Did you know your house contains many things that can make your pets sick?
It's easy to have pets and keep them safe! With just a little thought and knowledge about what you can do to keep your pets safe, you and your furry friend can have a long, happy life together. Here's some things in or around your house to watch out for.
Foods that can be dangerous for cats and dogs - and maybe other pets too:
Chocolate, coffee and tea
Chocolate that is made for people is bad for animals. Chocolate contains methylxanthines that can make pets hyperactive, increase their heart rate and cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, tremors and seizures. If your pet eats some it can get very sick, or even die. :(
Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms of chocolate made for humans. Coffee, tea, cola and some energy drinks also contain methylxanthines and should not be given to your pets.
Always keep your chocolates, including cakes that have cocoa in them, away from your pets. Never share anything that has chocolate, cocoa, coffee or tea in it with your furry friend, no matter how much they beg.
Supermarkets and pet supply shops sell doggie chocs that don't have the bad stuff in them. They are safe for your pooch, your dog will love them and they are great as training treats! Cat's may like them too but cats don't seem to be as keen on chocolate as dogs are. (Weirdos!)
It can be tempting to give your cat or dog the leftovers from a BBQ or a roast, but don't give them the bones! The bones dry out when they are cooked and can splinter and leave sharp and pointy edges that can do some real damage to your pet's mouth, throat and stomach and intestines.
Raw bones are great for helping keep their teeth and gums healthy and are a good way of providing them with entertainment. Watch them gnaw on those yummy uncooked bones for hours!
Grapes, sultanas and raisins
It is still not known what is in grapes and raisins that are bad for dogs, but they definitely are. Just a few grapes or raisins can make your pet unwell, cause kidney damage and can ultimately be fatal.
Don't share them or let your pet get to them. Not even a few. If you have a grape vine in your garden fence it off when the fruit is growing so your pets can't pinch some while they grow.
Too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. It can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death
It is best not to share your salty foods, such as salty chips, peanuts and popcorn with your pets. Also, never add salt to their food for flavour. Animals don't need as much salt in their diet as people do.
Asides from not giving your pet salty food, make sure your pet doesn't eat your play dough which uses a high amount of salt to make, or swallow too much salt water at the beach!
It seems normal to give your cat or dog the fatty bits from your meat because they aren't good for people, but, we should remember that they are as harmful to our pets as they are to us.
Too much fat or very fatty foods can damage your pet's pancreas. It can can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
Too many fatty foods can also make your pet become overweight which can cause many other health issues.
Avoid feeding fatty scraps, like the fat off your chops or the skin of your chicken, to your pets.
Dough which contains yeast can swell in your pet's stomach and intestines if it is eaten before it is cooked. The gas that is released by the uncooked yeast can also cause swelling, in the stomach and intestines. The swelling can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and even life-threatening bloat and a twisted stomach.
If you or someone else in your house are rising dough for some baking, place it in a spot your pets can't get to.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is in a lot of diet or sugar free foods such as toothpaste, chewing gum, lollies and some sugar free drinks.
Xylitol affects blood sugar in animals and people. It causes it to drop dramatically making your pet very unwell or even causing death. It can also do damage to an animal's liver. Make sure you don't leave these types of foods around where your pet may find them.
Some fruit seeds
There are some seeds from fruit that contain poisons in them that should not be feed to your pets. These can include seeds or pips from apricots, cherries, peaches, apples, persimmon, plums.
Most of these contain cyanogenic glycosides which can cause cyanide poisoning.
All of the above contain cyanogenic glycosides which will result in cyanide poisoning. This can cause blood to stop releasing oxygen to the rest of the body which can cause a lot of different effects like vomiting, heart problems, skin irritations and even death.
A lot of animals love fruit. If you are going to share any fruit with your pets, don't give them the bits with the seeds in it.
Tuna prepared for humans is not good for animals. Your pet can have tuna made for people sometimes, but it can't eat it all the time or too often. Tuna contains mercury which can build up over time and never leave your pet's body. Mercury poisoning can kill animals and people.
Tuna prepared for humans does not have all the nutrients to keep an animal healthy. All pets need a good variety of food to keep them happy and well. So, give your pet tuna as a treat on the odd occasion, but don't let her have it for every meal, even if it is her favourite. Tuna that is specifically made as pet food is fine for her to eat at any time.
Yep, that's right! Milk is not good for cats and dogs and either are other milk products like cream, cheese and ice cream. Many cats and dogs are lactose intolerant which means cow's milk can make them feel sick.
Kittens seem to tolerate dairy products better than adult cats, but it can make all of them feel yuk. Milk products can give your pets a funny tummy and make them vomit and have runny poos. Who wants to have to clean that gross mess up?
Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic both contain a toxin that is bad for your pet's blood. The toxin, thiosulphate, can make it hard for your pet to get enough oxygen in their blood to travel through the rest of their body. Even a little bit over a long time could make your pet sick or even make him die.
Never share your left over tea with your pet if it had onion or garlic in it. It might be hard when you look at their cute face, but it is better than seeing them get very sick.
Avocado (bark, fruit, leaves and seeds)
All parts of an avocado tree contain a toxin called persin. Persin can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs and cats. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to persin poisoning.
Just a small amount can be fatal to birds and rodents. It is not known how much a dog or cat can eat before it gets sick, but why take any chances.
Like grapes and raisins the toxic compound of macadamia nuts is unknown. What is known is that they can cause a high temperature, increased heart rate, muscle tremors and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters in dogs.
Dogs are the only animals known to have been poisoned by macadamia nuts but to be on the safe side it would be sensible not to feed them to any of your other pets. Macadamias can be found in lots of biscuits, some lollies, and of course some mixed nut brands.
Read about a case of poisoning by eating macadamias here.
Tomatoes and potatoes (leaves, stems and green tomatoes or potatoes)
Tomatoes have a substance in them called atropine. It is very highly concentrated in green tomatoes and in the leaves and stems of any tomato plants.
Atropine can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhoea, paralysis and heart problems.
If you have tomato plants, fence them off from your pets and never feed them any green part.
It won't come as a surprise that pets should not drink alcohol.
Alcohol can make your pets very sick and in the worst cases can lead to a coma or even death. Any alcohol in your house should be kept away from your pets.
Never allow alcoholic drinks to be left where your pets may drink from them. Also, never let someone give your pet a taste of alcohol, not even a tiny little bit. It is not funny, or cute. It can be very, very dangerous to your loved pet, causing vomiting, diarrhoea, uncoordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and death.
Raw meat, fish and eggs
Raw eggs, meat or fish can contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning. These foods also interfere with other good vitimins and minerals in your pets body which can cause other side effects, asides form the initial problems form the bad bacteria.
Problems can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or death.
Rotten or bad food
Rotten or mouldy food should never be fed to animals.They could have reactions to the moulds and bad bacteria in these foods, just like a person would. A basic guide is this - if you wouldn't eat it, don't let your pet eat it!