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Candy Canes?!

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Candy Canes?!

Postby Luxe » Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:22 am

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These people... make me so mad! I don't think ANY ANIMAL should ever be fed human CANDY! So much sugar!

Yes, that's right! I saw a photo shared, today, of an opossum eating a whole peppermint stick! Crazy! Exclamation marks!!!! What do you all think?
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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby Ash » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:20 pm

You're the opossum expert, so I don't know how much it could impact a opossum health-wise.

I try to avoid sugars when giving my animals treats, but at the same time I do not condemn the people that give their animals human treats. I wouldn't think a candy cane is that bad. It's not large, and it doesn't have anything harmful in it. No chocolate, for example.

That being said, I probably wouldn't give it to my animals. I try not to give them too many fruits, just mostly veggies. But maybe if I had a piece of a candy cane just laying around and it wasn't super sharp or something I might give it to them. I do give my foxes marshmallows every now and again (actually, I don't think Ifrit has ever had one yet), and they really like them. No harm in a little sugar every now and again.
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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby Ana » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:35 pm

Corso probably has half a dozen M&Ms in any given week. He eats an excellent diet, and, like everybody,
I think moderation in most things is fine. Obviously, if you're eating candy canes every day, that's not going
to be great. Frankly I've seen so many malnourished and starved animals that I'm generally just relieved
to see they've got food. :/
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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby Boscopossum » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:36 pm

Eh. Yeah. That can't be very good for them...
But, as long as it's not often I guess it's like a wild one finding a candycane in the trash. Haha.

I definitely wouldn't give anything like that to Bosco though.
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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby Luxe » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:12 am

I don't give any of my animals sugar ridden foods, especially if it's for humans. Even if it's made for the animal, if it has sugar, the answer is no. Like those 'candy coated' bird treats. What the hell are those people thinking? I just, personally, don't believe an animal should be given a large amount of sugar in one sitting. Sure, maybe a quarter or less of one whole stick is ok every now and again, like maybe once every three weeks, but I wouldn't chance it any further than that.

Peppermint may seem innocent because, yanno, it tastes like mint, not sugar... but considering that this is an animal the size of a cat eating a whole stick, yeah, that's a lot of sugar for an opossum to be eating.

Really not trying to be rude, but... M&Ms?... That is chocolate you know..
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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby Ana » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:22 am

It's such a small amount. I've never seen any adverse effects in the litter pans, his bowel movements are
healthy and solid, his weight is healthy, his muscle tone is fantastic.

I'm not trying to imply that a healthy diet isn't important, but to micromanage on a level where each calorie
is scrutinized seems burdensome and tedious, particularly for a notorious garbage disposal like a raccoon. I've prioritized things that bring him joy over health-related minutiae. :D
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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:13 am

I see both sides of this but I let Pua have ketchup, cheese and yogurt for treats and I thought I was giving in small amounts and that those foods don't have much sugar but now she has type two diabetes and it's a big struggle. You do not want to go through that. It's awful to see the pet you love looking poisoned when their sugar spikes too high just because you took them for a hike. I think a lot of her problem is rooted in an illness she had when young that affected her liver and internal organs due to internal bleeding but I didn't help with the treats. But even so I'd never have given her actual candy even if it was something she could consume with her small mouth and liked. And I avoided fruits other than tomatoes and mango and mangoes were never regular. Processed sugar does no good for the body and too much natural from sugary fruits are not so great either. We all love treating our pets but you can find healthier treats.

I do understand. I mean I had cut back on Stewie's treats because he was getting tubby then he died suddenly from an autoimmune issue and I wished I had given him more treats still. He knew he was loved though.

Healthier treats should not be near as hard to find for most species who aren't anteaters though so why habitually give sugar treats?
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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby Luxe » Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:35 am

Thank you Tamanduagirl. What may seem small to us, usually isn't small to them.

That's exactly why my caresheet states that a diet excessive in fruits can also cause complications. I'm actually dieting myself now, and am startled to see fruit has sooo much sugar, even if it is natural. It's a real shame, because I absolutely loooove fruit, but I'm having to force myself to eat more veggies(yuck). Oh well.

I usually give things like bananas or apples as treats with my opossum, since excessive fruit is bad, and those items aren't particularly great with the phosphates, but boy does he love 'em.

As I said, the only way I would ever humor human sugary stuff is if it's in excessively small amounts and given very infrequently. The same applies to other human foods that are excessively bad(heavily processed, full of preservatives, greasy, oily, etc). Why do you think so many of us humans are in such poor health in this modern society?

Sure, a wild opossum, raccoon, etc. may happen upon some in a trashcan... but does that mean they're supposed to eat it? No. Can you expect them to eat a diet healthy for them? No. If given the choice, they would gladly eat anything and everything, instead of just things that are good. In fact, many owners claim theirs aren't so keen on the vegetables, but really love things like fruit(sugary) and other poor food items. They struggle with eating healthy as much as we do(it is all too tempting to get into the freezer right now, but the frozen food has soooo much sodium).

Edit: It is, however, of my personal belief that no animal should ever be given things like chocolate, alcohol, apple seeds, avocado pits, etc. Just askin' for trouble, in my opinion.
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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby Ash » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:44 pm

Right now my foxes aren't on a raw diet, so their treats are mice and rats when the snakes decide not to eat. Only one of my snakes ate the other day (temps got low and the scaley ones had to be moved to a warmer room), so there were some rats and mice left over. The foxes sure liked them. Ifrit eats a rat in three-four bites, lol, always saving the head for last. Fable doesn't understand that just because they feel soft, doesn't mean they'll melt in his mouth, lol. He doesn't get that he has to BITE it like a chicken bone, haha. So he just gently chews on them thinking they'll come apart that way. He'll learn, heehee.

I feel good giving those to them because it's what they would eat in the wild. It's a healthy little snack.

I guess what I usually use for treats though is Oh's cereal--or cheap dog kibble. I just toss them a few every now and again when they're being good or doing their tricks for me. So they don't get it all that often. I'll also bring them leftover meats and eggs.

My foxes will eat almost anything I put in front of them. So I have to be careful. When Fable was just a few months old, I gave him half a watermelon rind at night, thinking he'd chew on it on and off or play with it when he got bored. Nope, lol. I went back the next day, the entire thing was GONE. And there was a lot of vomit to clean up throughout the rest of the day... Knowing Ifrit, she would do the same thing.

Today I gave my foxes pizza boxes to play with. We only left a teensy, tiny piece of crust in each box, but the smell was what really intrigued them. So they got to rip them all up, haha. They had a good time doing that.
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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby Luxe » Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:51 am

Well ofcourse, the head is so crunchy! Ozzy isn't too keen on munching bones. He'll gnaw off and eat a little just for those few extra bits of meat clinging to it. I usually give him eggshells in replacement of bone(we eat a lot of boiled eggs, so plenty of shell to go around). I know it's not as good as having the bone with all the tasty and nutritious marrow, but it's still calcium. I'll occasionally share my junk food with him, but only one piece every 3 or so weeks. It's a shame, he really loves them. I made the mistake of running to the bathroom with a box of cheez-its on the computer desk. I didn't think nothing of it 'cause, one, I had to GO, and, two, he was down on the floor, sleeping beneath a little cart with odds and ends on the shelf piece. I came back and there he was sitting on the desk, box knocked over, and about a dozen cheez-its crammed in his mouth. That was fun, pulling them out of his mouth, lol.

He really has an affinity for bad things. As I said, if given the choice, I think almost any animal would choose the wrong foods over the right foods. I'm sure most of us have run across that viral photo of a Brush-Tailed Possum that broke into, I think, a bakery and ate a crap ton of sweets. Poor thing probably has diabetes, but, that's a classic example. Could of, you know, found some healthy food out in the wild, but get a good whiff of that sweetness and it probably lost control. Much like a sugarglider would glaaaadly choose anything sweet over anything healthy. Any time, any day, they'll choose some sugary fruit over some veggies.

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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby Ash » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:33 pm

lol, of course. ;) Cwunchy headses!

:shock: Oh dear... The brush-tailed possum is probably having the time of its life though. Poor thing doesn't know what it's gotten into, lol.

:lol: Ozzy must have been pretending to be asleep, haha. Just waiting for the moment you left the room so he could go after those cheez-its! What a character.
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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:44 pm

That Brush-Tailed Possum... :lol:

As for the actual subject at hand, treats when kept to moderation aren't an issue. Yes, chocolate is a major toxin to most animals (pretty much everything but humans and rats, I've found), but small amounts will not hurt animals. Think of it this way, a medium sized dog needs to eat about 10 ounces of baker's chocolate to have serious effects, and baker's chocolate has much more concentrated cacao (the substane containing the toxin) than any candy available. It's really variable, but I concur that a half dozen M&Ms will not hurt any raccoon. Now, a whole candy cane for a small animal like an opossum is not wise, but as you said something that's on occasion and only a quarter or a half is likely fine.

Every few days the cats or dogs get a lick of something off of our plates, be it pasta, cooked meat, or a dab of ice cream. I've given our dogs a piece of sandwich made from Trader Joe's chocolate cookie butter, and it's their favorite along with ginger snap and peanut butter pretzels. :lol:

Obviously these are not daily or even weekly treats, we buy rawhide for the dogs and crunchy tuna bites for the cats, but they do get bits and pieces from our plates. Or, like in the case of my clumsiness the other day, when I drop a carton of eggs on the floor... :red-face:
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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby Luxe » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:26 am

I just always avoid feeding human foods frequently. The most frequent I would ever consider is once a week, but even that makes me uneasy.

My grandmother had two little yorkies, at one point, and fed them human foods pretty frequently. Maybe once a day or every other day. They lived for a good while, maybe 8 or so years, got gum disease, eventual kidney failure... it all just was a huge landslide after the initial diagoses... They died not too far a part.
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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby Luxe » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:54 am

Good gravy what is wrong with these people?!

I just saw another 'possum page(a page for someone's pet opossum) with pictures of him eating Blueberry Scones(and the post stated he had blueberry scones and an icecream sandwich for dinner) and the two nights before that she gave him half a cheeseburger. Dear lord!

.. and what's even worse is NO ONE seems to know any better. NO ONE is alarmed at this kind of behavior! This is so horrible, that, not only is one more popular 'possum group attributing to diet complications, but now THIS person is, too!
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Re: Candy Canes?!

Postby KingObeat » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:38 am

Watching people feed their pets bad food really gets on my nerves. I've gotten into quite a few arguments with my grandparents because they feed their dogs lots of junk food. :-x
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