More than 1,600 students from 12 schools across New Providence are now more equipped to take care of their pets and determine which foods can be detrimental to the lives of their four legged companions, thanks to a series of virtual and in-person presentations by local representatives on behalf of Pet Food Institute (PFI).
The Washington D.C based trade association’s Bahamian representatives hosted several virtual sessions and in-person presentations over recent months sharing information with students from both government and private schools across New Providence.
“During a normal year, we visit schools in person accompanied by a dog or cat, and the kids love it,” said Hope Sealey, PFI local representative. “With the pandemic, there were no dog shows or other public events, learning was virtual and we had to get creative. We realized we could do our pets a favour by sharing the information about what is safe or unsafe in a virtual world.”
“I can’t express how important your Pet Food Institute visit and presentation has been to our students’ says Mrs. Geraldine Romer, Principal of St. John’s College Preparatory Department. “The students were engaged and entertained by the special guest ‘Marshmallow’. They learned new things about what not to feed their pets. Mrs. Sealey’s cat ‘Cuddlebutt’ seems to be the talk among the students during the day. Thank you for such an inspiring presentation.”
The presentation covered common foods that are harmful for your pets including chocolate, onions, avocados, grapes, raisins, nutmeg, macadamia nuts, alcohol and cooked bones.
“The biggest misconception and one we always try to correct is that it is okay to give your dog a bone, any bone. But cooked bones in particular can be extremely dangerous for dogs. We show images of what a cooked bone can do, how it can damage the spleen or cause digestive problems, even splinter and cause internal bleeding and, in the worst-case scenarios, surgery may be needed,” said Mrs Sealey.
PFI also stresses the danger of feeding pets table scraps. “Commercially available dog and cat food is specifically made to contain special nutrition that pets need.” said Mrs. Sealey. “If your pet is like family, treat them like family and give them only safe foods made for pets. That is our best advice.”
ABOUT PET FOOD INSTITUTE
Pet Food Institute (Caribbean), the regional arm of the Washington, D.C.-based association, promotes initiatives to advance pet nutrition and the overall quality of pet care in The Bahamas, Jamaica, Trinidad &Tobago and Turks and Caicos. Committed to helping dogs and cats live long and healthy lives, PFI and its members make 98 percent of all U.S. pet food and treat products. https://www.facebook.com/pficaribbean