Most pet owners know that certain foods are off limits to pets. Dogs, especially, seem to practice very little discretion when it comes to trying new snacks and improvising with chew toys. It’s generally understood that foods like grapes, raisins, chocolate, moldy bread, raw fish, mushrooms and items sweetened with xylitol can be toxic to dogs. On the other hand, while cats do tend to be curious creatures, they are less likely to get adventurous with food. Still, cats should avoid foods like garlic, onion or moldy foods. There are still plenty of other things that your pet might get into, and end up swallowing, that could irritate their digestive system and possibly cause harm. These could include anything from plants in the yard to furniture.
So what can you do?
As always, prevention is the best practice. Ensure that anything in your home and yard that might cause harm to your pet is kept out of reach. When you’re on your way out, try to remember to have a look around for anything that might tempt your pet while you’re away. If you like, create a safe crate space to leave your pet when you are not in the house. Fence in your yard to ensure that your pet can’t get out and roam the neighborhood trash bins.
Sometimes pets eat things they shouldn’t because they get bored or hungry. If you suspect this might be the case, try to get in a little extra play time or exercise to keep your pet entertained. You could also try out some chew toys or treat-giving puzzle toys to keep them occupied. Know your pet’s weight and size and the appropriate amount of food they should be getting. If you think they might get hungry while you’re out, be sure to leave enough food to keep them satisfied.
Know the plants in your yard and whether or not they will be harmful to your pet. Be sure to block access to any plants that may be toxic or poisonous to your cat or dog. In addition, be mindful of the materials you use to treat your yard. Many of the chemicals used in lawn and plant treatments can be dangerous to pets. Do the necessary research to keep your critters safe.
Even with our most concentrated efforts, pets will eat things they shouldn’t from time to time. Sometimes they may experience minor discomfort from indigestion. Other times, the symptoms may be more serious. Dogs and cats sometimes eat grass as an instinctive attempt to induce vomiting. They know that vomiting will get rid of indigestible material from the digestive tract. You may notice other indicative behaviour that your pet has ingested something harmful.
Symptoms may include:
- Eating grass
- Loss of Appetite
If you notice these symptoms, be sure to monitor your pet closely. Should symptoms persist, contact or visit your veterinarian right away.