Monday, February 14, 2011

Dog Love

Today I am proud to introduce you all to my sister Amy, who is an RVT - or Registered Veterinary Technician. She mostly works in Opthamology (eye care for dogs) and does some emergency work as well.  Amy has loved animals since the day she was born - you should see her 'communicate' with them. She has used a 'voice' for as long as I can remember with all of our family pets and now with her own (and mine). This voice is.... a) hilarious and b) dogs really respond this voice.  Too funny.  She is fantastic at what she does and I am very happy that she gets to go to work everyday and help animals - I think it has always been her destiny!  Any animal that comes under Amy's care is a very lucky animal; she is extraordinary with them.

I approached Amy a few weeks ago to be a contributor to my blog in the best way that she can - helping us learn more and treat our animals & pets better.  So every once in a while you'll see a post from Miss Amy - and please, if you have any dog/cat/pet questions, shout them my way!  I'm happy to ask Amy for you or possibly make your question the subject of Amy's blog entry. 

 Amy with her beloved Bonnie on her 4th birthday

Without further ado......Here's Amy's entry.
As some of you may know, I am an animal lover. And by animal lover, I mean I am a little crazy about my furry little creatures that I call my kids. I thought it would be fun to talk about a subject that many of us are guilty of, which is table scraps. I like to spoil my dogs and cats more than anyone in the world, but some people-food can be considered toxic to our animals.  Hence, today's topic:

The top 5 foods that we see a lot in emergency medicine; causing harm to our 'kids':

1. Chocolate.  I'm sure most of you guessed this! Dogs love the flavor. And don't think that just because some of them are small and can't reach the counter, they can't get to this stuff. They will find a way on the counter! And if they don't, I know some cats who would be more than willing to push a chocolate cake onto the ground for their dog friends. Chocolate can cause increased heart rate, tremors, and even death. So although we like to binge on it on occasion, dogs can't.

2. Onions. Not only do onions cause bad breath for everyone (pets included), they also are harmful to our best friends. They can cause anemia, vomiting and weakness. Hold the onions please.

3. Sugar Free Gum. This one a lot of people don't know about. Although this gum helps us humans freshen our breath after a healthy dose of's toxic to dogs. Sugar Free Gum contains a sugar substitute called Xylitol. This stuff can cause bleeding, liver failure, and death. So make sure to keep your dogs nose out of your purses!

4. Meat overload. Ok, it sounds ridiculous. But if a dog has access to tons of meats, they will eat them.  And unfortunately, an overload can cause pancreatitis, which is no fun for anyone involved.  So everytime you have extra steak, turkey breast, chicken, or sausage, think twice about letting your dog or cat indulge.  Maybe once a year on their birthday a burger would be appropriate! 

5. Grapes/Raisins.  Last on the list, but just as bad. These delicious little bursts of juice can cause kidney failure in dogs when eaten in large amounts.  While they seem like them might a fun item to toss your dog while you're noshing on them, it's actually a terrible idea!  And if you have kids, do NOT let them feed your dog either of these.......many times kids are the culprits of veterinary emergency situations.

As much as I love spoiling my animals rotten, I'll make sure to spoil them with the right stuff. Try something a little more pet appropriate, like a fantastic cake from Three Dog Bakery.