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Animals shouldn’t eat human food

Health risk: Sharing your Christmas meal with your pet could cause deadly harm

JOHANNESBURG SOUTH – It is always tempting to feed your furry friend food off your plate at the family Christmas dinner, but did you know this could be harmful to your pet’s health?

Feeding animals human food, while you may believe that you are giving them a treat by sharing your delicious meal, you are actually putting their lives and health at risk.

According to Animal Planet by treating your pet with scraps of human food, your pet not only develops bad begging habits through your encouragement, but the animal also experiences dangerous weight gain due to the extra calories.

Experts at Animal Planet say: “There are a number of foods and ingredients consumed by humans every day, like chocolate, milk and garlic that can trigger serious toxic reactions in pets. We’ll take a closer look at the ones that can be most harmful to your four-legged friends. We’ll examine the signs of ingestion, the side effects, and what you should do in case of emergency.”

Here table foods a pet should never eat listed by Animal Planet:

* Milk and other dairy products

While a glass of cold milk can do your body good, the same can’t be said for your pets. Neither cats nor dogs come equipped with systems that inherently carry enough lactase (the enzyme that helps break down lactose).

* Raw Meat & Meat Bones

Giving a dog a bone could splinter and cause choking, intestinal blockage, or tears in your dog’s digestive tract. It’s safer to purchase nylon-based or pressed rawhide bones for these purposes. Avoid sharing any uncooked beef, poultry, or fish, and keep any items you’re defrosting for dinner well out of reach.

* Onions and Garlic

Seasonings of onions, garlic and chives can create problems for your pets by triggering irritation in their gastrointestinal tract, possibly leading to serious red blood cell damage, asthma attacks, and even liver damage.

* Xylitol

“Xylitol” is an artificial sweetener used in any number of products you likely have lying around your house or in your purse or pocket. These include some candies, gum, most diet products such as sugar-free cookies, and even certain types of toothpaste. It doesn’t take much of it to trigger a reaction in your pet — and the symptoms can come on quickly and are often fatal.

* Alcohol

You might think it funny to see what would happen if you let Fido have some beer, your canine companion would likely be saddled with a laundry list of side effects. These include vomiting, diarrhea, depression of the central nervous system, coordination problems, breathing issues and tremors. In extreme cases, your pet could fall into a coma or die.

Other foods that could prove deadly to pets are caffeine and chocolate, grapes, raisins and currants, yeast dough, macadamia nuts and avocado.

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