our pet, leading to a severe blockage, which may lead to emergency surgery.
#9 Now this one you may not know, but the latest research has found that raisins and grapes can lead to kidney failure in our pets. Not to mention smaller breeds of dogs and cats can also choke on grapes so it is best to just make sure that your pets eat a well-balanced diet that is formulated for them, taking into account their life stage and health.
#10 Our next one may come as a surprise to many pet parents, “tuna fish” is bad for cats, that’s right “tuna fish”. The feline heart muscle requires an amino acid called “taurine” to maintain normal strength and function. The tuna fish we humans eat does not have this amino acid, so feeding cats the same tuna fish we eat will cause them to develop heart problems.
If you want to give your cats that taste of tuna that they love, just make sure it is tuna fish for cats which has this amino acid added. So, you don’t have to deny your kitty one of their favorite treats.
Let’s keep the pets we love healthy and safe, so we can love them for years to come…
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