Our Greenville veterinary staff emphasizes nutritional counseling for your pet because feeding your dog or cat the correct diet is one of the best ways to promote wellness and prevent disease. Puppies and kittens need a proper diet in order to grow and be strong and healthy, and older pets can greatly benefit from specialized diets that target their individual health concerns. Food allergies, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, lower urinary tract disease, and other gastrointestinal diseases can all be managed, at least partially, with a good therapeutic diet.
We are happy to offer nutritional counseling for your pet as part of our regular, annual wellness exams. While we talk to you about your pet’s health and general wellbeing, we will also discuss what your pet is eating and if any dietary adjustments are needed. Remember, proper pet nutrition doesn’t have to be expensive—especially if you feed your dog or cat the correct amount of food rather than overfeeding. While high-quality pet food does cost more, it is also more nutrient-dense, meaning you can feed your pet less.
We know it’s tempting to feed your pet from your plate—but it’s not always good for them. In fact, food-related reactions and other scares are a leading cause for admittance into our emergency pet hospital in Greenville, SC. Foods that are just fine for humans often contain substances that can cause severe illness, especially in smaller pets as it takes less to trigger a reaction.
Chocolate is one of the biggest food no-no’s for both dogs and cats. The sweet treat contains methylxanthines, which make pets incredibly ill. Dark chocolate is even worse than milk chocolate (just one ounce of dark chocolate can make a large dog sick). To keep your pet safe, put all chocolates out of reach.
Though a lesser known threat than chocolate, raisins and grapes can also be harmful to pets, sometimes causing kidney failure.
A little nibble of dough may seem like a harmless treat for your pet, but dough rises, even in the stomach. If your dog or cat eats dough, it will continue to rise and expand in the gastrointestinal system, causing bloating and discomfort. If the yeast in the dough ferments, it could also lead to alcohol poisoning.
Too much sugar is bad for everyone, and that includes dog and cats. Plus, a lot of store-bought candy now includes artificial sweeteners, which cause your pet to produce excess insulin and can make blood sugar spike or plummet. Even worse, artificial sweeteners have been known to lead to kidney failure. You’re much better off getting your pets their own treats.
There are differing reports on how problematic avocados can be, so we’ll give you the full scoop here. Guacamole is awesome, but that avocado could mean big trouble for your pet. It’s because of persin—a substance that can cause severe allergic reactions, including for some pets. While dogs and cats may be safe around avocado, birds and larger pets can have sometimes fatal reactions. Remember that persin is in the whole plant, so make sure to dispose of the skin and other scraps carefully.
Onions / Garlic
While small doses of onions and garlic are fine, large quantities can destroy your pet’s red blood cells and lead to anemia, as can eating smaller amounts consistently over time. Since the symptoms of anemia include weakness, vomiting and lethargy, it’s probably better just to stay away and leave these potent foodstuffs alone.
Nuts may seem like nutritious snacks, but the reality is that there are a lot of potential hazards in these handfuls. Most nuts aren’t easily digested, and some larger ones can be choking hazards. But there are scarier things in play, too: Hickory, macadamia nuts, pecans, and walnuts can all cause seizures or neurological symptoms, while pistachios and macadamia nuts have a history of leading to pancreatitis and upset stomach. If liver or kidney failure don’t sound appealing, make sure you steer clear of nuts.
Sure, Sylvester likes tuna, and he’ll cry for it all day long, but that doesn’t mean you should be popping open a can of it every night. While the canned fish may make a nice treat, using it as a food source can be dangerous—not only is your fur baby missing out on a lot of nutrients that aren’t balanced in the can of fish, but tuna is high in mercury as well. Nobody wants to come into the emergency pet hospital because of mercury poisoning. Our advice: treat your pet to a mouthful when you’re cooking with tuna in the kitchen, but leave it at that.
If Ambassador Animal Hospital sounds like a good veterinary home for you and your pet, contact us today to get started. We are conveniently located near downtown at 715 Wade Hampton Boulevard,Greenville, SC 29609 and open from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm on most weekdays. We also offer Saturday hours from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm.