Many people can’t resist those sad puppy dog eyes staring longingly at them as they eat there yummy “human food”. Unfortunately, many of us give into the temptation of sharing food with our pets. If you are one of those soft hearted individuals, here are some guidelines to follow:
Avoid rich fatty foods.
Many of our pets are overweight which can lead to numerous health problems including diabetes and arthritis. In addition, many dogs are susceptible to pancreatitis caused by fatty foods. Pancreatitis can be a life threatening condition with acute onset of vomiting, abdominal pain and sometimes diarrhea. The worst of the fatty foods are pork (especially bacon and sausage), deep fried foods, turkey skin, fruit cake and desserts.
Chocolate is a common cause of toxicity in pets.
It contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and diuretic. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, hyperactivity, irregular heartbeat and seizures. Large quantities of chocolate can even cause death. Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms. A guideline for toxic amounts are as follows:
- 1 ounce per pound of body weight for milk chocolate
- 1 ounce per 3 pounds of body weight for semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 ounce per 9 pounds of body weight for baker’s chocolate
Grapes and raisin can be toxic when ingested in large quantities.
The amount of grapes and raisins causing toxicity is between 9 ounces and 2 pounds, depending on the size of the pet. The initial symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. Signs of kidney failure occur within 24 hours of ingestion and death can occur is left untreated.
Onions cause hemolytic anemia, which is the rupturing of red blood cells.
This creates a shortage of healthy red blood cells available to carry oxygen throughout the body. Symptoms of onion toxicity usually occur a few days after ingestion. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, shortness of breath and dark colored urine. All forms of onions can be toxic including dried, raw and cooked. Onion poisoning can occur with the ingestion of one large onion or repeated meals with small amounts of onions.
Seeds and pits from peaches, pears, apples, apricot, cherries and plums contain cyanogenic glycosides which cause cyanide poisoning.
A few seeds or a pit or two won’t cause a problem. However, the effects can accumulate over time if eaten regularly or with ingestion of large quantities at one time your pet can get sick. Signs of toxicity begin 15 minutes to several hours after ingestion. Symptoms include salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, staggering, rapid breathing, muscle spasms and death.
There are several other human foods that can cause toxicity in your pet. If you suspect your pet has eaten any of the items on this list please contact your veterinarian immediately.
This article is written by Dr. Denise Funk, DVM, a leading vet in Gainesville GA with Animal Medical Care, where she has practiced since 1996. Dr. Funk received her Doctorate from the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. She also has a Master of Science degree from the University of Georgia.
We hope you have learned something from this article and that the information can help you to care even better for your pet’s. Remember that a healthy pet is a happy pet.
Greyhounds are majestic looking dogs that can run up to 72 kilometres per hour (45 mph), and is therefor considered to be the fastest dog in the world. For that reason there are being held many greyhound racing events every day, especially in the UK, but also in many other countries including the US. With racing is where the problems starts. We all know that in betting there are much money in play, which means that the breeders/owners can earn big, depending on the “quality” of their dogs. The better the dogs and the more good greyhound racers they can produce, the more money they will make. The industry have been around for many years, but as more and more Internet betting sites offers greyhound betting, the problem has increased. The more betting opportunities, the more people are willing to bet.
Because the dogs only have a racing career for about 18 months, the breeders need to produce large quantum’s of high quality dogs each year. This is just to meet the supply demands on the different tracks. In order to get the fastest and “genetically superior” greyhound dogs, the breeders need to breed far to many puppies. They will then see which ones are worth the effort of training them and which ones they can get rid of. Only an estimated 10 per cent will be good enough to become a great racer. What will happen to the dogs not suited for racing? The lucky ones will be sold or adopted into good homes with loving owners, some will be caged for the rest of their lives, but the faith for many of them is certain death. There is no exact answer to how many puppies are being killed every year, but in the UK marked alone there is an estimated 9912 greyhound puppies unaccounted for.
Greyhounds start training when they are 10-12 months old. The training facilities are just like on the tracks. The dogs are chasing a long mechanical drag lure with a fake bait attached to it. Some trainers are convinced that using live animals instead, such as rabbits, will make them run even faster when competing. I’m happy to say that this is occurring very seldom. Some trainers have also been caught drugging the dogs with anabolic steroids. Just like humans, this will make them stronger and run faster. At the training farms the dogs are very often locked inside a small cage for up to 18 hours a day. This will continue throughout the rest of their racing career.
When reaching 18 months of age, the greyhounds are ready to start racing. They now need to show they are worth the expenses by getting some good results. You can say they are running for their life’s. When racing, the dogs often suffer injuries like broken legs, open soars, cardiac arrest, paralysis and broken necks. When the dogs no longer are profitable they will either be killed, caged or adopted. Unfortunately it’s much cheaper to kill them by shooting them, hanging them, drowning them etc, then letting the vet inject them with a lethal dose. In 2003, the estimated greyhounds killed in the US alone was 5000.
Want to help?
- Greyhound adoption: Greyhounds are one of the nicest and affectionate pet one can wish for. They are pack-oriented, they don’t bark much, they are friendly to strangers and as they don’t have undercoats they are less likely to trigger people’s dog allergies. Please visit http://www.adopt-a-greyhound.org/ for information on how to get/rescue one.
- Don’t gamble on greyhound racing: Every time you put some money on a race, you are contributing in making the greyhound industry more popular. This is almost the same as saying that you don’t mind the dogs being abused as long as you have a chance of winning a few bucks.
- Share the information: Share this article with people you know, especially with those who are gambling on greyhounds. Just copy and paste the link and send it to their e-mail inbox using the subject “important you read this” Believe me, it works. You can also spread the word by writing on all kinds of online forum sites, writing your local paper or simply by talking to friends and family.
- Apply Pressure: The final and only solution is to get the politicians to band all greyhound racing. This is difficult to achieve as the governments gets paid from the profits of the betting industries and dog tracks. This is where we have to involve the media. Maybe you are or know someone who’s a journalist and are willing to write a piece about it.
I hope I’ve managed to open your eyes to the abuse the greyhound industry are afflicting these poor creatures, and I hope you will try to help them however you can. Even the smallest contribution helps. Please start by commenting on this article and sharing your wiews and suggestions on how we can make a difference.
Remember that not all greyhound breeder abuse their dogs. This article is about the Greyhound industry in general.
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Unfortunately there aren’t enough cat lovers out there as there are cats. Looking at online giveaway sites, it’s always packed with cute kittens who are in desperate need of a home. I’m sorry to say that not all of these kittens are being given to people with either the skills or ability to take care of them. I’ve even heard of people getting them just to do some experiments on them. How sick is that!
Depending on the age of the cat, the average litter is from 2 to 5 kittens. So if your cat gets 4-5 kittens you will most likely be forced to give some of them to people you’ve never even met before. How can you be sure they will be able to take care of them as they should? The answer is, you can’t. Although they may both look and act alright, don’t necessarily mean that they are. It’s always best to give the cute kittens to somebody you really know and can trust to take good care of them.
Here are some of the reasons why you need to spay or neuter your cats:
- Prevent overpopulation: Believe it or not, but in the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. Only about half of these will find a new home.
- Don’t let your cat suffer: A very young cat (under one year) or an older cat (eight years and older) may have a hard time with birth, with the possibility of deformed or stillborn kittens, or the death of the cat.
- Your female cat will live a long and healthier life: It helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 90 percent of the time. Spaying your cat before she reaches sexual maturity at 5-8 months of age, offers the best protection from these diseases.
- Save money on veterinarian bills: Some money must be spent to get your cat spayed or neutered, but in the long run you are very likely to save money by doing this. The cat will get fewer health problems which again leads to less costly veterinarian bills.
- Neutering provides great health benefits for your male: Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
- Neutered males will be much better behaved: Neutered cats focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, non neutered cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
So if you are a cat owner and your cat hasn’t already been spayed or neutered, please go to the nearest veterinarian and do so. As you see it’s well worth the effort.
Please help me spread the word. It truly is necessary.
As a little kid I really enjoyed going to the circus. Elephants,horses, tigers and lions side by side, doing tricks for treats was like nothing I’ve ever seen before – and to tell you the truth I loved it. Seeing different and exotic animals doing amazing stuff truly was and still is fascinating for a young boy or girl.
As I grew up I learned more and more about what really goes on behind the scene of the circus. Let me tell you, it’s not pretty. Have you ever wondered how they keep the animals so calm, or how they are able to teach the animals such special tricks? There are several ways to accomplish this:
1: Drugging the animals: It’s a fact that many circuses give their animals heavy sedatives in order to keep them in a state of drowsiness. This will keep the animals from expressing their natural instincts such as attacking when they are feeling threatened or being able to move around freely.
2: Punishing the animals: When the animals won’t do what the trainers tell them to, they often punish them both physically and mentally. A few of these sick methods is to: hit them, burn them, shout at them, tie them up, whip them, pulling their teeth, starve them, using electric shock and much more. All this abuse starts when the animals are very young.
3: Keeping them away from their natural habitat: Whether the animal is born in captivity or in the wild, they will feel out of place in the circus surroundings. We all know it isn’t natural for these animals to be locked up in tiny places or to travel long distances on the road. They are meant to roam the fields where they origin from, free, playing and hunting, being able to use their natural instincts together with their pact and family. Just imagine how would you feel if it was you who were totally out of place and locked up in a small and dirty cage. I’m guessing you would get pretty depressed and sad very quickly. The same thing happens with these abused circus animals.
Circus animals will eventually get sick. When this happens a skilled exotic animal veterinarian isn’t always the easiest person to find while traveling on the road. Many small towns don’t even have a veterinarian with such expertise. The animal will then have to live with the pain for a very long time.
What happens when the circus animals is to old or sick to perform? Hopefully they will be taken to a nice animal park or a wild life reservoir were their illnesses will be take good care of. I’m sorry to say that in most cases this doesn’t happen. If the animal is on of the unfortunate one’s they can be killed, sold to a animal testing facility or be locked up in a tiny cage for the rest of their lives. If you’ve ever seen a caged black bear in China, you would know what I mean by tiny.
How you make a difference you say?
1: Tell your friends and families what you just read.
2: Don’t go a circus that use animals in their show. There are many circuses who only use human acts as their performances.
3: If you’re a parent, teach you kids about animal cruelty and the abuse of circus animals. They need to know.
4: Join a animal rights organisation such as PETA and WWF. Remember that you don’t have to donate money, you can also donate your time and effort. If you don’t want to join such large organisations, I’m sure there are several local organisations you can join. Make it a social thing and invite your friends and family to take part in your work.
5: Put together a protest rally the next time a animal circus show visits your home town. Contact the different media and tell them when the protest will take place. This will certainly help you to spread the word.
6: Blog online. Use the different forums and sites to spread the word. You can start by commenting on this article.
Please help me spread the word!