We are all animals, we just happen to be animals that learned to walk on two legs, hunt with tools, invent the wheel and use iPhones (with some slight delays in between those evolutionary stages). Our digestive systems have evolved to accommodate the foods that have become available, although whether they can tolerate a lot of the heavily processed ‘foods’ on the market but that’s another story altogether.
When it comes to our furry, scaly and feathered friends things become more complicated. Cats and dogs have only been domesticated for around 10,000 – 15,000 years, and so have the outside track when it comes to processed and man made products. Even some things that are designed to help and heal pets can potentially do more harm than good. From the foods they wolf down to the flea treatments we rely on, everything comes with a caveat. Even LBS ii side effects, though rare, can be damaging. The purpose of this article isn’t to decry any products as bad for pets, but to alert animal enthusiasts to the potential dangers of certain treatments and products…
As with human food, the more natural and whole the food you feed your pet the better. A lot of canned pet foods are found to have excessive quantities of Bisphenol A (BPA),a chemical that studies have shown that BPA can increase fat storage and obesity while damaging reproductive health and increasing the risk of cancer. Do your homework on your chosen brand of pet food, and select something that’s free of chemicals and preservatives and contains as few ingredients as possible. It’s also worth remembering that most animals, particularly cats and dogs are more than capable of digesting human foods (just so long as we’re talking whole foods and not cheeseburgers).
Dogs need to chew regularly in order to reduce the risks of dental plaque turning into plaque and eventually periodontal disease. To combat this, many owners supply them with a manufactured chew. Many of these are treated with potentially harmful chemicals, even rawhide can be sprayed with potentially harmful enzymes. Even butcher bought hooves and bones can splinter and be swallowed, causing intestinal ruptures. Dental chews should be grain free (dogs don’t process gluten too well), low in calories and free from allergens.
Flea Control Products
Topical flea treatments, along with collars, sprays and powders can be potentially harmful to animals and humans. Many of these solutions contain pesticidal chemicals such as imidacloprid, fipronil, permethrin, pyriproxyfen or methoprene. These can be harmful when either ingested or absorbed through the skin. Many manufacturers are cognizant of this, hence why they advise very specific dosages that must be adhered to to prevent side effects such as vomiting and / or diarrhea, trembling, seizures, and respiratory trouble.
With animals, as with humans, it’s unfair to say that any product is inherently bad or good but it is important to make educated decisions when it comes to your purchases and be aware of risks and side effects when opening your wallet.