Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?

Dog owners commonly ponder about the toxicity of foods. The questions about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic which led to a lot of press coverage. The most important toxic foods to dogs are chocolate, Grapes and Raisins and Peanut Butter. Exposure to the dangers of these foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about other foods such as can dogs eat pineapple.

Learn more about what dogs can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat.

Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?

Pineapple is a tropical plant that grows 3 to 5 feet tall that contains an edible fruit.  Pineapples are indigenous to South America and have a history dating back to the 1300s and are extremely popular in most parts of the world with the world production being over 26 million ton in 2017.

The answer to the question “Can dogs eat pineapples?” is, “Yes.” Dogs can eat pineapple safely and often love the crunchy texture, sweet taste, and enjoy it as a healthy snack.

Pineapples are a good source of fiber, vitamin C and can help clean plaque from a dog’s teeth and freshen breath. Some believe that feeding pineapple can treat the behavioral problem of coprophagia (dogs that eat their own feces) however this treatment not been studied nor has it had consistent results.  Learn more about Coprophagia in Dogs.

The Dangers of Pineapple to Dogs

When researching the safety and danger of pineapples for dogs, there are a couple of different considerations. They include:

  • First is the potential for gastrointestinal upset from eating pineapple. Although pineapple is not toxic, any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in some dogs. What may not bother one dog can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea in another dog. The same can happen in people. Some foods can bother one person and upset their gastrointestinal tract but not bother another person.
  • Second is the risk of choking when eating large pieces of pineapple. This is more common in small dogs that do not chew their food well.
  • Lastly is the risk of a gastrointestinal foreign body from eating the poorly digestible core, outer peel, stems, and/or leaves.

Do Dogs Need Pineapple?

There is nothing in pineapple that dogs require. What dogs do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved dog food. Learn more about Nutrition in Dogs.

The Safest Way to Give Pineapple to Dogs

The safest way to give pineapple to your dog is to give small pieces or slices fresh sliced pineapple. The core, skin, and stock should not be given to dogs.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest About Can Dogs Eat Pineapple

Can Dogs Eat Celery?

Dog owners commonly wonder about the toxicity of foods both before and after they feed human foods to their dogs. The questions about the safety of different foods increased after learning that particular foods are toxic which has received a lot of press coverage. The most important foods are chocolate, grapes and raisins, and peanut butter. Exposure to the dangers of these foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about vegetables such as celery.

Learn more about what dogs can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat.

Can Dogs Eat Celery?

Dogs often love the crunchy texture of celery and can enjoy this as a healthy snack. Celery is low in calories and has approximately 94 to 95% water and known for its long green crunchy stalks. Celery is a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, vitamin A, and other antioxidants. Many human nutritionists highly regard celery for its touted anti-inflammatory benefits.

Celery has been cultivated as a vegetable for centuries. In fact, there is documentation of celery garlands in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun (King Tut who died 1323 B.C.). There are different types of celery including wild celery, celery root, and leaf celery. Depending on the type, the stalk, leaves, or base may be eaten or used in cooking.

Celery became popular in the United States in the mid-1850s. In North America, the most common celery is primarily the cultivar called Pascal celery.  The stalk can be eaten raw or included in many stews, soups, salads and as a common ingredient in dressing (also known as stuffing).  Celery seeds are used in herbal medicine and to make celery salt. Celery salt is used in seasonings such as Bloody Mary cocktails or in Old Bay Seasoning.

To answer the question, “Can dogs eat celery?” The answer is, “Yes.” Celery can make a very good low-calorie treat for overweight dogs.

Please note: Any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. What may not bother one dog may bother another dog. The same can happen in people. Some foods can bother some people and not others.

The Dangers of Celery to Dogs 

When researching the safety of celery for dogs, there are three considerations that impact the danger.

  1. Risk of choking from eating large prices of Celery or the very stemmy parts. This is more common in small dogs but can occur in any dog.  Some dogs are not good at “chewing” their food and the danger of choking can occur.
  2. Pancreatitis or gastrointestinal upset can occur in dogs that aren’t used to celery, including celery that is cooked with seasonings and butter.  Too much oil, fat, or seasoning can lead to gastrointestinal upset or pancreatitis in some dogs.
  3. Toxicity can occur when celery is fed to dogs with peanut butter that contains the toxic ingredient xylitol. Learn more about Peanut Butter Toxicity in Dogs.

However, be aware that just because your dog can eat an occasional small piece of celery, doesn’t suggest it is safe to give him your leftover salad or meal.  For example, salads or chicken salad that includes celery may also include additional ingredients, such as onions, garlic or even raisins, which can be toxic. However, it is generally okay to give your dog a piece of celery.

Do Dogs Need Celery?

There is nothing in Celery that dogs require. What dogs do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved dog food. Learn more about what dogs require in their diet with this article: Nutrition in Dogs.

The Safest Way to Give Celery to Dogs 

The safest and healthiest way to give celery to your dog is to give small pieces of fresh cut or cooked celery. Make sure the celery is washed thoroughly to remove pesticides, fertilizers and potential contaminates such as E. coli or listeria.  Cooked celery is a healthy option and best when unseasoned and steamed. Excess butter or seasoning can cause gastrointestinal upset in some dogs.

If your dog shows any sign of illness after eating celery, please call your veterinarian or closest veterinary emergency clinic immediately.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Celery?

Although uncommon, dogs can be allergic to celery. In humans, celery allergies can cause severe allergic reactions that can be fatal. It appears that the allergen in celery is not destroyed by cooking. Other food allergies are more common in dogs such as to chicken and beef. Food allergies in dogs can cause skin infections and/or gastrointestinal problems.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest About Can Dogs Eat Celery:

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

Dog owners commonly ponder about the toxicity of foods. The questions about the safety of different foods increased after various news and press covered the toxicity in them. The most important foods are chocolate, grapes and raisins, and peanut butter. Exposure to the dangers of these foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about the safety of other foods such as broccoli.

Learn more about what dogs can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat.

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

The answer to the question, “Can dogs eat broccoli?” The answer is, “Yes.” Dogs often love the crunchy texture of broccoli and can enjoy this as a healthy snack.

Broccoli also makes a good low-calorie treat for overweight dogs. Not only is broccoli low in calories, but it has approximately 91 to 95% water and is a good source of vitamin K and vitamin C.

Broccoli (Daucus carota) dates back to the 6th century B.C. in Europe. It is in the cabbage family and grows as a green plant with a large head and stalk that is eaten. The word broccoli is Italian and comes from the Italian plural of broccoli, meaning flowering cabbage. Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked and is commonly boiled, steamed, microwaved or stir-fried.

Please note: Any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. What may not bother one dog may bother another dog. The same can happen in people. Some foods can bother some people and not others.

The Dangers of Broccoli to Dogs

When researching the safety of broccoli for dogs, there are two considerations that impact the danger.

  1. Pancreatitis or gastrointestinal upset in dogs that aren’t used to broccoli or broccoli cooked with seasonings and butter.  Too much oil, fat, or seasoning can lead to gastrointestinal upset or pancreatitis.
  2. Risk of choking from eating large pieces of Broccoli or very the stemmy parts. This is more common in small dogs but can occur in any dog.  Some dogs are not good at “chewing” their food and the danger of choking can occur.

However, be aware that just because your dog can eat an occasional small piece of broccoli, doesn’t suggest it is safe to give him your leftover salad or meal.  For example, salads often include additional ingredients, such as onions, garlic or even raisins, which can be toxic. However, it is generally okay to give your dog a piece of broccoli.  Learn more about Grape and Raisin Toxicity in dogs.

Do Dogs Need Broccoli

There is nothing in broccoli that dogs require. What dogs do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved dog food. Learn more about what dogs require in their diet with this article: Nutrition in Dogs.

The Safest Way to Give Broccoli to Dogs

The safest and healthiest way to give broccoli to your dog is to give small pieces of fresh cut or cooked broccoli. Make sure the broccoli is washed thoroughly to remove pesticides, fertilizers and potential contaminates such as E. coli or listeria.  Cooked broccoli is a healthy option and best when unseasoned and steamed. Excess butter or seasoning can cause gastrointestinal upset in some dogs.

If your dog shows any sign of illness after eating broccoli, please call your veterinarian or closest veterinary emergency clinic immediately.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest About Can Dogs Eat Broccoli:

Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?

Dog owners commonly ponder about the toxicity of foods. There was an increase in questions about the safety of different foods after learning that certain ones were toxic which led to a lot of press coverage. The most important toxic foods to know are Grapes and Raisins, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate. Exposure to the dangers of these foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about the effects other human foods have on dogs, such as blueberries. Learn more about what dogs can and can’t eat in the article: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat.

Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?   

A blueberry is a round shaped sweet soft blue to purple fruit native to North America. Blueberries are grown from a blueberry bush or shrub. The blueberry bush is a low bush in the wild that gets taller when cultivated. They are classified within the genus Vaccinium which also includes cranberries and huckleberries. The berry is generated from a bell-shaped pale flower and when the fruit grows in, it starts as green and then changes color to a dark blue-purple color when ripe. Blueberries are most commonly in season between May and August.

Blueberries are commonly eaten by themselves or prepared in foods such as pies, ice cream, milkshakes, preserves, candy, wine, or enjoyed covered in chocolate. The flavors and aromas are common in candy, perfume, cosmetics, and many more products.

The answer to the question, “Can dogs eat blueberries?” is, “Yes.”

Dogs can eat blueberries but in moderation. Dogs often love the soft moist texture and many enjoy this as a healthy snack. Blueberries are a good source of antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. They are approximately 84% water, 14% carbohydrate with minuscule amounts of protein and fat.

The Dangers of Blueberries to Dogs 

Ingestion of large amounts of blueberries can cause gastrointestinal upset or diarrhea. Ingestion of blueberry stems and plants can cause gastrointestinal obstruction. The leaves and plants, while not toxic, are very difficult to digest. Signs of problems include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, straining to defecate, and/or a decreased appetite.

Please be careful if your dog eats anything blueberry flavored that contains the sweetener xylitol. This can be an ingredient in diet or low-calorie pastries, especially those created for people with diabetes.  Learn more about Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs.

Do Dogs Need Blueberries?

There is nothing in blueberries that dogs require on a regular basis. What dogs do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved dog food. Learn more about Nutrition in Dogs.

The Safest Way to Give Blueberries to Dogs

The safest way to give blueberries to your dog is to give a few clean fresh blueberries. Dogs should never be fed the blueberry stem or leaves.

How Many Blueberries Can You Give a Dog?

One or two medium-sized blueberries is plenty for a small dog, three to four for a medium-sized dog, and five to six blueberries for a large dog.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Blueberries?

While it is possible for a dog to be allergic to anything, dog allergies to blueberries are rare.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest About Can Dogs Eat Blueberries

Can Cats Eat Yogurt?

Cat owners commonly contemplate about the toxicity of human foods. The questions about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic which yielded a lot of press coverage. The most important toxic foods for cats are onions, garlic, chocolate, alcohol, and excessive amounts of fish. In dogs, Grapes and Raisins, and Peanut Butter are commonly discussed as dangerous foods.

Knowledge of dangerous foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about other human foods such as can cats eat yogurt. Learn more about what cats can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Cats Can’t Eat.

Can Cats Eat Yogurt?  

Yogurt is a food product made from milk. It is formed by bacterial fermentation with yogurt cultures. Milk is heated then allowed to cool and mixed with the bacterial culture. The lactose fermentation gives yogurt its unique texture and flavor. Yogurt can be made from the milk of cows, sheep, goats, yaks, camels, and buffalo and created into a large variety of textures and flavors.  Each type of milk produces different flavors. The milk used to make yogurt can be homogenized, pasteurized, or raw.

When researching the safety and dangers of yogurt for cats, while yogurt is not considered toxic or dangerous, it is not necessarily good for your cat. It can be fed to some cats in very small amounts.

Why is yogurt not good for cats? The answer is that most cats are considered to be lactose-intolerant. This is contrary to popular belief. After all, many children’s books contain iconic photos of adorable kittens lapping up saucers of milk.

Lactose intolerance is a normal part of being an adult cat. Kittens produce an enzyme called lactase to break down lactose which is the milk sugar.  As kittens age and are weaned, they produce less and less lactase and therefore are unable to digest most dairy products.

When lactose is ingested and not broken down by the lactase, the lactose continues through the intestinal system and is not digested. Water is drawn into the intestine and bacteria ferment the undigested milk sugars. This results in symptoms that may include gas, discomfort, and diarrhea in 8 to 12 hours.

The Dangers of Yogurt to Cats

As discussed above, cats naturally have an inability to digest lactose. This can affect some cats more than others. Ingestion of any type of yogurt or dairy product can produce severe symptoms in some cats.

Flavored yogurts, such as those with garlic, onion, or garlic/onion powders can cause severe problems in cats. Cats lack the enzyme to appropriately digest onions that can cause flatulence (gas), vomiting, diarrhea, or severe gastrointestinal distress. Regular ingestion of onion or garlic products can cause life-threatening red blood cell damage.

However, some cats appear to be more lactose intolerant than others. I’ve seen cats on dairy farms seem to tolerate milk ingestion. I personally have a cat that begs for various dairy products including cheese, milk, and yogurt and he loves it. I only feed a small amount the size of a pea and he seems to consistently tolerate this without any signs of problems. In general, dairy products are not recommended for most cats.

NOTE: Any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats. What may not bother some cats may cause signs of illness in another cat. The same can happen in people. Some foods can bother some people and not others.  Overfeeding can cause gastrointestinal upset and/or obesity.

How Can You Tell if Your Cat is Lactose Intolerant?

You can test your cat’s ability to digest lactose by offering a small amount of milk such as a tablespoon of milk or yogurt and look for abnormal symptoms.

There are differing amounts of lactose in various dairy products. For example, goat’s milk commonly contains less lactose than cow’s milk. Therefore, some cats may digest yogurt made with goat’s milk better than yogurt made with cow’s milk. Milk, cream, butter, yogurt, yogurt, ice cream all have different amounts. Some dairy products may agree with your cat more than another.

With that being said, there is nothing in yogurt that your cat requires. It is safest to choose a treat that is without yogurt. There are some lactose-free products available on the market that could be options. They also make some lactose free products specifically for cats that are available in some pet stores.

Do Cats Like Yogurt?

Some cats love yogurt (as well as other dairy products) and other cats don’t.  This really varies from cat to cat. Some cats often love the flavor of yogurt’s soft creamy texture and enjoy this as a healthy snack. Yogurt is a good source of protein, calcium, and Vitamin B12. In fact, I personally have one cat that loves yogurt and begs for it on every occasion.

Do Cats Need Yogurt?

There is nothing in yogurt that cats require. What cats do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved cat food. Learn more about Nutrition in Cats.

Can Cats Eat Watermelon?

Cat owners commonly wonder about the toxicity of various human foods. The question about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic which yielded a lot of press coverage. The most important toxic foods to cats are onions, garlic, chocolate, alcohol, and excessive amounts of fish.

Exposure to the dangers of various human foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about the safety of foods such as can cats eat watermelon. Learn more about what cats can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Cats Can’t Eat.

Can Cats Eat Watermelon?

Watermelon is a large fruit round to oblong in shape grown from a plant of the gourd family. It has a thick outer green striped skin and inside contains a red pulp with a very high water content and seeds. There are also “seedless” varieties of watermelon. The long vines and flowering watermelon plant were believed to be originally cultivated from West Africa.

To answer the question, “Can cats eat watermelons?” is, “Yes.” Cats can eat watermelon and some cats do enjoy the crunchy soft texture. Watermelon is a good source of water (watermelon is about 92% water), nitric oxide, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.

Although watermelon is considered safe, any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats. What may not bother some cats can cause problems to a different cat.

The Dangers of Watermelons to Cats

When researching the safety and danger of watermelons for cats, there are a couple of considerations.

  1. First is the potential for blockage from the stems, seeds, rind, and leaves. Although uncommon, cats that have exposure to gardens and eat the leaves can develop gastrointestinal upset and potential blockage.
  2. Watermelon seeds can also cause gastrointestinal upset and potential blockage in some cats.
  3. Lastly, there is an uncommon risk of choking when eating large pieces or in some cases whole large pieces of watermelons. Cats are generally fairly discriminating in their eating habits and this is a rare problem.

Do Cats Need Watermelons?

There is nothing in watermelons that cats require. What cats do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved cat food. Learn more about Nutrition in Cats.

The Safest Way to Give Watermelons to Cats

The safest way to give watermelon to your cat is to offer small pieces of sliced watermelon without the rind and seeds.  You can purchase the unseeded watermelon varieties which are great options. Although safe to give, there are better and generally more appealing treats to give cats.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest About Can Cats Eat Watermelons

Can Cats Eat Shrimp?

Cat owners commonly wonder about the toxicity of various human foods. The question about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic which yielded a lot of press coverage. The most important toxic foods to cats are onions, garlic, chocolate, alcohol, and excessive amounts of fish.

Exposure to the dangers of various human foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about the safety of foods such as can cats eat shrimp. Learn more about what cats can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Cats Can’t Eat.

Can Cats Eat Shrimp? 

The answer to can cats eat cooked shrimp is yes they can. Shrimp can be prepared plain, steamed, grilled, sautéed, baked, boiled, or broiled. Cats love the soft to firm texture, flavor, and smell of the shrimp and can enjoy it as a healthy snack. Shrimp is a good source of protein, phosphorous, selenium, choline, copper, iodine and vitamin B12.

A shrimp, commonly referred to as a prawn, is an animal classified as decapod crustaceans that live in the water. There are thousands of species that serve as an important food source to various ocean animals including various species of fish. Shrimp has an elongated body, strong tails, and most commonly move by swimming. The tails of shrimp are a common delicacy for human consumption and the commercial shrimp industry is estimated to be over a 50 billion dollar a year business.

The Dangers of Shrimp to Cats

When researching the safety of shrimp for cats, there are five considerations that impact the danger.

  1. Pancreatitis or gastrointestinal upset can occur in cats that aren’t used to shrimp or after ingestion of shrimp cooked with seasonings and butter. Too much oil, fat, or seasoning can lead to gastrointestinal upset or pancreatitis.
  2. There is a risk of choking or esophageal foreign bodies from the tails (shell).
  3. Ingestion of large amounts of fish tails can cause gastrointestinal upset and constipation.
  4. Raw shrimp can contain various bacteria that can infect cats (and you) such as E.Coli, salmonella and/or listeria which can cause symptoms of infection.
  5. Some cats may be allergic to shrimp. Learn more about Food Allergy in Cats.

To answer the question, “Can cats eat shrimp?” The answer is, “Yes.”

If your cat ingested shrimp and is showing symptoms such as trouble swallowing, vomiting, diarrhea, not eating or lethargy, please call your veterinarian or closest emergency clinic.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats. What may not cause illness in one cat may create sickness in another cat.

Do Cats Need Shrimp?

There is nothing in shrimp that cats require however shrimp is a very good source of protein and nutrients and is a primary ingredient in some cats foods. The most important thing to do is to ensure your cat is eating a good quality cat food. Learn more about the nutritional needs of cats. Go to Nutrition in Cats.

The Safest Way to Give Shrimp to Cats

The safest way to give shrimp to your cat is to offer a small amount of unseasoned deveined cooked shrimp.  If feeding shrimp to your cat as a treat, ½ of a shrimp is plenty for a small cat and 1 shrimp for a large sized cat.

Can Cats Be Allergic to Shrimp?

Cats can have food allergies including to shrimp. The most common food allergens in cats are beef, chicken, and dairy. Symptoms of allergies in cats can include skin itching and skin infections.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest About Can Cats Eat Shrimp

Can Cats Eat Potatoes?

Cat owners commonly wonder about the toxicity of various human foods. The question about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic which yielded a lot of press coverage. The most important toxic foods to cats are onions, garlic, chocolate, alcohol, and excessive amounts of fish.

Exposure to the dangers of various human foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about the safety of foods such as can cats eat potatoes. Learn more about what cats can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Cats Can’t Eat.

Can Cats Eat Potatoes?

A potato, also known as a tater or spud, is a round to oblong food that is classified botanically as a root vegetable. They belong to the plant family Solanaceae, which is the same plant family as nightshade and tomatoes. Potatoes are grown in the ground and it is the root of the plant that makes the potato. They can vary in size from small and round to large and oblong with soft thin skin.

Potatoes are enjoyed throughout the world and are one of the world’s most commonly grown crops dating back to almost 10,000 years. There are a thousand varieties of potatoes with the first potato probably originating in South American and reaching Europe in the 16th century.

To answer the question, “Can cats eat potatoes?” it’s, “Yes.” Cats can eat a small amount of cooked unseasoned potatoes. However, cats are carnivores and most do not choose to eat potatoes. Cats often love various textures and enjoy them as a healthy snack. Potatoes are a good source of water, potassium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and magnesium.

Although cooked potatoes are considered safe, any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats. What bothers some cats does bother others. The same can happen in people. Some foods can bother one person but not another.

Potatoes are prepared hundreds of ways including baked, mashed, diced, or as chips. They can be baked, boiled, fried and flavored hundreds of ways.

The Dangers of Potatoes to Cats

When researching the safety and danger of potatoes for cats, there are a couple of considerations.

  1. Green, uncooked, and/or raw potato peels contain solanine which can be toxic to cats. Solanine is a natural defense mechanism of the potato to protect it from being eaten. Ingestion of solanine in cats can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes affect the nervous system causing lethargy and disorientation.
  2. Pancreatitis or gastrointestinal upset can occur in cats that aren’t used to potatoes or those cooked with seasonings and butter. Too much oil, fat, or seasoning can lead to gastrointestinal upset or pancreatitis.
  3. There is a potential for blockage from the ingestion of the leaves of the plants. Although uncommon, cats that have exposure to gardens and eat the leaves can develop gastrointestinal upset and potential blockage.
  4. There is an uncommon risk of choking when eating large pieces or in some cases large whole pieces of potatoes. Cats are generally fairly discriminating in their eating habits and this is a rare problem.

Do Cats Need Potatoes? 

There is nothing in potatoes that cats require. What cats do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved cat food. Learn more about Nutrition in Cats.

The Safest Way to Give Potatoes to Cats 

The safest way to give potatoes to your cat is to offer small-diced pieces of cooked potato or mashed soft potatoes without seasoning. There are safer and better treats to give cats other than potatoes.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest About Can Cats Eat Potatoes

What You Need to Know About the Recent Raw Dog Food Warnings

A number of reports, recalls, and warnings have been issued over the course of 2019 regarding feeding pets raw food. Recently, a couple of raw dog food warnings have been issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) targeting specific companies and their raw food products warning consumers of the presence of harmful bacteria.

The reason for the warning as test results revealing the presence of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes — two extremely harmful forms of bacteria that can cause sickness and even death in both animals and humans. A number of products from each company were tested with the samples used resulting in the presence of these bacteria.

While some companies and their customers have pushed back on the FDA’s findings (and in some cases, even refusing to issue a recall for the product in question), it brings some important considerations to light. First is the reason why people feed dogs raw food in the first place.

Why Do People Feed Dogs Raw Dog Food?

The general thinking behind raw dog food is that it’s more closely aligned with what our pets historically ate prior to domestication and the mass production of pet food. Advocates for raw food argue that it is easier for our pets to break down during digestion because animals hundreds of years ago did not consume cooked and processed foods.

The contents of commercially produced food have also been called into question, particularly as certain additives and ingredients may be toxic for the sake of adding flavor and preserving the food. Other advocates for raw dog food cite the fact that common pet foods today include a number of unwanted elements, such as fillers, chicken byproducts, rancid oils and fats, and more that aren’t considered suitable for human food products.

Additionally, raw dog food advocates argue that regular pet food simply doesn’t contain enough nutrients that a dog would need. While there are significant arguments on both sides (those for raw dog food and those who believe it’s just fine), there are some straightforward facts that should be addressed.

The Raw Dog Food Warnings Were Issued for a Reason

Whether you agree with the methodology behind the recent raw dog food warnings, it’s important to understand that certain forms of bacteria — and not just any bacteria, but truly harmful bacteria — were found in certain lots of tested raw dog food products. Their existence in a few lots means those same bacteria could exist in other lots, too. The FDA urged consumers to reconsider their purchases and warned those that had already purchased the products in question to dispose of them and sanitize any surfaces with which they had come into contact.

When feeding your dog raw food products, it’s important to understand that because it’s raw, there is no way to truly guarantee that it won’t get your pet sick. The same goes for processed dog foods. But as the recent raw dog food warnings indicate, it’s something that dog owners must consider carefully. Some people believe that raw dog food — despite the increased risk for the presence of potentially harmful bacteria — is acceptable because dogs, cats, and other animals have thrived for thousands of years hunting and eating their prey raw and that their bodies are more aptly suited to those diets.

On the other hand, those against raw dog food argue that today’s commercially produced foods are actually better for dogs because they contain a more complete balance of nutrition. And while a dog owner feeding a dog raw food would have to wing it to find the right balance over time, commercially produced food is ready to go and can provide your dog with a balanced amount of nutrition.

Pet Food Protects More Than Pets

One thing worth noting is that the way dog food is produced is intended to protect dog owners just as much as the dogs themselves. In the recent raw dog food warnings, lots of product were tested for the presence of harmful bacteria. Remember that as a pet owner, you’ll handle this food yourself as you prepare it for your pet. Depending on the product, this could happen multiple times per day.

Whether that’s dry, off-the-shelf food or wet, refrigerated food, your hands will eventually come into contact with it. Certain forms of bacteria thrive in different types of food. Some forms of bacteria can even grow in environments devoid of oxygen (such as the inside of a can). This is why you may occasionally see a canned food product bulging from the side or on top. Do not purchase these products.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Cat Lovers for a Cleaner Home and Happier Cat

Spring is a popular season and for good reason: the weather is warming up, the green is starting to reappear outside, and people and pets alike can finally emerge from their homes to explore the outdoors and take in the warmth. It’s also a time to knock out some serious cleaning inside our homes — particularly for cat owners.

Just as humans go through cycles, so too do cats — especially with shedding. In fact, cat hair shedding is actually tied to the amount of light that their fur is exposed to. Indoor cats will shed more consistently but in smaller amounts because they’re exposed to artificial light in addition to natural light. The overall hair growth and shedding processes occur in three stages: active growth (anagen), transition (catagen) and rest (telogen). Learn more about cat shedding processes here.

What’s important to understand is that cat hair shedding can be managed more proactively with a few simple steps for both your cat and your home. Here are a few ideas and recommendations on spring cleaning tips for cat lovers.

Getting Your Cat Ready for Spring

First on our list of spring cleaning tips for cat lovers is dealing with shedding. While there are cat breeds that don’t shed much, all cats shed in some form — whether lightly or heavily. In fact, shorthair cats shed just as much as longhair cats. The fur is simply often more noticeable for longhair cats than it is for shorthair cats. It’s also a natural part of thinning out their winter coats. While shedding will make your cat feel better, it can add a layer of both dander and frustration to your household.

As you live with your cat, you’ll get a sense for what’s normal and not normal in terms of shedding as you go about your normal cleaning routine. When more hair starts to show up, consider brushing your cat more frequently. A brush, comb, mat remover, or grooming glove used for a few minutes every day will help collect dead hair in a single sitting rather than finding it all over your home. It’s important to note that unusually high shedding may be a sign of a bigger problem, such as a skin disorder, stress, or some other cause. In these situations, consult a veterinarian to help you determine the cause and solution.

And while it’ll likely be an unpleasant experience, you should also give your cat a bath from time to time as well to keep her skin, undercoat, and main coat fresh and clean. Learn more about how to give a cat a bath here. Taking these steps as spring approaches will help expedite your cat’s shedding process and also keep her feeling great.

Spring is also a time when unwanted insects start to arrive — ticks and fleas, in particular. If your cat is permitted outdoors, it’s critical that you take the necessary precautions to both protect your cat’s health as well as your home. Fleas and ticks can affect humans, too, and the last thing you want is to have your cat suffering as well as your household.

These pests can be difficult to get rid of once they’re a problem, so take action now with flea and tick control medications or collars to protect yourself and your cat. Also, consider treating your lawn with an appropriate insecticide applied by a professional pest inspector or lawn care company. Treating your yard in addition to pet-focused treatment will help prevent infestation on an ongoing basis.

Get Your Home Spring-Ready

Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to get rid of the excess in your home and do some deep cleaning. By moving furniture, appliances, and other larger objects in your home, you can remove cat dander and fur that has collected in the unseen spaces of your home over the colder months. Cat hair is notorious for floating around and collecting in small spaces, so deep cleaning is important to make sure you catch it all.

One of the biggest collectors of cat hair and dander is furniture. Different fabric types will retain and show fur more than others. If your cat is young enough, consider training her to stay off furniture as much as possible by providing her with a cat bed, climbing tower, or other pet-related furniture that’s meant to be used by your pet. Cleaning these items is often as simple as vacuuming them or throwing them in a washing machine. For furniture that has pet hair on it, many vacuums now come with pet hair attachments that make removal a breeze. For more difficult hair, products are available for either covering furniture or applying a sticky surface for removal. Learn more about dealing with cat hair in your home and on furniture.