We're all guilty of it - giving in to those big begging eyes pleading at us for a scrap from the table during dinner. Fido knows just how to get you to concede, and most of us justify that a little won't hurt, or we don't even think of the potential danger at all. But the truth is that human food can be harmful to your pet, and in some cases, can be fatal. It's important to know how certain foods can be unsafe so that you can avoid them for the sake of your animal.
Here is how a few of some of the most common "human foods" become harmful for pets:
Chocolate and other foods containing caffeine
Caffeine is one of the greatest culprits because it contains an alkaloid called theobromine. Theobromine acts as a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic, which in turn can cause a heart attack or other heart and nervous system problems in animals.
Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic are potentially harmful due to the fact that both contain thiosulphate, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia in cats and dogs. Of the two, onions are the most toxic, as consumption of simply one serving by your pet could result in anemia.
Milk can harm your pet due to the fact that many dogs and cats tend to be lactose intolerant. The consumption of milk and milk products by a lactose intolerant pet creates a breeding ground for bacteria, causing vomiting and diarrhea.
Bones, although commonly known as a great treat for your dog, are potentially very dangerous for pets. Once eaten, bones can splinter and get stuck in the intestines, causing damage or fatality. In most splinter cases, the bones must be removed surgically.
Other human foods to avoid when feeding your pet are: macadamia nuts, potato peelings and green-looking potatoes, rhubarb leaves, moldy/spoiled foods, alcohol, yeast dough, tomato leaves and stems, broccoli, and raisins or grapes.
Some human foods potentially cause only mild digestive upsets, while others can be fatal. Regardless of the level of danger, the best choice for your pet is to keep him from any potentially harmful foods in order to ensure his health and safety.
During the holiday season, veterinary clinics have noticed a rising in the number of pets that they treat for food-related illnesses. The increase in pet illness is due to the fact that animals are partaking in human foods during mealtime. Although not well known by the public, the consumption of human food to pets is potentially harmful to animals, and in some instances, can be fatal.
The rise in food-related illnesses by pets is a clear indication that the dangers of human food consumption by animals are not understood by the masses.
So, the next time your pet looks up at you with those pleading eyes, show him you care by doing what is truly best for him and feeding him only products meant for pet consumption. In the end, both you and your pet will be glad that you did.