Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Please don't feed the dog (or cat)... No matter what they tell you!

Our pets are our families. And, if you are like us, you want to spoil them.
So what is the easiest way to do that? You guessed it- food.
We give them new treats, the best kibble, new chewy bones, home-made dog safe cookies. And, more likely than not, you have slipped them a bite or two (or three, or four...) of something off of your own plate.
We understand. That adorable face, those begging eyes- how can you say no? A bite or two won't hurt, right? After all, this is what you are eating.
"If it is good enough for me, it is good enough for my pets!"
Unfortunately, that mind set can get us into trouble more often than not. A whole host of problems can be contributed to animals getting foods that are meant for people, such as pancreatitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal upset, and obesity. Animals need far fewer calories than the typical person, so one bite of our food can equal a whole lot more calories than they needed!
Additionally, some people foods are quite toxic to pets. Everyone remembers that dogs cannot have chocolate, right? Well, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is to dogs- the darker chocolates contain more methylxanthines (like caffeine and theobromine) than the milk chocolate (which contains less amounts, but still enough to cause major problems). When ingested, these substances cause excitability, hyperthermia, vomiting and diarrhea, seizures, and can progress to death. If your pet ingests chocolate, call your veterinarian right away.
Check out this guide that discusses some other common people food that can be toxic to pets.

Some great treat options can be skinless, boneless boiled chicken, baby carrots, frozen green beans, or canned pumpkin. Remember, there are other foods that can cause severe issues! If you aren't sure if it is safe, give your veterinarian a call! We are always here to help!