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Food Poisonous To Our Pets

Updated on December 31, 2010

Foods Poisonous To Our Pets

This is a great Article with important information that every dog owner should read. It just might save your pet's life.

We all know that pets aren't supposed to have people food. But let's face it, sometimes, it happens something falls on the floor when you're cooking dinner, and Buddy is quickly there, vacuuming up the crumbs, or Felix steels something off the plate when you aren't looking.

There are some healthy "people foods" for pets (only small amounts- not replacements for pet food). But there are also many foods that can be dangerous to our feline friends and canine companions.

Here is a handy list of the top common foods that are toxic to your pet along with tips on what to do if your pet happens to get a hold of any of these substances.

Avocado

Avocado

While many pet owners say they feed their pets avocados with no problems, studies have shown that their leaves, fruit, seeds and bark can contain a toxin called Persin. According to the ASPCA, the Guatemalan variety, which is commonly found in stores, contains the most toxicity.

Onions, onion powder, chives and garlic

These all can lead to gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage. All forms of onion can cause problems including dehydrated onions, raw and cooked onions. Cats are more susceptible than dogs, but it can be toxic to both.

Grapes

Grapes and raisins

These can be toxic to dogs and cause kidney failure. Researchers say there are still many unknowns about the toxicity of grapes and raisins, including whether only certain types of dogs are affected, but it is advised not to feed grapes or raisins to dogs in any amount.

Yeast dough

Dough that is not cooked and contains yeast can rise in your pet's stomach, causing pain, and can potentially cause the intestines to rupture. This risk diminishes once the dough is cooked.

Bones

Left-over bones

Left-over bones pose a choking hazard to pets, and they can also splinter and puncture your pet's gut or intestine. Additionally, do not feed your pet undercooked meat or eggs, as they can contain harmful bacteria.

Foods with a high salt or fat content

Excessive fats can cause upset stomach and potentially inflame the pancreas causing pancreatitis. Salty foods can pose a risk for the development of sodium ion toxicosis, according to the ASPCA. Be aware that if your pet gets into food with a high fat or salt content, she could experience stomach problems including diarrhea and vomiting.

Chocolate

Chocolate, coffee, alcohol

According to the ASPCA, the substances in chocolate, coffee, and caffeine, methlxanthines, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, and potentially death in pets. The higher the cocoa percentage, the more dangerous the chocolate is, making dark chocolate more toxic than milk or white chocolate. All these products can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even death.

Sugarless candies (products sweetened with xylitol)

This compound can cause liver damage and even death in some more vulnerable dogs. Xylitol is in many products including gum, candy, sugar-free cookies and toothpaste.

Macadamia nuts

These nuts can cause weakness, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Symptoms generally last up to two days, and usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion.

What do you do if your pet ate something poisonous?

If your animal is having seizures or losing consciousness, bring him or her to your veterinarian or emergency vet center. If your pet is not showing symptoms, but ingested something potentially toxic, call the ASPCA hotline at (888) 426-4435. Have the following information available: the species, breed, age, sex, weight, and information about the product exposure. It is best to have the package of the product available for reference.

Megan Zehnder, an animal lover and committed vegetarian, is an editor and producer for Care2's Healthy and Green Living.

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10 Safe Ways To Liven Up Your Dog's Dinner With People Food

By: Roschelle Heuberger, PhD

If you're going to feed your dogs "people" food, shouldn't you feed them something that's actually good for them? Here are some healthy, easily obtainable options straight from market shelves that can be added to spice up your pup's regular fare. There are, of course, a few cautions to keep in mind. First, none of these items by themselves constitutes a "complete and balanced" meal, and if your dog has health or weight issues, check with your vet before introducing them. Next, considering that many dogs are willing to eat almost anything they find, they can be surprisingly fussy about new things in their food bowls; start with a small portion to see if it's a go or no. And finally, always introduce new foods gradually.

1. Banana

High in potassium (great for muscle and blood vessel function as well as for regulating the acidity of body fluids), fiber (a handy home remedy for the occasional bout of doggy diarrhea or constipation) and magnesium (important for energy transport and protein building in the body). Bananas have lots of pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), which helps metabolize proteins and regulates blood cell function so the blood can bring more oxygen to the brain and muscle. They also contain Vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects cells from damage and helps build cartilage. Pup Prep: Mash a banana and mix it in with your dog's food. Be forewarned that the compounds in bananas that make them smell banana-y are offensive to some canines.

2. Rutabaga

A sorely ignored veggie, similar to a turnip. Rutabagas are very good boiled and mashed. They're available year-round in most grocery stores and keep well. Their high levels of Vitamin C, potassium and carotenoids (precursors to Vitamin A) aid eye health and maintenance of DNA activation in cells. They are also important in immune system function and have a number of lesser-known phytochemicals, which are shown to reduce the risk of several chronic diseases associated with aging. Pup Prep: Peel, boil and mash the rutabaga, then add a little bit of safflower or olive oil; these oils are not harmful to dogs, who need fats and handle them far better than do humans.

3. Sweet Potato

Loaded with nutrients, such as the carotenoids and Vitamin C, in addition to some lesser known antioxidants and phytochemicals. They are high in pyridoxine, potassium, fiber and magnesium. They also are good sources of copper, iron and manganese-all essential minerals that perform myriad functions in cells, from transporting oxygen to assisting in the assembly of proteins. Pup Prep: As with rutabaga, boil, mash and add a bit of good oil.

4. Flaxseeds

Small seeds-known for their alpha linolenic acid (ALA) content and benefits to coat, skin, bone and brain function-that pack a big nutritional punch. These seeds are also high in fiber and lignans (a fiber type), which may be beneficial for insulin action. They are a great source of manganese, pyridoxine, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. They also contain the B vitamin folate, which is important for cell regulation. Pup Prep: Grind fresh flaxseeds, which are nutty and crunchy; flaxseed oil is also available in most health food stores and contains a more concentrated amount of ALA. Add the ground seeds or a teaspoon of oil to your dog's food and increase the nutrient density of any meal. (Note: Store in refrigerator to maintain freshness.)

5. Yogurt

Active cultures known as probiotics (necessary, friendly bacteria) help keep the bad bacteria away. Yogurt, which may improve gut function, contains a number of nutrients, including protein, calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin B12, potassium, zinc and iodine. It is also a fair source of other B vitamins such as riboflavin and pantothenic acid (required for enzyme action and energy production, as well as other cellular functions). Pup Prep: A dollop of non-fat yogurt is a great way to disguise some yucky medicines.

6. Salmon

Bursting with Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s do wonders for skin, coat and brain as well as limit inflammatory processes that cause arthritic pain and other chronic canine conditions. (If your dog has any of these conditions, ask your vet if fish oil in capsule form might help.) Salmon is also an excellent protein source, with many essential vitamins and minerals.* Pup Prep: When you're cooking salmon steaks for yourself, toss a few extra on the barbie for your dog. Refrigerate or dehydrate the grilled chunks and serve them cold.

7. Nori

Dried edible seaweed (red algae species), a Japanese staple. Often associated with sushi, nori is available in some supermarkets, and certainly in those with Asian food items. It has protein, galactans (a soluble fiber), Vitamins C, E and all the Bs, and minerals such as zinc and copper. It also contains some lesser-known sterols and chlorophyll, which have been investigated for their effects on regulating metabolism. Nori may have beneficial effects on fat metabolism, immune function and anti-tumor response. Pup Prep: Nori does not have a strong odor or flavor, and the paper-thin sheets can be torn and soaked in broth, then added to food, or just added dry. Puppy sushi, anyone?

8. Blueberries

Member of the Heath family and loaded with phytochemicals. Available year round either fresh or frozen, blueberries are a great treat for your dog. The deep blue color comes from anthocyanidins, which are potent antioxidants, and the berries also supply Vitamin C, Vitamin E, manganese and fiber. Slow introduction in small quantities is particularly essential here; as anyone who has ever gorged on this tasty fruit knows, the blueberry "trots" are most unpleasant (and you're the one who will be cleaning up!). Be judicious. Pup Prep: Rinse and serve whole, or mash lightly.

9. Rosemary

Aromatic mint relative. Rosemary provides some fiber, iron and calcium in addition to several phytochemicals thought to improve immune function and act as anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants. Pup Prep: Wash a sprig of fresh rosemary and add the minced needles (leaves) to foods.

10. Swiss Chard

A pretty veggie known as a "green." Chard belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and has tons of nutrients, which are best maintained by blanching and not boiling the leaves and stalks to mush. (Some feel that, in order to lap up any leeched nutrients, the water in which chard is blanched should be consumed too.) Blanching sweetens the leaves and frees up some of the oxalates, which can bind minerals. Chard's nutrients have the potential to maintain bone health, blood vessel integrity, eye health and immune function and benefit optimal muscle function and energy production. Pup Prep: Offer your dog some blanched, chopped chard enhanced with a bit of olive oil; if you're lucky, your best friend will want the blanching water too!

*The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors the levels of mercury and industrial chemicals that end up in fish, both fresh- and saltwater; updates regarding contamination are readily available.

3 Important Tips Towards Natural Dog Food

by: James Keyes

Natural dog food is the best choice for your pet dog. Dog owners usually like to feed their pet dog with dry dog food. However, before you decide to purchase a particular brand of dog food, check the ingredients listed on the pack.

Not all dog food brands use high quality natural ingredients. So, carefully select your dog food stuff. There are certain guidelines that you need to follow while deciding to purchase natural dog food. The tips are as follows:

1) Avoid Preservative and artificial colors:

Usually natural dog food does not contain any preservative, artificial colors and flavors. If such food components are consumed, it will spoil the dog's health, in the long run. Also, avoid dog food that contains "Chemical additives".

2) Check the color of the food stuff:

Dog food that consist of natural ingredients, are usually of soft earth tones types. If the food stuff is in red or green in color, it means that some type of additives are being used. This should be avoided.

3) Check the type of meat used:

The right way of feeding your dog is with raw dog food. It is considered to me the healthiest type of food. The right set of dog food will usually consist of 40% meat, 30% fiber and 30% starch. You can also include some source of vegetable and starch along with the uncooked meat that you have decided to give to your dog.

Never feed your dog with generic fats or proteins like "animal fat" or meat meal. You can look for named sources such as chicken fat, beef fat or lamb meal. Food stuff that contains generic terms is usually of very poor quality food. Your dog's over health depends upon the ingredients that your dog food contains. Hence, it is important to feed your dog with dog foods that contain the right ingredients. The list of ingredients that are mentioned on the dog food packet is listed in percentage form. The top most ingredients will have the highest percentage in terms of food content. So, be aware of each ingredient while you are purchasing the required dog food.

Your dog food should contain real meat or vegetables as the main ingredients. Foods that contain meat meal should be avoided. Meat meal may contain substances of chicken meat, fish meal and other types of meat meal. However, one cannot guarantee what part of the animal might be used as part of the dog food ingredients. Hence, it is better to stay away from dog food that contains meat meals as ingredients. You must also not select foods that contain chemicals as an ingredient. It is difficult to find commercial foods that do not have chemicals as preservatives or coloring. The best option is to go for natural dog food.

In order to find good quality dog food, you must do your own research. If you want your dog to remain healthy all the time, you must feed him natural and organic dog food. Avoid using meat meal. Start using only real foods that your dog will benefit from. Your top priority towards your dog should be to find an all natural dog food that is pure and contains organic mats and vegetables.

Breakfast At Ginger's

Do you know of a great Dog Food? Have you had any bad experiences with a particular food? Would you like to recommend the food you feed your pet?

Share Your Thoughts and Knowledge About Your Pets Food

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      Jerrad28 6 years ago

      Thanks for the tips!