VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) — Giving pets leftover "people" food may seem harmless, but it actually can threaten their health and lives.
“So many people just feed their dog leftovers all of the time," said pet owner Christine Prendigue. "We didn’t think about it at all. I was just like 'Eh, it’s meat. Here. Finish it.'"
Prendingue started doing some thinking about giving her dog, Biscuit, leftovers a few months ago after Biscuit got sick.
“On the carpet, it looked like she had an accident. It looked like dark, bloody urine, so I thought she was having a bladder infection or something like that,” Prendigue explained.
She and her family took Biscuit to the emergency vet. Biscuit was there overnight, and Prendingue found out she accidently poisoned her. Biscuit had onion poisoning.
Prendingue said the bill to treat Biscuit was close to $2,000 for just "having her on fluids.”
Veterinarian Rachel L’Heureux with BluePearl Animal Hospital in Chesapeake said people feed their dogs leftovers all the time, but it can be extremely dangerous.
“A lot of times people food is very rich, very high-calorie, high in salt and butter. Things that aren’t good for your dogs,” L’Heureux said.
There are several things you should keep away from your dog. Some of the better known items include chocolate and grapes. Other dangers include raw meat, coffee grounds, or any food with onions, garlic, chives.
Some peanut butters also are dangerous. That's why it's critical to check the labels on peanut butter jars.
“Look at the ingredients and make sure there isn’t this artificial sweetener called Xylitol. If you see it, don’t give it to your pets," L’Heureux said. "It can lower levels of glucose to cause seizures, and it can also make them go into liver failure."
L’Heureux said if you have a dog that likes to get into everything, make sure you keep your pills and cleaning supplies where they can’t reach them. She’s seen many dogs become extremely ill from eating things such as multivitamins and dryer sheets.
“I remember one case, one that’s really a sad one, where they got into the bathroom cabinet and got into Clorox wipes,” L’Heureux said.
Biscuit recovered, and she is living a happy and healthy life with her family.
“It was a close brush, and I felt like if we didn’t pay attention to the symptoms or didn’t take her to the vet, anything could have happened," Prendingue told 13News Now. "It could have been a really bad situation, way worse.”
If you think your dog or any pet may have eaten something he/she shouldn't have, L’Heureux said take the animal to the veterinarian immediately.