Five Summer Treats to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 4:00pm

Grab a spoon—it’s National Ice Cream Month! It’s really no surprise that many of us love to spoil our pets with bits of our tasty summer treats, but pet parents please beware: Ice cream is just one of many summer goodies that could double as serious health hazards to our pets!

Ice cream
Just say no to the cone. One lick or two (no chocolate, please!) is fine, but because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase—the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk—milk and other milk-based products can cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Chicken Bones
Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural option, but chicken bones splinter easily and can cause choking or may become lodged in your pet’s digestive tract.

Potato Chips
Who doesn’t like to crunch? While one or two plain chips may not pose a threat, large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many chips include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. In other words, keep those salty snacks to yourself!

A little sweet, a little tart—and a lot hazardous! Citrus plants contain citric acid, limonin and oils that can cause irritation, and possibly even central nervous system depression, if ingested in significant amounts. Clinical signs of central nervous system depression include vomiting, diarrhea, depression and potential photosensitivity.

Piña Colada
We know they’re tasty, but any beveragecontaining alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death in our animals. So please, keep you summer cocktails out of your pet’s reach.

Interested in more food hazards? Please visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.