Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated February 17, 2009)
I had a friend once who went out to eat, and her entire family fell ill with food poisoning. They had to go to the hospital for a three day stay, and the process of making them well again was a long, uncomfortable, and expensive one. Food poisoning is nothing to joke about, and you need to keep your eyes peeled for signs of unhealthy food. While food poisoning is definitely a concern for us, we can't forget that it pets can't escape it either. As a pet owner, you need to keep an eye on what your pet eats, so you can protect it against food poisoning.
The way pets can get food poisoning is a little different from how we get food poisoning. Usually pets eat just pet food, but often pet owners give their pets scraps from the table. This is fine, as long as the food is still good, and hasn't been sitting out for too long. For instance, if you leave the food scraps out on the counter, uncovered overnight, then you might not want to feed them to your pet the next day. Use common sense here and only feed your pet scraps that you know are okay.
Even if you don't feed your pet scraps from the table, there is the possibility your pet could still scrounge up some real food. By digging around in the trash, pets can have an uncanny ability to get at things they shouldn't. I know of many a pet that has been caught scavenging in the trash, and that can lead to not-so-good effects on your pet. Once things are in the trash, they are allowed to sit and rot and collect bacteria. The trash is a very unhealthy place for your pet to be digging around, and you need to control that situation as mush as possible. Put your trash somewhere where your pet can't access it and make sure that the trash bags you take out to the garbage are sealed enough so that a roaming pet can't tear its way in.
Food poisoning is a serious reality for all of us, including our pets. As a pet owner, you need to take responsibility for what your pet eats and you need to keep it safe. By taking simple measures to monitor what your pet eats, you are doing it a huge service by ensuring that what goes into your pet is healthy and good to go!
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