Before you splurge on Easter treats for the family pets, be warned - chocolate can kill. “Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant that is toxic to animals,” says Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s veterinary advisor, Dr Guy Fyvie. “Dogs process theobromine much more slowly than humans, so it can easily build up to toxic levels.”
Fyvie says that many ‘treats’ can be bad for your pet’s health:
- Xylitol, garlic, grapes and raisins are potentially toxic.
- Hard sweets and sugar can damage teeth.
- Excess calories in any form will be fattening.
If your pet is a healthy weight edible treats can be included as part of their daily food, not in addition to their normal ration. No more than 10% of your pet’s nutrition should come from treats, at least 90% should come from a completely balanced pet food.
Dr Fyvie gives the OK to some healthier option:
- such as popcorn, apples, carrot sticks or rice cakes.
- “Hill’s Ideal Balance treats are ‘ideal’ – combining the finest natural ingredients with perfectly balanced nutrition. These yummy treats are made with fresh meat, fruit and vegetables.”
If you are watching your pet’s weight (and you should be - vets say more than half the pets they see are overweight), new Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic treats may be a more suitable option, they are low in calories and won’t put the waist-line at risk when used in conjunction with the right weight loss food. For expert advice on managing your pet’s weight visit www.petslimmer.co.za – it has useful tools and tips for managing your pet’s weight as well as details of the 200+ veterinary practices that run special slimmer clinics for overweight patients.
Toys can be more fun than food; a ball or rope toy are classic choices and encourage active play. “The best recipe for a happy pet is a balanced diet, an active lifestyle and companionship. Your pets would prefer to share your time than your chocolates.”
About Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Hill’s Pet Nutrition has been at the forefront of veterinary clinical nutrition for over 70 years; today more than 150 nutritionists, food scientists and veterinarians develop therapeutic and wellness pet foods that have been clinically proven to extend the life and well-being of companion animals around the world. Hill’s has been voted the South African public’s most trusted pet food for the second year running in the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands Survey.