Part of your responsibility as a pet owner is to keep your pet safe and also protect it from harmful food products. However, there is a common assumption amongst pet owners that a pet can eat any food that a human consumes. This is far from the truth and by feeding your pet certain types of food, you might be slowly poisoning your pet without even knowing it. Pet food safety is very essential for the well being of your pet and you should note that the body system of an animal greatly differs from that of a human being and certain types of food that are safe for human consumption can be dangerous when ingested by animals. The following is an overview of some foods that are considered toxic to pets.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins are considered to be two of the most toxic when it comes to pet food safety. Grapes and raisins usually cause irreversible damage to your pet’s kidneys and might even cause death in extreme cases. This condition mainly affects dogs and cats.
The signs of toxicity that a pet might display after ingesting grapes or raisins include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased urine production and even a drunken gait. These symptoms usually start manifesting themselves a few hours after the initial ingestion. It is usually advisable to take your pet immediately to a vet when you start seeing these signs. The normal treatment procedure involves induced vomiting and gastric levage which is the pumping of the stomach.
Onions might seem to be quite harmless and even beneficial as they have medicinal properties. However, the ingestion of food containing onion by a pet can be quite catastrophic. In animals, onions cause Heinz body anemia, a condition which brings about the destruction of red blood cells and may lead to kidney damage.
Signs of onion poisoning on your pet include increased heart beat, pale gums, weakness, vomiting and bloody urine. It is also important to note that onion related ingredients such as garlic and chive also have the same effect. Treatment for onion based toxicity includes fluid therapy and oxygen administration. Due to the seriousness of this type of poisoning, you should ensure that you properly dispose of food products that might contain onion.
Chocolate and cocoa contain a chemical known as theobromide that can adversely affect the lungs, heart, kidney and nervous system of your pet.
Signs of chocolate poisoning usually include tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea and even hyperthermia. Your pet might also go into a coma and the normal treatment regime is to induce vomiting or perform a gastric lavage.
Food items containing caffeine are considered risky when it comes to pet food safety. Food products that have caffeine contain a chemical that is also present in chocolate, therefore, this type of poisoning can be compared to chocolate poisoning.
Ingestion of macadamia nuts and other types of nuts is not generally fatal but can cause your pet extreme discomfort. Some of the adverse effects associated with ingesting nuts include vomiting, general body weakness, depression, joint swelling and a drunken gait on the part of your pet. Symptoms usually disappear after a couple of hours but it is advisable to take your pet to a vet.
This is a sugar free sweetener found mostly in chewing gum. When ingested by your pet, it causes the pancreas to increase its secretion of insulin causing the blood glucose level to fall.
Common signs of Xylitol poisoning include a drunken gait, vomiting and seizures. Intravenous administration of dextrose is usually the course of medication offered when you take your pet to a vet.
In order to ensure pet food safety, proper disposal and storage of potentially dangerous food products is highly recommended. You wouldn’t want to accidentally poison your pet or allow for them to poison themselves!