Many consumers are not even aware that the pet stores do sell dangerous pet products. These commonly sold items should be avoided when shopping for pet supplies and food. Some have been linked to pet deaths. Why take the risk?
It might surprise you to know that many products sold in pet shops are actually dangerous, or cruel, to pets. Well of course when you think about it, pet stores are in the business of making profit, if people want them to sell something, they would rather sell it than talk you out of it. What are these dangerous products?
1.Dog Shock Collars
Although more humane products and training methods are now available, some stores still sell these poor excuses for dog training methods. A better alternative is a collar that spays citronella or water. I one time saw a cat whose owner had put one of these shock collars on his neck, believing it could control their feline from wandering, the electric nodes had dug into his neck, scarring him, and leaving a patch of missing hair that apparently never did return. Even on dogs, these collars are not always as effective as people are led to believe. Generally speaking these are used to combat boredom or wandering. Boredom can be helped by providing more mental stimulation and wandering can be controlled by a good fence.
2.Dog Choke Chain Collars and Pinch Collars
Again these were used to replace proper training, a “quick fix” against a dog that pulls on a leash and regular collar. The truth is that dogs can still lean and pull on a choke collar and many dogs have been strangled as a result of inappropriate use or misuse. If you have a dog that pulls, a better solution is obedience lessons or dog head halter similar to those used on horses. If a halter can control a 1000 pound horse, it will work on your dog. Many dogs have died as a result of either collar, even when they are in use correctly.
3.Over the Counter Medications
A lot of people buy over the counter medications and treat their pets for ailments that have not been diagnosed by a veterinarian. Over the counter flea medications have been linked to many pet deaths. You might have people treating a pet for an ear infection, when the pet actually has ear mites, or visa versa. Most of the over the counter worming medications are not broad spectrum, and unless you know what kind of worms your pet has, they may be completely ineffective.
4.Cat Toys on Strings
I have seen cat furniture for sale with toys hanging off them by a string. Would it not occur that the string could become wrapped around a playful kittens’ neck and strangle it? Similar dangers are present from cat toys that hang from door handles on string.
5.“Starter Kit” Cages
The problem with starter kit cages, are that people often don’t get anything larger than that cage, and many times the cage is not adequate for anything more than a young animal for a short duration of time, like a move or trip to the vet. So while these cages are not outright dangerous, over an extended period of time being kept in a too small cage will deteriorate the animal mentally and physically.
Clearly this cage is too small for a hamster to live in for more than a short period of time. Why would a store sell you a cage that should not be used for more than a week? Photo from Wikimedia
These shavings have long been linked to respiratory problems in small animals. Pine as well, but to a much lesser extent. The smell appeals to their owner, but this bedding for small animals is really bad for them.
Many dogs have been autopsied with bits of undigested rawhide in their stomachs. This has not been the cause of death outright, but certainly causes its own share of problems, it inhibits food digestion. Rawhide is also a common choking hazard. Sure many dogs eat rawhide every day and survive, but equally so, many choke and die. Rawhide should never be given to an unsupervised dog or a dog in a crate.
8.Cat Milk Liquid Treat
A total waste of money, there is no nutritional value in any cat milk liquid treat. This is a gimmick made to make people feel better if they want to give their cat milk but know that cows milk is bad for cats. This drink is sometimes offered by well meaning people to orphaned kittens, however it is NOT legitimate kitten milk replacer, which is very costly.
9.Tuna for Cats
Tuna has been long known to have many negatives associated with it when it comes to feeding it to your fuzzy feline. There are so many health problems that I won’t even begin to list them here, you can do your own research, but I am sure you will draw the same conclusion, that Tuna is bad for cats and should not be an ingredient in cat food.
10.Pet Food Ingredients
BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin, are all noted as bad. BHA and BHT will appear on the ingredient list. Ethoxyquin will usually not be listed but is a pesticide / preservative used in by-products, as such it is considered part of the by-product and may not have to be shown otherwise. All these low cost preservatives, all have been linked with health problems, including cancer, in cats and dogs.