FYI: Forbidden Fruit (and other toxic foods)

Although I have always loved animals deeply, in my younger years I was quite naive about what foods were toxic for them. I am one of those people who occasionally shared my snack with my dog. As I type this, I can still see my Samoyed Husky Golden, dark brown hopeful eyes gazing eagerly at me, white eyelashes blinking, and an open mouthed smile. I sat at the table on my tan padded chair, taking a break from my graduate studies. Above my head on the wall, hung the mysterious Starry Night and Iris prints of Van Gogh, and Spirit Girl sat by my feet. In front of me, there was a plate of grapes… Tasha Marie, my beautiful sun loving calico, was nearby as well, although not nearly as interested in what I was eating. For the fact, I am grateful. If she had eaten them, it would not have boded well for her, although I did not know it then. Grapes are toxic for dogs and cats.

I ate my grapes, and then gave Spirit Girl a few. She ate them, and seemed to enjoy their taste.  I did not know that day how incredibly lucky we were.  I have since read that many dogs have died after ingesting grapes. Not every dog, but far too many.  Had that happened to Spirit Girl, I don’t know if I would have ever forgiven myself.  Fortunately, Spirit Girl did not get sick that day. She left her body many years later at the ripe old age of 15.  When I am quiet, and have gotten off the speeding locomotive that is my mind, I still sense her. I will write more on those moments at another time.

Since that point, I have been drawn to learn about anything and everything that might help the furries ones I love. It was then that I learned about the many foods that have the potential to kill animals. Knowing what animals should eat and what they should stay away from, has served me and my companion animals well. Raisins, like grapes are quite toxic. I will not go into listing all of the symptoms animals experience as a result of ingesting these foods. My intention, in this blog, is simply to reach out to those unaware of the dangers involved in feeding your animals your own food.

Foods are not the only toxic substances that endanger animals. There are many more toxic substances including plants, medicines, antifreeze, as well as a number of foods I have not listed. Keep your medication inaccessible to your animals. If you don’t know if your plants are poisonous, keep them behind a closed door. If you are not sure if something they have eaten is okay, call poison control. I have listed three links below to which I referred while writing this piece.  Here is a small list of the foods to be avoided:

Grapes and raisins

Onions and garlic

Apple seeds and the pits of cherries, apricots, plums, pears, peaches

Theobromine  – in chocolate  (the most toxic being cocoa and cooking chocolate)

Avocados

Macadamia Nuts

Caffeine- in coffee, tea, sodas,

Xylitol (found in gum, candy, toothpaste, and other sources)

If you have just witnessed your companion animal eat something and you don’t know if it is okay, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. There is always someone there to answer your call.  Call 888-426-4435. If you know that they have eaten something toxic, don’t wait. Rush your animal to your vet. You could be saving their life.

This blog is such a blessing, for it offers me the chance to write about the lessons I have learned along the way, and reach out to others who might benefit from what I have learned.  My hope is that this blog finds its way to that naive young woman or man sitting at the table, with forbidden fruit on a plate, and a dog or cat beside her or his feet.

Resources:

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/people-foods.aspx

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/foods_poisonous_to_pets.html

http://www.healthypet.com/PetCare/PetCareArticle.aspx?art_key=655a2b98-fe3f-4162-b9e4-af262ec76c7c

 

 

 

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