Preventing Sickness Or Allergies When Feeding Our Pets

  • 17/03/2017
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sickness-allergies.jpgDogs are just as big a part of our family as our children and so we love them and treat them just like our biological offspring. This includes keeping them safe from possible harm from poisons and other dangerous chemicals. As responsible pet owners and parents, we keep these potentially harmful ingredients locked up or out-of-reach of prying hands and paws, but what about other dangers that could be found in their food and other things they may consume?

For example, sometimes we don’t realise that common houseplants, flowers and other outdoor greenery can be dangerous or even deadly for our pets. Check out “A Pet Owner’s Guide To Flowers And Plants” for comprehensive lists about potentially toxic plants, flowers and what to do if you believe your pet may have ingested any of these ingredients.

The Difference Between Allergies and Intolerance

In a recent post, we discussed some possible allergies that could be affecting our pets, and at times these allergens can be found in their food as noted in this article. But what about food intolerance and what’s the difference between the two? Basically, food allergies will usually present with skin rashes, hives, excessive itching, paw biting, obsessive licking and could include nausea or vomiting.

When a pet isn’t tolerating their food, it’s a digestive issue and they could have an almost immediate reaction such as diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea. Other problems can include digestive distress that could cause weight gain (or loss), bloating, gas and these could be very problematic for your pet in the long-run. Any of these signs or symptoms are a reason to take your precious pooch for a trip to your doggie doctor.

Storage And Sales

Many people store their dry pet food in airtight containers to keep it fresh for longer periods of time. While their intentions are good, be sure to follow these guidelines:

●     Don’t refill these containers when they’re not completely empty. If continuing with this practice, eventually, the very “bottom of the barrel” will become stale and this could make your dog sick when they finally consume the end of the batch.

●     Regularly clean these containers with warm, soapy water, rinse thoroughly and towel dry. Similar to the previous scenario, crumbs and smaller pieces of kibble can fall to the bottom and make them ill if consumed.

Be sure to store these containers in a dark, cool (but not cold), indoor environment like a cupboard or closet. Exposure to the elements, excessive cold or heat, moisture and other conditions could cause the food to become mouldy, break down faster and decrease its intended shelf life, which could also cause them illness or other problems.

You’ve heard the expression, “you get what you pay for,” and sometimes when dog food goes on sale it may be because the expiration date is drawing near or has already come to pass. Also be wary of dented cans or slightly damaged cases of dog or broken bags of food as a bad seal can also cause mould and premature spoilage … all of which can sicken your best friend.

A little bit of vigilance can go a long way when it comes to keeping your pet safe and healthy. As always, if you suspect anything is out of the ordinary with your pet, take them to see your veterinarian and discuss their diet with them as well as the ingredients found in their food. Better safe than sorry and a small change in their diet could make them happier and healthier.

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