Every one of our pets has a special place in our homes and in our hearts. Our four-legged and winged friends, though from Kingdom Animalia, become part of the family, winning us over with their personalities and idiosyncrasies. Sometimes, we like to reward them for their antics, because after all, who could say no to those eyes?
The facts are, there are certainly times you should stop yourself from treating your pets. Though your animal companions may seem like they can or do enjoy food from the kitchen table, it's important to know that what's good for us isn't always good for our pets!
Some items are toxic to most domesticated animals, while other foods are harmful to one species in particular. For example, alcoholic drinks are harmful to all animals, since they affect animals at a greater rate than they do us. Chocolate, however, is known to be toxic to dogs in particular, since it contains high levels of a chemical called theobromide which affects the nervous system.
Sometimes, foods that we think our pet may enjoy are actually terrible for them. Cats are historically known to love milk and to hunt for eggs, so feline lovers will give their kitties saucers of milk or a little raw egg. Though the myth persists that kitty loves milk, cats are actually lactose intolerant, so leave the milk on the dinner table.
Caffeine, which is contained in chocolate, is bad for all of your pets, regardless of species. Caffeinated drinks contain methylxanthines, which cause physical stress responses in your pets. Most domesticated animals can't handle the chemical, which results in the shakes, hyperactivity and difficulty breathing, and even vomiting.
More to avoid are onions and garlic. Both of these seasonings or sides are known to be harmful to both cats and dogs, causing a host of problems ranging from immediate to deadly. Garlic or onion poisoning can cause gastroenteritis, red blood cell ruptures, anemia and collapse.
Avocados are another food that can affect all animals. Cats and dogs may be minimally affected by the persin-containing plant with stomach agitation or nausea. Birds, bunny rabbits, and even horses, however, can be severely struck by the plant with labored breathing, fluid accumulation around the cardiac area and even death.
Beware of items that could pose obstructions or choking in your pet. Though animal bones may seem like a great treat for Fido and Fluffy, they are brittle and could snap in the esophagus or stomach. Similarly threatening are peach or cherry pits, so be careful to throw these away when snacking on stone fruits.
Finally, just as you would baby-proof your home by stowing away medications and other potentially harmful chemicals, pet-proofing the household may be an equally good idea. Medications such as Tylenol or ibuprofen could be fatal if ingested by a curious creature, while cleaning agents also pose risks for animals that lick surfaces.
Figure out what's good for your pets and what isn't. Check out the infographic below for more information on some of the big no-no's for your animal companions.
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