September is National Food Safety Month! Nutrition plays a huge role in your beloved pet’s overall health and well-being. However, eating unsafe foods is extremely dangerous for our furry friends. A Seminole, FL vet discusses food safety for pets in this article.
Pets are often very interested in what we are eating. They’re also pretty good about convincing us to share. However, not everything on your plate is safe for your furry buddy. Every type of animal is different, but there are some things that are dangerous to just about all of them. These include garlic, onions, scallions, and chives; chocolate; caffeine; avocado; alcohol; and anything that contains xylitol. Meat on the bone is also unsafe, as are raw dough and yeast. For cats and dogs, the list also includes grapes, currants, and raisins. Ask your vet for more information. (Note: this is one reason we recommend teaching dogs the Leave It command.)
It’s important to store your pet food properly, particularly if you get big bags of kibble. Food can spoil quickly here in Florida! If you store your fuzzy pal’s dry food in plastic containers, be sure to wash them and dry them before refilling them. It’s also important to toss out expired foods, as well as anything that looks or smells off, or has mold on them. Better safe than sorry!
Recalls don’t happen often, but they aren’t unheard of, either. It’s not a bad idea to keep an eye out for recalls. You can do that at the FDA site here or the AMVA site here.
Choosing the right food and treats for your furry buddy isn’t exactly rocket science, but it can be tricky picking out the right brand. Try to avoid products with long lists of unidentifiable ingredients. It’s also best to stick with things made in North America, as some overseas countries have very lax regulations on pet products. Err on the side of caution here, and ask your vet for specific recommendations.
If you’ve decided to change your pet’s food, be sure to do so slowly. Start by mixing the old and new foods together. Then, slowly start to increase the percentage of the new food. Otherwise, your four-legged pal could get an upset tummy!
Do you have questions about your pet’s diet? Contact us, your Seminole, FL animal clinic, today!