Have you ever felt like your pet was human? I know I have. Sometimes my dog seems to read my mind. She's so smart!
I'll admit I spoil her, especially when it comes to what I let her eat. I'm sure I'm not the person to give her pet the same food I enjoy, especially the protein variety, like meat, eggs, cheese.
But those of us who give our pets "people food" need to be very careful. Some foods that are fine for us to eat can be deadly to our pets. So not only do you have to refrain from feeding your pets the following foods, also make sure they are not on counters, tables, etc. where your dog might get them when you're not looking.
And if you have cats, then you know those frisky felines can get into just about anything, so don't leave them out at all.
Human foods that can poison your pet are: grapes, avacados, onions, raisins, products containing xylitol (a common ingredient in gum) and chocolate - especially chocolate.
Unfortunately, the list of common household items that can poison your pet is a quite lengthy one. The number one cause of pet poisonings is human medication. While it is true that some "people pills" are fine for pets, there are others that are lethal.
For instance, just one Tylenol can kill an average-sized cat. Many pets have arthritis. Many of their owners suffer from the same affliction. However, owners who give their arthritis medication to the pet can severely harm their pet in doing so. A general rule-of-thumb is to call your veterinarian before giving any human medication to your pet to make sure it's o.k.
Many household items also deadly to pets. Household cleaners, of course, but pets generally aren't attracted to those items. On the other hand, pets just love anti-freeze, which can kill. Anti-freeze is sweet, so pets just love it. They find it on driveways and in parking lots, so be careful where you let your pet roam.
Lots of plants are also deadly to pets. Two of the worst are the pointsettia and the lilly, both of which are very attractive to pets, especailly cats, who like to nibble on the leaves, which can be fatal. Other toxic plants include: azalea, kalanchoe, sago palm and schefflera.
If you notice your pet is having difficulty breathing or is having a seizure, is becoming unconscious or has lost consciousness, call your veterinarian immediately. He or she may tell you to do something, in which case you will want to have a pet first aid kit on hand. You can buy one at many pet retailers.
Or you can make your own. Make sure it includes: hydrogen peroxide, which induces vomiting, a turkey baster, to administer the hydrogen peroxide, saline solution, in case you need to wash out the eyes, artificial tears, to soothe the eyes after they've been washed and a grease-cutting diswashing liquid (Dawn is great) in case you need to wash a contaminant off their skin/fur.
We all love our pets! By taking these precautions we can "pet-proof" our homes and keep our beloved furry family members with us for many years to come.