DID you know that onions and garlic in any form – fresh, dried, powdered and cooked – can cause anaemia in both cats and dogs? A group of friends were talking about the quality of pet food available locally and the subject of what our pets can and cannot eat came up.
Most of us know that we shouldn’t give chocolate to our pets, but did you know things like grapes, raisins and avocados are also a big no-no for your furry companions?
What’s not good for them?
As mentioned, onions and garlic destroy the red blood cells of our pets and leads to anaemia.
Alcohol has the same effect on pets as it does on humans but can be more harmful to their liver and brains in smaller amounts than it takes to affect us humans.
Caffeine in coffee, tea and some commercial drinks causes rapid breathing and heart palpitations and could cause fits.
Grapes and raisins seem to affect animals within a single day and can lead to rapid kidney failure. It is not exactly known why it affects the kidneys but even small amounts can harm them!
At the SSPCA Shelter and in the foster homes, we all know that you don’t give cow’s milk to pets, especially young kittens and puppies. Cow’s milk is not the same as the milk a mother cat or dog produces. It is too rich for their digestive systems and causes diarrhoea in the young babies. If you have found an abandoned puppy or kitten and want to nurse it, but you only have a carton of milk at home, then you have to dilute it with four parts of warm water before giving it to the animal.
Goat’s milk is better for young animals as it is closer to what their mothers would produce.
If your pet has skin problems, it could be caused by eating raw eggs. An enzyme found in the raw egg may interfere with the absorption of Vitamin B, which could be the underlying cause of skin and coat problems.
Macadamia nuts on their own or in biscuits or chocolates, are toxic and can cause paralysis in the hindquarters of dogs.
This brings us to chocolates. All chocolates – from white chocolate to dark chocolate – should never be fed to a cat or a dog. High levels of consumption can cause nervous system dysfunction, besides the other usual symptoms of toxins in the body.
How can you tell that your pet is feeling the effects of these forbidden foods?
Most common symptoms of poisoning or toxicity are vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, loss of appetite, elevated body temperature, laboured breathing and rapid heart rate, muscle tremors and a loss of coordination.
Continued consumption of all of these foods mentioned will lead to premature death in your pets.
Take your pet to the veterinary clinic immediately if your pet displays any of these symptoms.
If the vet prescribes pills and antibiotics and you have difficulty inserting the pills into your dog’s throat, you can hide the pill in a chunk of soft cheese or bread. You can toss a few pieces of cheese or bread and let your dog catch them.
At some point throw in the piece with the pill wrapped in it and your dog will most probably swallow that piece without even realising it.
Be observant of your pet’s behaviour and if you think it is not behaving or eating in the usual manner, then a trip to the vet would be advised.