This week, March 19-25, is Animal Poison Prevention Week. At CanEVA, we believe it’s important to be educated on what is harmful to your pet. Many people cook for their pets or feed them scraps from the table. In doing this, it is easy to let harmful ingredients slip through. But with proper education, you can make your kitchen a safe place for your pet. Here are some foods that can make your pets sick if ingested.
Theobromine is a component of chocolate that is harmful to dogs and cats. They can’t metabolize it as quickly as humans do, so it can build up to toxic levels in their systems. In small doses, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but large quantities can cause seizures, internal bleeding, or even a heart attack. If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate, induce vomiting and call your veterinarian immediately.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute used in gum, toothpaste, baking, and diet foods. It is a sugar alcohol that is low on the glycemic index, which is helpful for diabetics. For pets, however, it creates a rush of insulin from the pancreas. This brings on hypoglycemia and can cause liver failure, seizures, and even death. If you suspect your pet has ingested a product containing xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately. Do not induce vomiting, as that can make the hypoglycemia worse.
Onions and Garlic
These everyday ingredients bring flavour to your favourite dishes. But as Rachael Ray learned, they can harmful for your pets. These ingredients cause gastrointestinal distress and damage your pets’ red blood cells. This is a bigger concern for cats than for dogs, but as with everything on this list, the severity depends on the quantity consumed. These vegetables are toxic in every form: raw, powdered, dehydrated, and cooked.
Grapes and Raisins
It isn’t known what component of grapes and raisins are harmful. What is known, is that even a small amount can cause kidney failure. Even foods that contain raisins or sultanas, like fruit cakes, can be dangerous. If your pet has ingested even a single grape or raisin, call your veterinarian immediately, and follow this guideline to help monitor your pet’s condition.
Fruits With Pits and Seeds
While the pulp of these fruits may not be directly harmful to your pet, they are still quite harmful to your pet. Larger pits can be a choking hazard, or even worse, can cause intestinal blockage. Even worse, the pits and seeds from fruits such as cherries, apples, plums, and peaches contain cyanide. It can cause breathing problems, difficulty walking or standing, coma, and even death. If ingested, call your veterinarian immediately. Do not induce vomiting unless your vet recommends it.
During Animal Poison Prevention Week, it is a perfect time to reevaluate what your pet has access to. Check ingredients on their food, keep scraps out of their reach, and make sure garbage cans are secure and curiosity-proof. Our list has several major harmful foods, but it is by no means a comprehensive list. We recommend doing some extra research to be sure your pet is the healthiest it can be!