Hold the garlic for dogs, cats

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY

People's Pharmacy

September 23, 2005

Hold the garlic for dogs, cats

I heard that garlic could keep fleas from biting, so I put some in my dog's food for about a week. He became lethargic and couldn't even climb the lowest stairs. I thought this might be a reaction to the antibiotics I had him on to heal sores from the original flea bites. Both garlic and onions can cause anemia in dogs. Cats are even more susceptible.

Always check with the vet before giving your pet any medicine or extra treats like chocolate or raisins, which are also toxic to dogs.

I love all kinds of chocolate. But no matter when I eat or drink it, I stay awake most of the night. Is there any way to get around this effect?

Although chocolate has very little caffeine (about as much as a cup of decaffeinated coffee), it does contain a related compound called theobromine. Some people are sensitive to its stimulant properties and may have to avoid chocolate.

Cocoa contains the same beneficial flavonoids as chocolate as long as it is processed without alkali. It too contains theobromine, so you may need to be cautious and limit the amount that you consume.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, N.Y. 10019, or e-mail them via their Web site: peoplespharmacy.org.

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