Tag Archives: cats

Help Keep Rover Safe – Foods that may be toxic for pets!

Are you confused about which foods may be harmful for dogs?

 

Consult your veterinarian

 

Knowing what is safe and unsafe for a pet to eat can be a complicated topic as while one dog may eat grapes and be fine, another may fall seriously ill and even die. My own dogs often eat avocados that fall from the trees in our garden. They do, however, always leave the seed, which could cause an obstruction in the oesophagus, stomach, or intestinal tract if part or all of it were swallowed.  As you will see below, avocado is a fruit that should be avoided as it contains persin, a fungicidal toxin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs and may cause any of the following symptoms in birds: Inability to perch; agitation; fluffed feathers; anorexia; difficulty breathing; organ failure; sudden death.  Horses and ruminants that eat avocados could experience lethargy; swelling of the mouth, head, neck, chest; mastitis (inflammation of the mammary glands); heart damage.

There may be several variables that need to be taken into account before you know if a food was ingested by your pet at a toxic amount but, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the foods listed below or any food, plant or item that you are unsure whether to be safe, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian immediately.

Here is a List Foods to Avoid

Listed in alphabetical order (not order of toxicity)
Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Avocado

According to the ASPCA, avocado is primarily a problem for birds, rabbits, donkeys, horses, and ruminants including sheep and goats. The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain persin, a fungicidal toxin, which may cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs.

Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine

These all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds.  Methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death.

Please note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate.

Citrus

The stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid which can cause irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts. Small doses, such as eating the fruit, are not likely to present problems beyond minor stomach upset.

Coconut and Coconut Oil

When ingested in small amounts, coconut and coconut-based products are not likely to harm your pet and may even be beneficial. There are lots of articles about the benefits of feeding small amounts of coconut oil to dogs and using it topically, however, we were unable to find any scientific studies.  Care should be taken as the flesh and milk of fresh coconuts contain oils that may cause stomach upset and diarrhoea. If unsure, please consult your veterinarian.

Coconut water is high in potassium and should not be given to your pet.

Grapes and Raisins

Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure and should always be avoided.

Macadamia Nuts

Can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs.

Milk and Dairy

As pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other dairy-based products can cause diarrhoea or digestive upset.

Nuts

Nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, contain high amounts of oils and fats which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, and even pancreatitis.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

Can all cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage.

Cats are more susceptible, but dogs are also at risk.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones

We know that many of you may be ‘raw’ feeders, so please don’t shout at us but…

Raw meat and eggs may contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli and more seriously for dogs, campylobacter.

Raw eggs contain the enzyme avidin which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and coat problems.

Pets might choke on bones or sustain serious injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture the pet’s digestive tract.

Salt and Salty Snack Foods

Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs include vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.

Please avoid feeding salt-laden snacks like potato chips (crisps), pretzels, and salted popcorn.

Xylitol

Used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy (sweets), some peanut butter, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release which can lead to liver failure.

Signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. May progress to seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in the pet’s digestive system. This can cause pain and may lead to Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), also known as gastric dilation, twisted stomach, or gastric torsion, a medical condition in which the stomach becomes overstretched and rotated by excessive gas content – a life threatening emergency.

The above list is based on information provided by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

The list may not be exhaustive.  If in doubt, always consult your veterinary professional!

 

More Resources

 This great poster by Lili Chin is available as a free download from doggiedrawings.net.
 

Source: Lili Chin, DoggieDrawings.net

Read this blog post by DogNostics faculty member and the owner of The DogSmith of Estepona, Louise Stapleton-Frappell, written for BARKS from the Guild blog on November 5, 2016, for information about toxic toads, other creatures, food items, products and objects that could prove deadly to your companion and some precautions you can take to help protect your canine companion. Toads, Snakes, Spiders and Chocolate!

Take a look at this slide show from WebMD Food Your Dog Should Never Eat.

 

The Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) is a 24-hour emergency service that provides information and advice to vets and animal welfare organisations on the treatment of animals exposed to toxins. (Europe).

This article is simply intended to share information about foods which may cause a problem for your pet – If unsure, don’t ‘watch and wait’, contact a vet for advice immediately.

 
 
 
 
 

Cold Weather Tips for Pet Owners

The ASPCA offers some great advice for keeping your dog or cat safe from winter hazards, and I’ve added a few suggestions of my own to the list.

Ten Cold Weather Tips for Pet Owners

  1. Keep your cat indoors. Kitties allowed to wander unsupervised outdoors are at much greater risk than house cats, no matter the time of year. But a cat left outside in cold weather can literally freeze to death, or become permanently lost or stolen while looking for shelter from the cold. Even if your kitty lives indoors, a cat collar with an ID tag is an excellent investment.
  2. You keep your cat inside, but your neighbors may not, or there could be strays or feral cats in the area. Kitties left out in cold temperatures will sometimes tuck themselves up under the hoods of cars, or in the wheel wells. Starting or moving the vehicle can hurt or even kill the animal. During the winter months, it’s a good idea to bang loudly on your car hood before starting the engine as a warning to a cat that might be in or around your vehicle.

  3. Keep your dog on his leash when you’re outside with him, and make sure his ID tag is current. More dogs go missing in the winter than any other time of the year. It’s very easy for pups to lose their scent and get lost when snow or ice is on the ground, and especially during snowstorms.
  4. Snow accumulation can make it impossible for your dog to know if he’s in his front yard or standing out on a street or highway. Light-colored dogs with snow on their fur can quickly blend into the background, making them nearly impossible to spot.

  5. Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s feet, legs and underside after she’s been out in snowy or icy conditions. It’s possible she picked up salt crystals, antifreeze or some other toxic chemical on her paws, which she could later ingest by licking the area.
  6. Be especially careful not to leave antifreeze leaks or spills where your pet can sample them. Antifreeze is lethal to dogs and cats. Also check your dog’s paw pads for any signs of injury or bleeding from walking on frozen or snow-packed surfaces.

  7. Don’t shave or clip your dog’s coat too short during the winter months. A longer coat will keep him warmer. If your pup has short hair, a doggy sweater might be in order, especially if he’s a small breed, an older fellow, has arthritis or other joint problems, or if he’s prone to shivering.
  8. Consider paper training a puppy if you get her during cold weather. Puppies don’t handle frigid temps as well as older dogs do. If you add a puppy to the family during the winter months, you may find housebreaking her more of a challenge than you expected. If so, you can paper train her instead, then retrain her to potty outdoors when the weather warms up.
  9. If you and your dog participate in lots of outdoor winter activities, make sure his species-appropriate diet has sufficient calories and protein to meet his energy requirements. This may mean increasing his meal portions during the winter months.
  10. If, on the other hand, you and your pet tend to hibernate during cold weather, it’s important not to let your dog lose muscle tone and physical conditioning. You’d be amazed at the number of canine knee, soft tissue, cervical disc and neck injuries I see in my veterinary practice each spring.
  11. These problems occur most often in out-of-shape dogs that go from zero to 60 on the first warm day of late winter or early spring. There are many creative ways to keep your pet active during cold weather.

  12. Don’t leave your pet outside in the car. Just as your vehicle can become an incinerator during hot weather, it can become a freezer, holding in the cold air, during the winter. While not as common as pets expiring in hot cars in the summer, too many precious dogs and cats have frozen to death in a cold car.
  13. Make sure your pet has cozy, draft-free winter sleeping quarters. If your dog has her own crate, make sure her winter bed inside it is one that will keep her warm. Kitty should have a snug sleeping spot as well, with warm bedding she can curl up in.
  14. Give your frail or older pet some extra TLC. Cold winter temperatures can be especially hard on a senior pet or a dog or kitty with degenerative joint disease or another chronic, debilitating condition. Talk with your integrative or holistic vet about physical therapy treatments and other safe, natural methods for improving your pet’s comfort and mobility during cold weather.