By Sarah Lyman, owner of Bonafide Pet Nutrition & Counseling
Whether you recently adopted a new puppy, kitten, adult dog, or cat, it’s important that you set your pet up for success with a healthy diet. This will ensure a strong and vibrant immune system — not to mention general health and well-being. Here are a few essential nutrition tips for pet parents who recently adopted a pet.
by Dr. Karen and Rob Twyning, founders of Pet Loss At Home
A number of potentially poisonous substances come out of storage in the Fall. They include rat and mouse poisons, antifreeze and mothballs. Mushrooms and toadstools are also likely to pop up in Fall and can be deadly to pets as well. Take your pet to the veterinarian immediately if you suspect any type of poisoning.
The following are toxic food for dogs and cats:
1. Onions, garlic and chives
The onion family, whether dry, raw or cooked, is particularly toxic to dogs and can cause gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage. Signs of illness are not always immediate and can occur up to a few days later.
However enticing chocolate is for humans and dogs alike, chocolate is another poisonous food for dogs. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine (dark chocolate has the highest content of this) which is toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure.
3. Macadamia nuts
Macadamia nuts contain a toxin that can affect your dog’s muscles and nervous system resulting in weakness, swollen limbs and panting.
4. Corn on the cob
Corn on the cob could potentially be fatal if eaten by your dog. Although the corn is digested by dogs, the cob can cause a blockage in your dog’s intestine.
Avocados are another poisonous food for dogs. Avocado plants contain a substance called Persin which is in its leaves, fruit and seed and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs.
6. Artificial sweetener (Xylitol)
Our desire for sweet treats, chewing gum and drinks together with low-fat, diet and sugar-free products (including some peanut butters so always check the label before using this as a treat) are often laced with an artificial sweetener called Xylitol which causes an insulin release in our bodies. However, if your dog digests one of these sweetened foods they can go into hypoglycaemia which is linked to liver failure and blood clotting disorders.
Alcohol has a huge impact on dogs even in small doses. The drink not only causes intoxication as it does in humans, but it can lead to sickness, diarrhoea and even central nervous system damage.
8. Cooked bones
Giving your dog a raw uncooked bone to chew on is great, but avoid cooked bones at all cost. These can easily splinter and in large quantities cause constipation or at worst, a perforation of the gut which can be fatal.
9. Grapes and raisins
Raisins are in many of the foods that we love to eat such as cakes, biscuits and cereals so it’s not just the fruit form we should be concerned with. The active ingredient which causes the toxin is unknown, however both grapes and raisins may cause severe liver damage and kidney failure.
What should I do if my dog has eaten any of these?
If consumed, even small amounts of these items can be fatal so always act immediately and take your dog to the vet.
About the Author
Pet Loss At Home was founded in 2002 by veterinarian, Dr. Karen Twyning. She was profoundly impacted after honoring the wishes of a client to euthanize her elderly cat at home. The experience was so very peaceful and beautiful, it is fixed in her memory. She left that home wondering, “Why is any pet euthanasia ever performed in a cold, sterile clinic?!” Since then, she’s been on a mission. With the help of her husband Rob, Pet Loss At Home is making home euthanasia service much more widely available nationwide.
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