5 Trash Can Dangers for Your Pet
By David F. Kramer
Pet owners often go to great lengths to feed dogs and cats healthy foods. But despite a proper portion size and the right food choice, many pets still enjoy digging through the trash for extra morsels. Whether pets are acting out of boredom or are simply scavaging for additional treats, kitchen and bathroom trash bins seem to have a gravitational pull for four-legged family members.
But eating out of the trash can be more than an off-putting behavior—it can be downright dangerous for pets.
“While a dog's stomach can usually handle overindulging on some simple leftovers directly off your plate, a more serious concern occurs when non-food items are ingested,” says Dr. Howard Small of Forest Lakes Animal Clinic in Sarasota, Florida. “Items such as raw meat, chicken bones, and oily or deep fried scraps are particularly dangerous. Typical symptoms occur in the first few hours after ingestion, and may include protracted vomiting and diarrhea, with or without blood.”
“The most important thing that I stress to pet owners is that prevention is the best medicine,” says Dr. Adam Denish of Rhawnhurst Animal Hospital in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. “If a toy or trash is on the ground or accessible, will your pet eat it? If so, be vigilant and clean up first. Second, try to find out what they actually ate. Was it the stuffing from the plush monkey, or the zipper and button from its coat?”
Read on to learn about common trash can items that can pose a danger for your pet.