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Treats That Can Kill Pets

Sep 10, 2008
There are many tasty treats that humans enjoy on a regular basis, despite the fact that some of them are not particularly good for them. While you may be aware of the adverse affects that these foods have on humans, you may not realize just how devastating they can be to your pets. In fact, in many cases, foods that are simply unhealthy for humans can be downright dangerous to pets. Here is a look at just a few of them.

Alcohol

Alcohol is potentially lethal to humans, and the same is true when it comes to pets. Since pets are smaller than humans, they are more easily affected by alcohol. As such, even consuming small amounts of alcohol can be quite dangerous to pets. So, you should never purposely provide your pet with alcoholic beverages and you should take certain steps to make certain your pet cannot get into your alcohol. Some signs of alcohol ingestion in pets include:

* Loss of equilibrium
* Changes in behavior
* Depression
* Excitement
* Increased amounts of urination
* Decreased respiratory rate
* Cardiac arrest
* Death

Chocolate and Coffee

Chocolate may be a tasty treat that you enjoy, but it can be very dangerous to your pet. Just as with humans, the high fat content can be harmful to your pet. But, the dangers of chocolate stretch beyond being fattening, the caffeine and theobromine found in chocolate are particularly dangerous to dogs when consumed in high amounts, as they are both nervous system stimulants. The amount of caffeine and theobromine in chocolate can vary quite a bit depending upon the time of chocolate. White chocolate generally has the lowest concentration of these stimulants, while cacao beans and baking chocolate tend to have the most.

Symptoms that your pet has consumed chocolate include:

* Vomiting
* Diarrhea
* Restlessness
* Hyperactivity
* Muscle twitching
* Increased urination
* Excessive panting
* Increased heart rate
* Increased blood pressure
* Seizure

Since coffee also contains a high amount of caffeine, it can also be very dangerous to your pet and result in the same symptoms as those associated with consuming chocolate. So, be certain to keep your coffee grounds and beans away from your pet.

Artificial Sweetener

The artificial sweetener xylitol may help humans enjoy tasty treats without the potential negative side effects associated with eating sugar, but it can be quite dangerous for your pet to consume. Xylitol is found in many sugar-free products, including candy and gum. If a dog eats a significant amount of these products, it can experience a number of different reactions that can be quite severe. These include:

* Drop in blood sugar
* Weakness
* Lethargy
* Loss of coordination
* Collapse
* Seizure

These symptoms can appear just 30 minutes after ingestion and may last for several hours.

If your pet has consumed any of these products or is showing any of these signs of ingestion, it is important to contact your veterinarian right away. The sooner your vet examines your pet, the better your pet's chances of recovery will be.
About the Author
CS Swarens is the president of Find a Pet Online. 800 998-7065 For additional information on dogs, cats, birds, horses, and exotic pets visit the internet's pet resource including pet classifieds at http://www.findapetonline.com. Find information on over 430 pet breeds at http://www.findapetonline.com/breeds.html
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