Most people know that grapes, onions, chocolate and garlic can be toxic to pets. Most of us also know that Tylenol can kill cats (and dogs). And everyone knows that antifreeze is very poisonous. No one would fill their pet’s food bowl with these items, because we know it will make them sick.
However, we often seem unaware of the risks of feeding other human foods. Unless your pet has been seen on an emergency for pancreatitis, you may not have known that fatty human foods could make your pet very sick. It is so common that many veterinarians EXPECT to see several cases over the holidays.
Dogs and cats should be fed a quality commercial diet. If your pet does not have any special dietary requirements or diseases, almost any commercial pet food is good enough. There is a misconception that dogs are “wild” and should eat raw food. Feeding your pet raw food is the equivalent of eating raw hamburger meat every day. ANY raw meat, human or otherwise, has the potential to be loaded with bacteria. We already know this. We thoroughly cook ground beef and are careful to clean anything it contacts.
Raw meat is not the only feeding concern. Almost any meat prepared for human consumption can upset your pet’s belly. Many cases of pancreatitis, which can be fatal, can be linked to a pet accidentally eating fatty steak, hamburger, pork chop or even poultry skin. And often times sudden cases of GI upset requiring a veterinary visit involve a pet eating table scraps or food from the trash. There is even a condition termed “garbage gut.” You have my permission to GOOGLE it. Many veggies are ok and can even be used as a replacement to help dogs lose weight, such as green beans. But always ask your vet before feeding anything.
Many people will ignore this advice and continue feeding from the table. Many pets will never have a problem either. Some pets eat table food for years before experiencing any problems. Others may have diarrhea or vomiting episodes the first time, and may need to be seen by the vet. Some of these may develop pancreatitis.
There is nothing your vet can do to guarantee your pet will never get sick (or else I would package it and sell it to all of my clients). But feeding a regular and consistent pet food diet can go a long way toward eliminating some unwanted vet visits. So my advice is to tell your four legged friend you love them, by not giving in to their shameless requests next time you reach for a snack.
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Saturday 9:00am - 12:00pm
511 S City Blvd
Waycross, GA 31501
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