Providenciales — Pet Food Institute-Caribbean, a non-profit organisation that promotes initiatives to advance pet nutrition in The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and Jamaica, unveiled new billboards along Leeward Highway today in conjunction with the TCSPCA and the Department of Agriculture.
The billboards, featuring a puppy and kitten alongside a display of chocolate, alcohol and cooked bones from table scraps, were erected at the Beaches and Blue Hills Roundabout as educational tools to sensitize the public to foods that can be dangerous, and potentially deadly, for their furry friends.
“We’re really excited to get the word out in Providenciales,” said Sandra Kemp, Pet Food Institute representative. “While we love our pets, it is important to keep them safe by providing the right food and following safe feeding habits. We have been spreading the message throughout the region and these billboards in Turks and Caicos are an important part of our efforts. We are thrilled that local authorities wanted to be such an important part of the initiative.”
Pet Food Institute-Caribbean was joined by the TCSPCA and the Department of Agriculture.
“We’re really happy that Pet Food Institute is taking this initiative and is committed to sharing the message about safe feeding in Turks and Caicos,” said Susan Blehr, TCSPCA Director. “We see far too many dogs suffering from serious problems, unnecessary conditions and pain simply because someone did not know better and gave them chocolate or bones from table scraps. It’s really important that people are aware of the dangers and we’d like people to take note of the billboards, learn why those foods are dangerous and keep their pets safe.”
Each of the foods labelled unsafe poses a distinct possible danger to a dog or cat. Bones from table scraps, for instance, can cause internal abrasions, bleeding or lead to blockage or constipation if a dog chews on the bones unsupervised. An ingredient in chocolate called theobromine can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or even worse including tremors, seizures and heart attack.
As the voice of U.S. pet food makers for nearly 60 years, the Pet Food Institute provides factual information about pet food and treats’ safety, nutrition, and health to pet lovers, and advocates for a transparent, science-based regulatory environment. Its 14 members collectively produce 98% of all U.S. pet food products.
“We welcome this initiative of Pet Food Institute to educate people on this nutritional aspect of pet safety,” said Dr. Shelley Bridgewater, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Agriculture. “Pet ownership is a serious responsibility and it’s important that the public have access to information that will help them keep their pets as healthy and safe as possible. We’re delighted to support such educational campaigns and look forward to seeing a positive response from the public now having an awareness of the deleterious effects of feeding pets bones from table scraps, chocolate, alcohol and the other foods.”
The Pet Food Institute-Caribbean is a non-profit organisation that promotes initiatives to advance pet nutrition and the overall quality of pet food in Turks and Caicos, The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica. For more information, please visit http://www.pficaribbean.com, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @pficaribbean