Ten things you should never give
Did you know there are things that you should
never feed your cat or dog? This useful article, written by Dr.
Karen Halligan is essential reading for all cat and dog owners.
"Having worked in emergency for numerous years, I have seen pets
given all kinds of foods and drinks. An easy rule of thumb, if it
isn't particularly healthy for you, it most likely is not good for
your cat or dog. Some pets will eat almost anything, so pet owners
need to be careful or they could end up in the local emergency room.
The following are ten bad things to give your pets.
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1. Make no bones about it -- bones are bad for
animals! Every year countless numbers of animals end up in the
emergency room from being given bones by their owners, usually as a
The fact is that dogs are omnivores, not carnivores and most dogs
and cats cannot tolerate bones. They can splinter or lodge in the
intestinal tract with disastrous results, usually requiring surgery.
They can also get stuck in their mouth or throat, which is just as
dangerous. All bones are bad, including pork, chicken and beef. The
next time you feel the urge to give your dog a bone, just make sure
it's a milk bone or a nylabone. Your pet will love you for it.
2. Chocolate can be lethal to pets because it
contains theobromine, which causes increased heart rate, central
nervous system stimulation and constriction of arteries. Clinical
symptoms range from vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, and
excitability to cardiac failure, seizures and death. This can occur
as quickly as four to six hours after ingestion. Baking chocolate is
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 you should contact your
3. Alcohol is also very bad for cats and dogs. It
doesn't take much alcohol to intoxicate a pet. Animals will stagger
and bump into things, hurting themselves, and it also causes them to
In high doses, alcohol will suppress the central nervous,
respiratory and cardiac systems and can lead to death. It is best to
just give your pet water.
4. Milk is also not good for animals 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 and
this can cause them to develop vomiting, diarrhea and other
Even though they like it, especially cats, refrain from giving your
5. Ham and other salty meats and foods are very
dangerous to pets. In addition to being high in fat, they are also
very salty which can cause serious stomach ache or pancreatitis.
Also, large 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 fills up with gas and within several hours may
twist, causing the pet to die. Please avoid giving ham and salty
foods to your pets.
6. Onions are toxic to pets. They contain allyl
propyl disulfide, which damages their red blood cells and can cause
fatal consequences in animals. They may become anemic, weak and have
trouble breathing. The best thing to do if your pet ingests onions
is to get them to the vet right away.
7. Caffeine is also bad for pets. It contains
methylated xanthine that, like chocolate, stimulates the central
nervous and cardiac systems and within several hours can cause
vomiting, restlessness, heart palpitations and even death. So make
sure your pets stay away from that early morning brew.
8. Avocados are also bad for pets. First, they are
really high in fat and can cause stomach upset, vomiting and even
pancreatitis. Second, the pit is also toxic and can get lodged in
the intestinal tract leading to a severe blockage, which may require
9. It may come as a surprise to many that
tuna fish is bad for cats. The feline heart muscle requires
an amino acid called taurine to maintain normal strength and
function. Regular tuna fish for humans does not have this amino acid
and cats that eat too much tuna fish will 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.
10. The latest study has found that raisins
and grapes can lead to kidney failure in pets. Small dogs
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 their life
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