There has been a lot of media attention surrounding the recent controversy about "sell by" dates on certain food products. However, there is another product labeling issue that needs to be addressed. Certain common foods are extremely dangerous for domesticated animals.

According to an article on WebMD, "Last year, there were more than 100,000 cases of pet poisoning in the U.S. Many of these were caused by household substances that may seem perfectly harmless to you. But just because something is safe for people doesn't mean it won’t hurt beloved pets."

Right now, there are warning labels expressing the dangers of honey to babies or on anything that was manufactured in a plant where nut products are manufactured. However, there is nothing warning people of the extreme dangers of chocolate, grapes, vanilla, cashews and avocados to pets.

I don’t believe all human foods should be marked for animal consumption. But many soaps, shampoos and cleaning products already have animal warnings. Similar labels should be required for the more dangerous foods for animals. As a veterinary technician student, I know we’ll never be able to stop people from feeding their pets table scraps. But many pets could be saved by placing a warning label on the most dangerous foods. I believe such labels will greatly reduce the tragic deaths of so many pets due to well-meaning but uninformed owners.

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