Yesterday was one of the year’s most important holidays: National Chocolate Chip Day! It may sound silly, but I love munching on plain chocolate chips, as a little pick-me-up or chocolate fix. Unfortunately, this is one snack I’m not able to share with my four-legged friend. In the spirit of not sharing, I have comprised a list of foods that you should keep all to yourself, as they are not great for the health of your pets!
- This one should be a no brainer…. Chocolate! Raise your hand if you knew this already (hopefully that’s all of you)! There is a chemical in chocolate called Theobromine which is harmless to humans, but can be fatal to pets. This is found in ALL types of chocolate, and is has an especially high content in dark chocolate and baking chocolate. Ingesting this yucky stuff can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, tremors, or even death. SO, keep the good stuff for yourself, and hide it well from your furry friends.
- Fatty Meat – Dogs and cats are carnivorous…right? Yes! But, that doesn’t mean that all meat is great for your pets. Meats with a high fat content can lead to pancreatitis, upset stomachs, and even bloat (in dogs). If you want to give your pup a meaty treat, be sure that it is clean and lean. Basically, if you don’t want it, it’s probably not great for them to eat either!
- Salty Foods – Let’s be clear… a little bit of salt never hurt anybody, but it’s important to be cognizant of feeding your pets TOO much salt! Excess salt in a pet’s diet can lead to excessive thirst (which can lead to bloat), vomiting, diarrhea, high body temperature, or sodium ion poisoning. Essentially, extra salt dehydrates the body, which is no bueno for any pet!
- Garlic and Onions – Did you know that these pungent foods can actually destroy a pet’s red blood cells? Crazy right? This can lead to anemia, which can manifest in weakness, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and inappetence. That’s a great reason to be wary before you think about letting your pet win the clean plate award!
- Grapes and Raisins – These sneaky little fruits can be really dangerous for some pets, but not others. For example, bunnies love snacking on dried fruit, and it’s a great source of nutrition for them! However, grapes and raisins can be fatal to dogs. They can actually cause some pretty serious illnesses in dogs, ranging from vomiting and lethargy, to renal failure. So be sure to keep these sweet treats to yourself!
While this list can probably go on and on, the lesson of the day is this: If you aren’t sure whether or not your pet should be eating a certain food, stay on the safe side and keep it away! The internet is full of wacky pet recipes, and it’s hard to know what is nutritious and healthy for your pets. If you want the correct answers, speak to a pro: call your vet!