Tag Archives: food

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.

 
 
 
 
 

Do You Know What Is In Your Pet’s Food – LOOK BEYOND THE FIRST FIVE INGREDIENTS!

Do you really know what’s in your dog’s food?

Do you feed Olijen, Wellness, Chicken Soup, Flint River, Nutra, Hills, Natural Balance and many more you can compare.

Compare your dog or cat food here.

Your dog eats the same food every day. The brand you feed is your dog’s main source of nutrition and vital to a long and healthy life. As a caring pet parent, it is important to see through clever marketing ploys when choosing a food worthy of your best friend.

Although you may think all pet food manufacturers have your pet’s best interests in mind, this is not always the case. Some manufacturers use ingredients that you would never knowingly feed your dog. In fact, you may be shocked to learn what some brands of dog food really contain.

Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food is veterinarian-formulated with safe and wholesome ingredients, including a blend of vitamins and minerals, high-quality proteins, whole grains, an antioxidant system, nutritious vegetables and fruits, omega fatty acids, calcium and phosophorus for healthy teeth and strong bones and dietary fiber to help maintain a healthy digestive tract. Life’s Abundance contains no artificial flavors or colors. And there’s no corn, corn gluten, wheat or wheat gluten.

What you feed your pet has an important impact on their health

It is Not Just About The Price

IT IS ABOUT OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU AND YOUR COMPANION ANIMAL

  • We are a small company comprised almost entirely of pet parents and we are dedicated to improving the health and happiness of companion animals.
  • Our product formulator, Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM, is one of the nation’s leading holistic veterinarians.
  • Every single ingredient in every single product is chosen by Dr. Jane based on its quality and safety.
  • Our food manufacturer is APHIS -certified to sell pet food on the European market, which has more stringent regulations than in the U.S. for pet food manufacturing.
  • Life’s Abundance is cooked quickly at low temperatures to help retain its high nutritional value.
  • We maintain strict inventory controls to ensure quality and safety.
  • Life’s Abundance is delivered to your door within six weeks of being made. Some store-bought pet food could be anywhere from six months to one year old.
  • We never use artificial colors or flavors and never use corn, corn gluten, wheat or wheat gluten.
  • Our mission of caring doesn’t stop at making pet products. We created the Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting a variety of animal rescue groups, all of which are dedicated to helping to rescue neglected and unwanted animals in the U.S. Since its creation, the Foundation has provided thousands of dollars in funding for these worthwhile organizations. Every Life’s Abundance purchase helps to support the important work of this extraordinary foundation, devoted to helping these animals find homes and lead happier lives. It’s just one more reason to feel good about purchasing Life’s Abundance products.

BEYOND THE FIRST FIVE INGREDIENTS!

While the first five ingredients play a significant role in the nutritional make-up of your dog’s food, every single ingredient is important. For nearly a decade, tens of thousands of dogs and cats have been eating and thriving on Life’s Abundance foods. We attribute this success to our painstaking attention to the detail. Each and every ingredient in Life’s Abundance food is carefully chosen to work with the other to supply your companion animal with a highly nutritious and perfectly balanced meal every day, every year over a lifetime.

HIGH-QUALITY PROTEINS – Proteins are the building blocks of all living organisms. Protein is essential for all bodily functions including those of the brain, heart, skin, skeleton and many others. Life’s Abundance contains at least 26% of high-quality protein. Look for identifiable animal proteins such as “chicken meal” rather generic terms like “poultry meal,” which can consist of any fowl (turkey, chicken, geese, etc.).

CHICKEN MEAL VS. CHICKEN? Some foods contain chicken meat or chicken parts, which naturally hold a fair amount of water. We prefer to use chicken meal because most of the water has been removed, which makes it a concentrated source of protein. This means that there is a greater “protein content” in one pound of chicken meal versus one pound of chicken meat. That’s why high-quality chicken meal is a key ingredient in Life’s Abundance foods.

WHOLE GRAINS – Whole grains are an excellent source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc and other essential minerals. They also provide the kind of carbohydrates that deliver sustained energy to your dog. We include the natural goodness of Ground Brown Rice and Oat Groats in Life’s Abundance Dog Food.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS – The proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals in Life’s Abundance foods was carefully selected to work in concert with all of the other ingredients to enhance the overall nutritional value of the food.

ANTIOXIDANT SYSTEM – Among other nutrients, our antioxidant system includes vitamins A, C and E plus vegetables and fruits. The colorful skin and flesh of different vegetables and fruits contain phytonutrients, essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Each vegetable and fruit was carefully selected for its unique nutritional properties.

CHICKEN FAT – We believe the primary fat source in dog food should be animal-based because these fats contain a profile of fatty acids that are easily metabolized and generally more available to the body. Animal fats can vary in quality, so look for a species-specific fat like “chicken fat” (versus “animal fat”) to be certain of the kind of fat your dog is eating.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS – Omega-3 fatty acids are some of the most extensively researched natural nutritional ingredients in the world. Among its many health benefits, the omega-3’s in Life’s Abundance help support healthy skin and a shiny coat. We also included flaxseed meal for its outstanding nutritional profile and its contribution to healthy skin and coat.

DIETARY FIBER – Fiber is required in every diet to maintain healthy intestinal tract and good nutrient absorption. We use beet pulp, which is the fiber from the gray sugar beet (sugar removed). Many studies have demonstrated that beet pulp performs better than many other types of fiber.

DIRECT-FED MICROBIALS – These ingredients are similar to those found in supermarket yogurts. Direct fed microbials help support healthy immune and digestive systems. (Back to Comparison Chart)


The Variables Affecting Reinforcements in Dog Training

There are many variables affecting reinforcement including contingency and contiguity.  Contingency, is referred to as the degree of correlation between the behavior and its consequence.  Even small reinforcers are effective if there is a strong correlation.   Contiguity, another variable affecting reinforcement, is the interval between the behavior and the reinforcer. Learning occurs at a faster rate if the interval is shorter as there is less opportunity for another behavior to appear and be reinforced by mistake (Chance 2008 p 147).

Use small training treats.

Reinforcers are not all alike and they are a variable affecting reinforcement. Reinforcers have different characteristics. It is more effective to use smaller reinforcements more frequently than large reinforcements less often although all things being equal larger reinforcements are more effective.   The relationship between reinforcer size or reinforcer strength, referred to as the reinforcer magnitude, and learning is not linear.  It is not incrementally beneficial to learning to increase the magnitude.  In fact “the more you increase the reinforcer magnitude the less benefit you get” (Chance 2008 p 148). Reinforcers also differ in their quality as animals have preferences and this has an effect on the reinforcement outcome (Chance 2008 p 149).

Another variable affecting reinforcement is the characteristics of the behavior.  Easier behaviors, as determined by the animal’s ability to do them, are easier to reinforce than complex behaviors. Certain behaviors, species evolved tendencies; make the reinforcement of behaviors easier or more difficult as the animal is biologically disposed to behave in certain ways. Behaviors that depend on smooth muscles and glands versus those that depend on the skeletal muscles are more difficult to reinforce (Chance 2008 p 149).

Food is more reinforcing to an animal when the animal is hungry. When we establish conditions that improve the effectiveness of a reinforcer then this is referred to as motivating operations. Motivating operations is a variable that improves the effectiveness of reinforcement (Chance 2009 p 150).  There are other variables that affect reinforcement such as the animal’s previous learning experiences.  Competing contingencies also affect reinforcement.  When reinforcers are available for other kinds of behavior or the behavior is sometimes punished then the reinforcement outcome is affected (Chance 2008 p 151).