Keep Out of the Trash Can

Love a good old root around in the  trash can to see what culinary treasures the humans have thrown out?  Josef was a great waste disposal unit but not me, because I am not so food orientated.  


Before you make your next trash can sortie, please think twice because reader, Tara Cooper has alerted us to the dangers of doing so.   She tells us that not all waste food is equal and some trashed culinary treasures can make us really ill.


Knowing this, it is up to us to educate our humans who are clearly not as smart as we are, or they would not put danger within our reach.  You see, mouldy food can make us sick and give our humans a hefty vet's bill.  


To quote The American Society for the Prevention of Cruely to Animals, "Food mould, also known as Penicillium spp is a fungus that grows on aging food.  It is often visible to the naked eye and, if ingested, can make a pet very ill" (1)


Our humans would not dream of giving us mouldy dog food but may be less aware that human food waste may seriously harm us.  Houshold waste, outdoor rubbish, compost heaps, and even mouldy fruits or nuts that fall from trees can be toxic to us. Old foods contain fungal neurotoxins can make us ill and the symptoms to be aware of are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Elevated body temperature


Symptoms may last for 24-48 hours and, if untreated can even be life-threatening.  They can appear rapidly, so call the vet for professional advice, or get an appointment for a consultation and necessary treatment .  In the meantime, it is important for humans to keep us cool and hydrated.


My final advice is to get yourself onto an 'I am starving and need food now!' course. Well trained eyes can result in tasty, nutritious treats.  Not as exciting as foraging for mouldy grub, but much safer, my friends, much safer! 


Emma Teckel, Editor

With thanks to Tara Cooper

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