Having a pet is a lot of fun as it provides you with company and even some entertainment, but you should be aware that it also comes with a lot of responsibilities, which includes feeding as well as safety. What do these two components have to do with each other? Well, next time that your pet is mooching food while you are having a snack or a meal, think about what you are about to feed him and ask yourself if it is safe to share? After all, the last thing that you want to do is to make your beloved pet ill, choke him or even cause his death. Surprised? Well, not as much as when you read the following potentially life-threatening foods that are listed below.
- Chocolate is a death sentence! If you give a lot of chocolate to a dog, you are basically poisoning the poor animal. While dark semisweet chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate, ingesting 16 ounces or more of chocolate will affect the digestive system and poison your pet. Within 4 to 6 hours, you could see the following reactions: excitability, wide pupils, anxiety, vomiting (with chocolate in the vomit), seizures and cardiac arrest. What may be sweet to you is a dog's worst enemy.
- Not all bones are for dogs! Not all types of bones are for dogs. Unless the bone is beef, it is not safe to feed to your dog, as bones can be brittle and sharp, especially chicken bones. Bones can break and choke or do internal damage to your pet.
- Fish is a big no-no! Fish have fish bones, which can choke your pet, poke him and tear tissue, which can become inflamed, swollen and may obstruct your animal's airways, basically leading to his death. Neither dogs nor cats should ever be in contact with fish.
- Your cat may be allergic to tuna or salmon. What you think of as a treat for your cat may make her ill instead. Cats do not eat "real" fish as cat myths and cartoons lead us to believe. Many human foods, such as tuna, are associated with allergies in pets. If your pet is allergic to tuna, she may have diarrhea and become dehydrated. Even if your cat is not allergic to tuna, it should only be an occasional treat as regular consumption can lead to steatitis (also known as yellow fat disease). Use the "fish flavored" cat food instead of the real thing.
- Raw meat is not for pets! While wild animals may feed on raw meat, cats and dogs are not meant to feed on it as it can cause them to become quite ill. For dogs, it may cause heartworms. For cats, salmonella and other diseases and illnesses have been linked to consumption of raw meat (similar to those humans would suffer from). At best, you'll end up cleaning cat vomit off of your carpet, and at worst, well, let's not go there.
- Nuts and bubble gum are no fun! Anything smaller than a pet's mouth can become a choking hazard as he will try to swallow it whole instead of chewing it. Bubble gum is the worst as a pet can't figure out how to spit it out and he will eventually choke on it. I have seen a college student feed some bubble gum to a squirrel. The poor thing never had a chance and died in front of us, fighting for its life.
- Milk is NOT for cats! Unless you see it in a cartoon, the only milk an animal should drink is maternal milk. Cow's milk is not for pets, especially for cats, as it causes them to have diarrhea.
As you can see, not all foods are for pets. Keep that in mind next time you deal with mooching. After all, your pet's safety should always come first, no matter what. Be a responsible pet owner and don't betray his trust and love by making him sick or worse.