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  • Writer's pictureTraci Wilkerson Steckel

National Poison Prevention Week: Food

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

Hundreds of pets are accidentally poisoned by common items in their homes each year.

This week we will discuss which items you may not even realize are poisonous to your pets and how you can prevent them from potentially harming or even killing your best friend.

Traci's Paws Spokesdogs Lexi and Emee remind you it's National Poison Prevention Week.

Hazards we'll be discussing are Food, Plants, Medications, and Household Products.

Food Poisoning

Poisoning in your pets can range from stomach and GI tract upset to death. Please read through our list and see what you can do to help keep your pets safe.

Human Food

There are many opportunities for pets to eat human food and accidentally eat something that could be harmful. Here are a few scenarios and ways that you can take precautions to keep your pet safe. Below you'll see a list of common foods that are toxic for pets.

Meal Prep/Cooking

It is easy to drop something on the ground that may be fine for you to eat but poisonous to your pet. During kitchen time, put up a baby gate or close the door to prevent your pet from entering your area. If you have a sweet kitty, baby gates are out of the question, so consider putting her in the bathroom or another room where she likes to spend time napping or sunning.

Placing signs asking guests to not feed your pets at your party.

Parties/Holiday Gatherings

This is a time you may have guests over who accidentally drop something on the ground or who have zero will power over your pet’s superpower, “begging”! Be sure to include a message in your invites to pleases not feed the pets and place signs near the snack station or wherever the food is served and eaten. It helps remind people not to give into begging. Again, the best way to prevent your pet from eating something off of the ground is to put him or her in a calm and safe space during the event. It will also be more relaxing for your pet while guests are there.

Scraps for Snacks

This is a huge no-no. I know we love our pets so much, but human food is very unhealthy and unsafe for your pets. Not even touching on the possibility that it could poison them, much human food will cause high blood pressure, obesity, and even diabetes in your pets. One small bite for us is like 10 times the calories and fat for your pet. If you absolutely feel that you must give your pet a snack while you eat, ask your vet which pet treats and fruit and veggies are good for your pet’s current health. Remember this is not a meal, just a snack, so don’t overdo the treats, or they can cause stomach upset like when we eat too many cookies! Sometimes, I give Lexi (18 years old with countless health issues) a few tiny pieces of carrots, apples, or banana while I’m snacking. I know that just a little won’t hurt her, and it doesn’t interfere with her special diet that she’s on.

Multiple Pets/Prescription Pet Food

If you have multiple pets in the house and are on separate diets, be sure that you do not let them eat each other’s food unless okayed by your vet. I do not know if there are any reported deaths from sharing each other’s prescription diets, but I know there is a reported stomach & GI upset. I also know from experience with our own pups Emee and Lexi that when they were on separate diets, Lexi could not eat Emee’s food, or it would upset her Pancreatitis. If left untreated, it could be deadly.

Some cat food is higher in protein, and although it is formulated for your feline friend, it’s too much for fido. Cat food and dog food are formulated differently, and the protein from cat food may be too hard on your pup’s kidneys and liver.

Keep pets on different diets separated during feeding time.

If you have multiple pets on different diets, try feeding them on opposite sides of the room where they eat and watch them. You must watch them, or else one will sneak over as soon as you turn around, ha!

If you cannot watch them, try placing one pet in a different room with the door closed. If you need to keep your dog out of the cat food, try placing the cat food up higher out of the pup’s reach. Unless you have an older cat or one with hip issues, then try placing one pet in a different room with a door.

Intentional Poisoning

This is a topic we really don't like talking about but must be aware of. If you go to dog parks or even out on walks off of your property (which most of us do), always keep your eyes open and scan the ground and grass you're walking through.

Scn grass in dog parks for hazards before allowing your pet to play.

Another great reason to keep pets on-leash as well; they can only go as far as you allow. Always check dog parks for potential hazards before letting your dog go out to play, including anything edible that might be toxic or have something toxic mixed in. There are some 'not-so-nice" people out there, so always be cautious.

Here is a list of foods that are poisonous to your pets, provided by the ASPCA. Click for the list HERE.

If you have other scenarios and don’t see tips that can help you, please call your vet for professional advice. If you would like to share your scenario and advice with us, send us an email, and we might add it to our post to help others.

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