The Web is a miraculous piece of technology and endless source of knowledge and information . . . as a rule. Staying home due to Covid-19 has given me the opportunity to do research on a gazillion different topics, and I’m discovering that a lot of the sites, even if they sound very credible, are putting forth nothing more than piles of pasture patties.
I was told by a vet that my sometimes-constipated cat could benefit by adding pureed pumpkin to her food because pumpkin is loaded with fiber and also has a multitude of vitamins and minerals that are good for cats. Being the sceptic that I am, I researched it on the web, and sure enough I found dozens of veterinary sites that say the same thing. BUT WAIT, THT’S NOT ALL I FOUND! I also found a vet’s site that claims that one can add “pumpkin PIE FILLING” to your cat’s food. Let’s take a good look at that statement. Go online to the “Pet Poison Helpline” and you will find this statement: “Do not feed your cat pumpkin pie filling. Cloves and allspice both contain a compound called eugenol, which can cause liver toxicity in cats.“ I can only conclude that the vet who downloaded the site regarding pie filling is a male of the species, has never baked a pie in his life, and hasn’t the foggiest notion what the ingredients are in pumpkin pie filling!! 100% pumpkin; pumpkin pie filling, what the heck’s the difference, right?
So, dear hearts, the gist of my article is to be very wary of information you find on the web even if it sounds credible. Please do your homework; thoroughly research it, ask more than one professional about it and try to back it up with scientific facts. You would get second and third opinions regarding your own health; do the same for your pets. If you want to experiment with yourself and try every pill, elixir, acupuncture point or have a tribal medicine man shake his rattles over you, that’s your prerogative, but please don’t subject your helpless pets to some of the mumbo-jumbo you are sure to encounter on the Web.
The “web” is a great name for it. You sure can easily become tangled up in it and become a hapless victim of all the BS, MS and PHD being presented in the guise of credible information.
Also, with the holidays coming up, I’ve compiled a list of holiday treats that we should NOT share with our pets, and here they are, and the why nots:
ONIONS or GARLIC. Onions and garlic both contain thiosulphate which causes red blood cells to burst in both cats and dogs.
ANY POULTRY BONES. Cooking causes poultry bones to become brittle and they can splinter and puncture your pet’s stomach or intestines.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERGES. I debated as to whether I really had to list this . . . but! Alcohol is very toxic to cats and dogs. This is a good way to spend Thanksgiving at the vet’s office.
NUTS. Pets have difficulty digesting almonds, walnuts and pecans, and macadamias and pistachios can cause pancreatitis or neurological disorders.
CHOCOLATE. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are toxic to cats and dogs. Dogs are especially attracted to chocolate, so keep it out of your “fur child’s” reach.
GRAPES and RAISINS. Even a small amount can cause sudden kidney failure. The toxin is still unknown, but whatever it is, it can cause sudden death in both cats and dogs.
COOKIE DOUGH. Never let your pet taste the dough of cookies, rolls or breads before they’re baked. Raw dough can actually rise inside your pet’s stomach, resulting in vomiting, severe pain and bloating.
ANYTHING CONTAINING NUTMEG. This includes that pumpkin pie filling. Nutmeg has hallucinogenic properties, can cause seizures, tremors and central nervous system problems. In severe cases, shock and death have been reported.
If you simply can’t resist your dog or cat’s “puppy dog eyes,” fill a saucer with a little turkey meat, a smidgen of PLAIN sweet potatoes, a few green beans or peas (without onions or garlic) and a dollop of gravy and serve on a bath towel “table cloth.” This may keep them busy long enough for you to enjoy your meal without guilt.