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Top Five Foods Not to Feed Your Pets
Aug 02, 2013
Posted By: Christine N.; Photo by Andrew Vargas on flickr
We know. It's so difficult. You look into those tormentingly melancholic eyes and you melt. You give in. Suddenly, you are sharing your entire box of CheezItz with your pet. This is not always a good idea. Some human foods can be highly toxic and/or cause digestive distress in your pet.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener commonly used in chewing gum, mints, and other sugar-free products. Just like humans, blood sugar levels are controlled by the release of insulin by the pancreas in dogs and cats. Xylitol does not affect this release in humans. However, in dogs and cats, once ingested, Xylitol is quickly absorbed into into the bloodstream and causes a rapid release of insulin. This results in low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), when left untreated, can be fatal. Warning signs include vomiting, lethargy, and trouble with coordination. So, be cognizant of where you leave your purse because your pet may very well sneak in and grab that pack of chewing gum.
2. Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine
This one is a bit of an obvious one that most of us are familiar with. Chocolate contains both caffeine and Theobromine, which are toxic to dogs when consumed in large enough quantities. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and is used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and a smooth muscle relaxant. Theobromine can be poisonous and result in severe clinical signs, especially if untreated. Depending on your pup's size, consuming dark chocolate or baker's chocolate may cause vomiting, diarrhea, rapid or irregular heartbeat, restlessness, muscle tremors, seizures or death. Remember, the darker and bitter the chocolate, the more toxic it is for your dog.
3. Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins are a wonderfully healthy snack for humans, but certainly not for your pets. As of late, it has been clearly documented that grape and raisin consumption by dogs can cause sudden kidney failure. Furthermore, since raisins are dried and concentrated, it appears they are more toxic than grapes. The reason why grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs is currently unknown. So far, no toxic agent has been identified. Common early symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, excessive urination or lethargy. Keep away.
4. Onions and Garlic
Whether whole, chopped, raw, cooked, or powdered, onions and garlic contain chemicals that can damage red blood cells in dogs and cats. These cells can then rupture and/or lose their ability to carry oxygen which, in turn, can cause life-threatening anemia. Although, garlic has been believed to be beneficial to some pets, please consult your veterinarian prior to placing your animal on a garlic regimen. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
5. Macadamia Nuts
Just like grapes and raisins, the exact component which makes the macadamia nut toxic for dogs is unknown at this time. Signs of toxicity usually occur within 12 hours of ingestion. Symptoms may include weakness and inability to walk, especially in the hind legs. Other signs to watch for are vomiting, staggering gait, depression, tremors, and hyperthermia (increased body temperature). Macadamia nuts are a great source of Vitamin E in humans, however, please keep them away from your pet.
ref: vca hospitals
Posted on: Sep 26, 2013