Friday, July 26, 2013

The Science Behind Everyday Foods that Could Poison Pets

Most pet owners have been told that feeding human food to pets is usually not a good idea, partly because the nutritional requirements for pets and people are different. Reputable dog and cat foods are designed to provide the proper nutrition that pets require. Most vets recommend that other food items like table scraps or treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog's or cat's daily food intake.

However, feeding certain human foods to pets can also be very dangerous. This is because there are many everyday foods and drugs that are very safe for us but are not safe for animals like dogs or cats. Most people know that chocolate is really bad for dogs and cats, but there are actually many more common foods that you may not know of that are also bad for your pets, especially if eaten in large amounts. When I first got a dog almost 2 years ago, I was confused by what "people foods" were really toxic to her.n For instance, someone would tell me that onions or garlic are toxic to dogs, but often they could not really explain why or where they learned this from. They also could not explain why garlic, despite being labeled as "toxic" for dogs, is often on the list of ingredients for dog treats and dog foods.

It was confusing, so I started reading about what is really known about toxicity of foods for pets.  I put this blog post together to create a list that may be useful and may help explain some of the science and reasoning behind why certain foods are "bad" for pets.
Read more about common foods that are safe for you but could be toxic or poisonous to your pets after the jump....

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mad Science of Menthol

Menthol, billed as a "Cough Suppressant/Oral Anesthetic"
Because I've been battling a cold the past few days, complete with a sore throat and cough, I've been sucking on quite a few cherry menthol cough drops.  They particularly helped me get through a 6 hour drive without coughing my germs all over the car.  This had me thinking a bit about menthol.  Menthol is in a lot of products, including pain-relief gels, toothpastes and mouthwashes, cold medications like Vick's Vaporub, cigarettes, foods like candy and chewing gum, and my favorite cherry menthol cough drops.  For mild over-the-counter relief from a sore throat or other cold symptoms, menthol is hard to beat.

But what is menthol?  Why does it make your throat feel cool?  How does it work?  Let's take a quick look at an ancient medicine that we have only recently begun to understand.  Read on....