(Meredith) — It’s National Pet Poison Prevention Week and many pet owners may not be aware of all of the foods that can be dangerous to their cats and dogs.
Pet expert Haylee Bergeland from DailyPaws.com has some important information you should know to keep your pet happy and healthy.
Bergeland says that common pet poisons owners tend to forget are things like caffeine.
“There are a lot of products that actually have a substantial amount of caffeine in them,” she said. “Obviously you know your coffee, soda, but there are actually food products that contain caffeine such as exercise bars that you eat before you are going to have a big workout.”
Xylitol is another common pet poison, which Bergeland says can be found in some household food items like certain kinds of candy, gum and even in peanut butter, and can be harmful to dogs and cats.
“We see the issue most often with dogs because dogs are more likely to chow down on things they probably shouldn’t,” Bergeland said.
Bergeland said that people should check their peanut butter labels, candle ingredients and other common household items to see if it contains Xylitol.
Other more commonly known pet poisons include macadamia nuts, grapes and raisins and chocolate.
“Most pet owners recognize that chocolate is really unsafe and, again, it comes down to how much a pet consumes, the type it is, the cocoa content, makes a big difference,” Bergeland said.
While not all fruits are dog-friendly, there are some that are fine for canine consumption.
“My dogs love bananas and apples and those are great,” Bergeland said. “However, foods that have pits like peaches or apricots, those pits contain trace amounts of cyanide in them … that is quite poisonous.”
If your pet ever eats something poisonous to it, Bergeland said your best bet is to first call your veterinarian and provide them with information on what was eaten, including things like what your pet ate, how much was eaten and the content in the poisonous food.
“For instance, with chocolate, if you have the wrapper you can tell them what kind of chocolate it is and how much cocoa content it is,” Bergeland said. “All of that is great information that your vet can use to determine what the next steps are.”
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