2 Hours Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)

History Main / YouFailAnimalCareForever

6th Sep '12 10:49:59 PM mlsmithca
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31st Aug '12 10:04:45 AM SeptimusHeap
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28th Nov '11 11:58:09 AM djbj
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[[quoteright:315:[[OliverAndCompany http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/icecream_8021.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:315:[[SarcasmMode Yes, nothing like ice cream for a cat's digestive system]].]]
->"''I caught you a bullfrog outside; [[WhatAnIdiot poked some holes in its back so it can breathe]]; see, look at this... [[OhCrap oh, boy]].''"
-->- Peter Griffin from FamilyGuy

Also known as: Congratulations You Have Just Killed Your Hamster.

Failures of the kind where someone fails at giving proper care to an animal. Failures include feeding an animal something it should never eat, keeping it in improper conditions, or handling it just ''wrong.''

A subtrope, in which a horse (or [[HorseOfADifferentColor alternate steed]]) is portrayed as needing far less care than it realistically should, is AutomatonHorses.

'''Note:''' [[NoodleIncident This is not the place for wank about pet food brands.]]
----
[[foldercontrol]]

!!Examples:

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* In the ''SailorMoon'' manga, a man feeds sugar candies to Luna. Never mind that a real cat probably wouldn't even like them or even be able to taste them at all (though this is now under debate), you should never try to give candies to a cat in the first place. In one episode of the anime, Minako tells a lengthy anecdote about feeding Artemis a piece of caramel and it getting stuck in his teeth. Although Luna and Artemis are alien cats from the planet [[MeaningfulName Mau]], the aforementioned man who fed Luna sugar candies in the manga didn't know this and thought she was an ordinary Earth cat.
* In ''WagayaNoOInariSama'' the anime, [[{{Kitsune}} Kuugen]] eats ''[[BigEater insane]]'' amounts of chocolate cake, which [[FridgeLogic should make]] ''ten humans'' sick, much less a fox. Then again, Kuugen is explicitly supernatural.
* In ''{{Nichijou}}'', the Professor doesn't want to eat her green onions, so she tries foisting them on Sakamoto. Sakamoto responds "Are you trying to kill me!?" (onions and garlic contain chemicals that can destroy a cat's red blood cells).
* ''Goldfish Warning''; a classic anime about a deranged farm school with both animals and humans as students. The school's pet shark lives on a steady diet of potato chips. The goldfish Gyopi and the cows in the school won't eat anything but human junkfood.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Film}}]]
* In the biopic ''TempleGrandin'', the RealLife animal-husbandry genius designs a revolutionary cattle-dip which cows willingly and safely walk through, unhindered by poor footing, sharp turns, or frightening surroundings. Contemptuous ranch hands take one look at it, assume it's ridiculous, and modify it to suit their normal practices ... [[WhatAnIdiot which result in three drowned cattle within the first five minutes.]]
* ''OliverAndCompany'', in which [[LonelyRichKid Jenny]] feeds ice cream to her cat, provides the page image. A few licks from an ice cream cone, or a little bit of milk is not going to affect a cat that much, but it's still not a good idea given the sugar and other things ice cream is loaded up with, especially since Oliver is a kitten and their digestive systems are not as resilient as an adult cat's (as any cat owner or animal shelter worker who's worked with kittens for long enough can tell you).
* At the very beginning of ''Disney/TheAristocats'', the evil butler Edgar actually pours some of Madame's sleeping pills into the titular cats' milk (and Roquefort the mouse due to him eating from a cookie that was dipped into the milk) so he can drug them and take them all away from her mansion while said cats are sleeping. In real life, the amount of sleeping pills Edgar used to drug the cats is enough to kill a ''human'', never mind a cat! Since Edgar's goal was to get rid of the cats, he probably wouldn't have cared if he killed them, but the fact that they survive at all shatters suspension of disbelief.
* In ''{{Rio}}'', Tulio, the bird veterinarian, allows birds to [[{{Squick}} eat out of his mouth]], which is extremely dangerous due to the fact that human saliva is toxic to birds. It was lampshaded by Blu when he found this disgusting.
** At the beginning of the movie, Blu is shown enjoying a hot chocolate and some chocolate chip cookies. See below under "multiple media" for why this belongs here.
* The Movie ''SevenPounds'' features a dog that is according to its owner a vegetarian. While it is possible to do this ''under strict vet supervision'', the food she's shown feeding the dog would cause long-term health problems.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Literature}}]]
* The treatment of owls in ''HarryPotter''. Possibly justified in-universe since owls seem to be at least partially magical in the PotterVerse as it's been noted a number of times that they can find the recipient of a letter without an address. However, this led to an all-too-real [[TheRedStapler Red Stapler]] situation, which JKRowling herself has [[http://www.jkrowling.com/textonly/en/extrastuff_view.cfm?id=20 come out against]]. Also the behind-the-scenes special features on the [=DVDs=] have ''twice'' felt the need to directly address the fact that owls do not actually make good pets.
** Particularly bad is the scene when Harry attempts to feed Hedwig ''vegetables''. Not his fault -- the Dursleys hadn't given Harry anything else to eat himself -- but Harry would have been wiser to use the veggies as bait for mice or bugs than to expect a carnivorous bird to eat them.
** Letting any pet as tiny as a rat sleep in a boy's bed, [[spoiler: even if it's not [[{{Squick}} an adult animagus]],]] is a good way to get it squashed.
* Inverted in BlackBeauty: this was the book that kicked off concern about animal care.
** One sympathetic character does what he ''thinks'' is right for Beauty -- gives him a lot of cold water to drink after a straining effort and leaves him standing uncovered in his stall -- and it nearly kills him.
* Played straight in the ''Bad News Bunny'' series, whose title rabbit eats nothing but junk food, including Twinkies, Ring Dings and potato chips. To be fair, it is a series about a wisecracking ''talking'' rabbit, and it does allude to the proper care of ordinary rabbits.
* Harold the dog of the ''{{Bunnicula}}'' books is regularly depicted as eating [[TrademarkFavoriteFood fudge]]. In one of the young reader books, he flat-out tells the readers that he can only eat chocolate because he's fictional, but the trope is otherwise in full effect. While fudge is probably one of the less dangerous types of chocolate a dog the size of Harold can have, it still makes his owners look pretty careless. In another young reader mystery book, his owners are still aware that he steals fudge and also still unaware that he's fictionally immune to chocolate, and the plot is centered around the animals determining what, exactly, a pan of white-chocolate fudge is.
* PippiLongstocking keeps her horse on the veranda of Villa Villekula. While being there isn't directly harmful to the animal, the horse could easily trip and hurt itself if it ever tried to use the veranda's steps to enter or leave. (Fortunately, Pippi's strong enough to lift and carry it when necessary.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* PlayedForLaughs in the ''MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' "Fish Feeding" sketch.
* In ''[[FlashForward2009 FlashForward]]'', a pet store owner grateful for the FBI's help offers Janis a free cockatiel. Um. First there is the obvious problem of giving a pet to someone who isn't fully committed to taking care of it, but cockatiels in particular need a ton of time and attention and socialization or else they can become self-destructive. No bird breeder or caretaker worth their salt would consider just giving a bird away like that.
* On ''{{Medium}}'', the psychic daughter gives a piece of candy to the class pet she's minding, then finds it dead and blames herself for killing it. Said class pet is a ''tarantula'', which isn't any more equipped to eat a piece of candy than to eat a rock. A You Fail Animal Care for the daughter and a You Fail Biology for the writers.
* Done in-universe in an episode of the original version of ''{{Survivors}}''; The heroes have been struggling along, attempting to keep their post-pandemic farm going, when a genuine farming expert turns up and chews them out for all the things they've been doing wrong with their animals.
* An episode of ''{{Scrubs}}'' had two college friends of JD and Turk getting married, they considered buying a ferret as a wedding gift. At the end of the episode, since they can't make the wedding themselves, they give the ferret to another friend who is attending. Turk reminds him that "The ferret only eats ''fresh'' vegetables". In reality, ferrets are carnivores and should not eat any vegetables as their digestive systems cannot process them.
* In the TV show ''ItsMeOrTheDog'', one woman fed her dogs ice cream, cookies and human tea. Victoria pointed out that dogs should not be fed human food with sugar in it.
* Sadly, about ninety percent of the cases that come up on ''AnimalPlanetHeroes'' programs are TruthInTelevision examples of this trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Multiple Media]]
* You know how fiction writers just love to put goldfish into, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin goldfish bowls]]? Yeah, funny thing, goldfish don't live very long in goldfish bowls. They thrive better in aquariums, artificial ponds or both. Sadly, this one is still widespread TruthInTelevision, as many companies still market small bowls as being for goldfish.
** The same goes for the popular Betta splendens (Siamese fighting fish). They are often sold in small decorative containers or vases, when in reality they are much happier and healthier in a larger aquarium.
*** Even more true of turtles. A baby turtle needs a lot more than a little dish of water with a fake island in the middle. Most aquatic species need deep water for swimming, lights to bask under, and some form of filtration.
* Unless they're trying to kill it at the time, ''every'' instance when a character picks up a live rat by its tail is this trope, unless it's the ''base'' of the tail and no longer than a couple of seconds. Not only is it painful, but there's a risk that the tail's skin will tear under the rat's own weight and peel entirely off. This goes double for animal wranglers who allow actors to hold rodents in such a dangerous way during filming.
* Many illustration of magic tricks such as the old "Rabbit-Out-of-a-Hat" trick show the magician holding the rabbit up by the ears. This act is quite painful, much like pulling a person by the ear is, and in fact old-school magicians hold rabbits like that ''[[HumansAreBastards because]]'' it's painful. Rabbits aren't very entertaining if they're just being held up limply when a rabbit is being held by the ears, it kicks and moves around, which is much more 'appealing' and shows the audience that it's a real, live rabbit. Neither should one hold the rabbit by the scruff of its neck the same way you would hold up a kitten. Kittens can be lifted this way since they produce a special hormone that calms them when lifted by the scruff because their mothers need to carry them like this. Rabbits don't produce this hormone, but scruffing a rabbit isn't too dangerous if it's done properly. That said, most bunny care books will advise you not to try it, because doing it properly can be ''very'' tricky, especially if the bunny panics.
* Any show portraying hamsters (most particularly syrian hamsters) living happily in pairs or groups. A normal syrian hamster would eventually kill even a litter-mate, as they are loners by nature. Male-female pair may occasionally work, but would lead to the female breeding continuously till she dies of exhaustion.
** Another hamster example: In the History Channel's documentary ''Hippies'', the narrative of how LSD was invented is backed up by footage from early experiments with the drug, including a shot of a hamster trying to chew its way through the bare metal mesh at the bottom of its cage. Exposed wire-floor cages are ''terrible'' for pets' feet. (Also a case of YouFailBiologyForever, as the context implies that the animal is chewing the wire ''only'' because it's drugged out of its mind, but gnawing on objects and attempting to dig its way free is perfectly normal behavior for a hamster, and any other rodent, that feels frustrated.) Research animals were often kept in bare metal mesh cages back in the day. Things have gotten [[SocietyMarchesOn MUCH better nowadays]].
* This trope applies any time a cat is fed straight ruminant milk. Especially if it's a kitten. Feline bodies can't handle milk unless it's watered down. You can give your cat either goat's milk or special pet milk available at pet supply stores (note: this is different from the milk replacement formula for kittens). Also, cream and yogurt are less harmful for cats than regular milk. So long as your cat doesn't throw up or display other digestive problems, you can give ''small amounts'' of regular milk as an ''occasional'' snack, but it's still not recommended.
** Same goes for dogs for that matter, dogs should not be given milk in more then tiny quantities, being partial omnivores some (very small numbers) canines can process milk but most experience acute intestinal symptoms including, gas, diarrhea or vomiting. That's because most dogs can't digest lactose well at all, others who can could only be given watered down milk for example 1/2 cup of milk & water is more then sufficient as a treat to large dogs while 1/4 of milk and 1/4 water for medium while small dogs shouldn't even drink that small amount.
** Mice and rats are also often fed milk by their owners, according to a book on rodent care "..this is fine in small amounts like thimble sized cups for mice and bottle cap sized for rats for a once in a while treat it is alright if 2% or 1% milk." While most mice and rats are omnivores and like wild cousins not only eat seeds, grains, nuts, berries and other fruits, but they also eat worms, insects, fish and eggs but milk is not a normal thing, in fact lactose can give them gas and vomiting just like anyone who is lactose intolerant, so while it seems ok its probably not the best idea to feed your mouse or rat milk even in the 1% grade.
* Whenever a [[SharkPool piranha tank]] is included in an action scene, it's this trope if the tank doesn't have a lid of some sort. Not to prevent Mooks from falling in, but because they're notorious for jumping out of the aquarium to their deaths when kept as pets.
* Whenever an iguana is portrayed as being fed live insects (usually flies). Unlike many lizards, iguanas are herbivores. They prefer fresh leafy vegetables to creepy crawly insects.
* When just about any animal is given chocolate. Humans process theobromine much more quickly than most animals, and for most animals it's very toxic and potentially fatal, especially if they get hold of dark chocolate. Most vets will flat out state that animals shouldn't have ''any'', no matter the concentration, just to be safe. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine#Danger_for_animals See here]] for more. Note that it's also possible for ''humans'' to get poisoned by chocolate, but most of us don't eat nearly enough of it for that to happen.
* Any time a cat is shown being held up by the scruff of its neck. Mother cats carry their kittens this way, but it's generally advised that humans shouldn't even try it. Kittens held this way instinctively freeze so that they won't hurt themselves by squirming around too much. If you know ''exactly'' what you're doing you can gently pinch this area to evoke the same response in adult cats, but ''never'' actually pick them up by it. Adult cats, save for unusually tiny ones, are far too heavy, and being picked up like this strangles them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Music}}]]
* Averted, believe it or not, in TobyKeith's song "Beer for My Horses" -- some Thoroughbred trainers do give their horses beer as an appetite stimulant. Guinness is the traditional choice. Because horses are so large they're pretty unlikely to be harmed by alcohol since they process it much more quickly than humans, and most beers are made of things horses eat anyway like barley and grains.
* In a song, the Dutch Santa Claus' horse is asked what he gets once the holidays are over. After the reasonable extra bag of oats, an old piece of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speculaas speculaas]] and a loaf of bread with lots of jam are mentioned.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* [[{{Foxtrot}} Jason]] regularly feeds his pet Iguana mealworms or crickets - they actually are vegetarians, or are at least 98% vegetarian. However, an early comic shows him pouring a bowl of fruits and vegetables into Quincy's terrarium, so maybe he wasn't too far off...
* [[GetFuzzy Rob Wilco's mother]] tries to force her cat to go vegetarian (something her also-vegetarian son would never dream of inflicting on his own pets); although it's unrealistic in that the cat is still alive, she's in obvious distress and begs Rob to kill her. Cats are carnivores; feeding them vegetable matter is at best a starvation diet and at worst actively detrimental to their insides.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* In ''TheSims 2'', womrats (a fictional rodent-type creature similar to a hamster or guinea pig) are depicted living in a ''maybe'' 5-gallon plastic cage. In reality, that type of cage should never be used because not only are they too small, but they do not give the animal adequate ventilation.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Parodied in a flashback in ''OutAtHome'', which shows [[BumblingDad Herman]] [[BlackComedy telling his then-six-year-old daughter over an open Christmas gift box, "Next year we'll remember, hamsters like airholes..."]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* Subverted in an episode of ''{{Arthur}}'', when Pal got sick and had to be taken to the vet, and it turned out it was from the junk food Arthur had been feeding him [[ChekhovsGun earlier in the episode]].
* RubyGloom has been shown to give her cat Doom Kitty muffins with chocolate chips. Not a good idea. See the chocolate example under "multiple media" for why.
* ''LooneyTunes'' taught generations of children how to kill their pets through poor diet. Mice are lactose intolerant and would only eat cheese if starving to death, adult cats cannot digest cows' milk, and a diet of nothing but carrots would kill a rabbit.
[[/folder]]

----

to:

[[quoteright:315:[[OliverAndCompany http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/icecream_8021.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:315:[[SarcasmMode Yes, nothing like ice cream for a cat's digestive system]].]]
->"''I caught you a bullfrog outside; [[WhatAnIdiot poked some holes in its back so it can breathe]]; see, look at this... [[OhCrap oh, boy]].''"
-->- Peter Griffin from FamilyGuy

Also known as: Congratulations You Have Just Killed Your Hamster.

Failures of the kind where someone fails at giving proper care to an animal. Failures include feeding an animal something it should never eat, keeping it in improper conditions, or handling it just ''wrong.''

A subtrope, in which a horse (or [[HorseOfADifferentColor alternate steed]]) is portrayed as needing far less care than it realistically should, is AutomatonHorses.

'''Note:''' [[NoodleIncident This is not the place for wank about pet food brands.]]
----
[[foldercontrol]]

!!Examples:

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* In the ''SailorMoon'' manga, a man feeds sugar candies to Luna. Never mind that a real cat probably wouldn't even like them or even be able to taste them at all (though this is now under debate), you should never try to give candies to a cat in the first place. In one episode of the anime, Minako tells a lengthy anecdote about feeding Artemis a piece of caramel and it getting stuck in his teeth. Although Luna and Artemis are alien cats from the planet [[MeaningfulName Mau]], the aforementioned man who fed Luna sugar candies in the manga didn't know this and thought she was an ordinary Earth cat.
* In ''WagayaNoOInariSama'' the anime, [[{{Kitsune}} Kuugen]] eats ''[[BigEater insane]]'' amounts of chocolate cake, which [[FridgeLogic should make]] ''ten humans'' sick, much less a fox. Then again, Kuugen is explicitly supernatural.
* In ''{{Nichijou}}'', the Professor doesn't want to eat her green onions, so she tries foisting them on Sakamoto. Sakamoto responds "Are you trying to kill me!?" (onions and garlic contain chemicals that can destroy a cat's red blood cells).
* ''Goldfish Warning''; a classic anime about a deranged farm school with both animals and humans as students. The school's pet shark lives on a steady diet of potato chips. The goldfish Gyopi and the cows in the school won't eat anything but human junkfood.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Film}}]]
* In the biopic ''TempleGrandin'', the RealLife animal-husbandry genius designs a revolutionary cattle-dip which cows willingly and safely walk through, unhindered by poor footing, sharp turns, or frightening surroundings. Contemptuous ranch hands take one look at it, assume it's ridiculous, and modify it to suit their normal practices ... [[WhatAnIdiot which result in three drowned cattle within the first five minutes.]]
* ''OliverAndCompany'', in which [[LonelyRichKid Jenny]] feeds ice cream to her cat, provides the page image. A few licks from an ice cream cone, or a little bit of milk is not going to affect a cat that much, but it's still not a good idea given the sugar and other things ice cream is loaded up with, especially since Oliver is a kitten and their digestive systems are not as resilient as an adult cat's (as any cat owner or animal shelter worker who's worked with kittens for long enough can tell you).
* At the very beginning of ''Disney/TheAristocats'', the evil butler Edgar actually pours some of Madame's sleeping pills into the titular cats' milk (and Roquefort the mouse due to him eating from a cookie that was dipped into the milk) so he can drug them and take them all away from her mansion while said cats are sleeping. In real life, the amount of sleeping pills Edgar used to drug the cats is enough to kill a ''human'', never mind a cat! Since Edgar's goal was to get rid of the cats, he probably wouldn't have cared if he killed them, but the fact that they survive at all shatters suspension of disbelief.
* In ''{{Rio}}'', Tulio, the bird veterinarian, allows birds to [[{{Squick}} eat out of his mouth]], which is extremely dangerous due to the fact that human saliva is toxic to birds. It was lampshaded by Blu when he found this disgusting.
** At the beginning of the movie, Blu is shown enjoying a hot chocolate and some chocolate chip cookies. See below under "multiple media" for why this belongs here.
* The Movie ''SevenPounds'' features a dog that is according to its owner a vegetarian. While it is possible to do this ''under strict vet supervision'', the food she's shown feeding the dog would cause long-term health problems.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Literature}}]]
* The treatment of owls in ''HarryPotter''. Possibly justified in-universe since owls seem to be at least partially magical in the PotterVerse as it's been noted a number of times that they can find the recipient of a letter without an address. However, this led to an all-too-real [[TheRedStapler Red Stapler]] situation, which JKRowling herself has [[http://www.jkrowling.com/textonly/en/extrastuff_view.cfm?id=20 come out against]]. Also the behind-the-scenes special features on the [=DVDs=] have ''twice'' felt the need to directly address the fact that owls do not actually make good pets.
** Particularly bad is the scene when Harry attempts to feed Hedwig ''vegetables''. Not his fault -- the Dursleys hadn't given Harry anything else to eat himself -- but Harry would have been wiser to use the veggies as bait for mice or bugs than to expect a carnivorous bird to eat them.
** Letting any pet as tiny as a rat sleep in a boy's bed, [[spoiler: even if it's not [[{{Squick}} an adult animagus]],]] is a good way to get it squashed.
* Inverted in BlackBeauty: this was the book that kicked off concern about animal care.
** One sympathetic character does what he ''thinks'' is right for Beauty -- gives him a lot of cold water to drink after a straining effort and leaves him standing uncovered in his stall -- and it nearly kills him.
* Played straight in the ''Bad News Bunny'' series, whose title rabbit eats nothing but junk food, including Twinkies, Ring Dings and potato chips. To be fair, it is a series about a wisecracking ''talking'' rabbit, and it does allude to the proper care of ordinary rabbits.
* Harold the dog of the ''{{Bunnicula}}'' books is regularly depicted as eating [[TrademarkFavoriteFood fudge]]. In one of the young reader books, he flat-out tells the readers that he can only eat chocolate because he's fictional, but the trope is otherwise in full effect. While fudge is probably one of the less dangerous types of chocolate a dog the size of Harold can have, it still makes his owners look pretty careless. In another young reader mystery book, his owners are still aware that he steals fudge and also still unaware that he's fictionally immune to chocolate, and the plot is centered around the animals determining what, exactly, a pan of white-chocolate fudge is.
* PippiLongstocking keeps her horse on the veranda of Villa Villekula. While being there isn't directly harmful to the animal, the horse could easily trip and hurt itself if it ever tried to use the veranda's steps to enter or leave. (Fortunately, Pippi's strong enough to lift and carry it when necessary.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* PlayedForLaughs in the ''MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' "Fish Feeding" sketch.
* In ''[[FlashForward2009 FlashForward]]'', a pet store owner grateful for the FBI's help offers Janis a free cockatiel. Um. First there is the obvious problem of giving a pet to someone who isn't fully committed to taking care of it, but cockatiels in particular need a ton of time and attention and socialization or else they can become self-destructive. No bird breeder or caretaker worth their salt would consider just giving a bird away like that.
* On ''{{Medium}}'', the psychic daughter gives a piece of candy to the class pet she's minding, then finds it dead and blames herself for killing it. Said class pet is a ''tarantula'', which isn't any more equipped to eat a piece of candy than to eat a rock. A You Fail Animal Care for the daughter and a You Fail Biology for the writers.
* Done in-universe in an episode of the original version of ''{{Survivors}}''; The heroes have been struggling along, attempting to keep their post-pandemic farm going, when a genuine farming expert turns up and chews them out for all the things they've been doing wrong with their animals.
* An episode of ''{{Scrubs}}'' had two college friends of JD and Turk getting married, they considered buying a ferret as a wedding gift. At the end of the episode, since they can't make the wedding themselves, they give the ferret to another friend who is attending. Turk reminds him that "The ferret only eats ''fresh'' vegetables". In reality, ferrets are carnivores and should not eat any vegetables as their digestive systems cannot process them.
* In the TV show ''ItsMeOrTheDog'', one woman fed her dogs ice cream, cookies and human tea. Victoria pointed out that dogs should not be fed human food with sugar in it.
* Sadly, about ninety percent of the cases that come up on ''AnimalPlanetHeroes'' programs are TruthInTelevision examples of this trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Multiple Media]]
* You know how fiction writers just love to put goldfish into, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin goldfish bowls]]? Yeah, funny thing, goldfish don't live very long in goldfish bowls. They thrive better in aquariums, artificial ponds or both. Sadly, this one is still widespread TruthInTelevision, as many companies still market small bowls as being for goldfish.
** The same goes for the popular Betta splendens (Siamese fighting fish). They are often sold in small decorative containers or vases, when in reality they are much happier and healthier in a larger aquarium.
*** Even more true of turtles. A baby turtle needs a lot more than a little dish of water with a fake island in the middle. Most aquatic species need deep water for swimming, lights to bask under, and some form of filtration.
* Unless they're trying to kill it at the time, ''every'' instance when a character picks up a live rat by its tail is this trope, unless it's the ''base'' of the tail and no longer than a couple of seconds. Not only is it painful, but there's a risk that the tail's skin will tear under the rat's own weight and peel entirely off. This goes double for animal wranglers who allow actors to hold rodents in such a dangerous way during filming.
* Many illustration of magic tricks such as the old "Rabbit-Out-of-a-Hat" trick show the magician holding the rabbit up by the ears. This act is quite painful, much like pulling a person by the ear is, and in fact old-school magicians hold rabbits like that ''[[HumansAreBastards because]]'' it's painful. Rabbits aren't very entertaining if they're just being held up limply when a rabbit is being held by the ears, it kicks and moves around, which is much more 'appealing' and shows the audience that it's a real, live rabbit. Neither should one hold the rabbit by the scruff of its neck the same way you would hold up a kitten. Kittens can be lifted this way since they produce a special hormone that calms them when lifted by the scruff because their mothers need to carry them like this. Rabbits don't produce this hormone, but scruffing a rabbit isn't too dangerous if it's done properly. That said, most bunny care books will advise you not to try it, because doing it properly can be ''very'' tricky, especially if the bunny panics.
* Any show portraying hamsters (most particularly syrian hamsters) living happily in pairs or groups. A normal syrian hamster would eventually kill even a litter-mate, as they are loners by nature. Male-female pair may occasionally work, but would lead to the female breeding continuously till she dies of exhaustion.
** Another hamster example: In the History Channel's documentary ''Hippies'', the narrative of how LSD was invented is backed up by footage from early experiments with the drug, including a shot of a hamster trying to chew its way through the bare metal mesh at the bottom of its cage. Exposed wire-floor cages are ''terrible'' for pets' feet. (Also a case of YouFailBiologyForever, as the context implies that the animal is chewing the wire ''only'' because it's drugged out of its mind, but gnawing on objects and attempting to dig its way free is perfectly normal behavior for a hamster, and any other rodent, that feels frustrated.) Research animals were often kept in bare metal mesh cages back in the day. Things have gotten [[SocietyMarchesOn MUCH better nowadays]].
* This trope applies any time a cat is fed straight ruminant milk. Especially if it's a kitten. Feline bodies can't handle milk unless it's watered down. You can give your cat either goat's milk or special pet milk available at pet supply stores (note: this is different from the milk replacement formula for kittens). Also, cream and yogurt are less harmful for cats than regular milk. So long as your cat doesn't throw up or display other digestive problems, you can give ''small amounts'' of regular milk as an ''occasional'' snack, but it's still not recommended.
** Same goes for dogs for that matter, dogs should not be given milk in more then tiny quantities, being partial omnivores some (very small numbers) canines can process milk but most experience acute intestinal symptoms including, gas, diarrhea or vomiting. That's because most dogs can't digest lactose well at all, others who can could only be given watered down milk for example 1/2 cup of milk & water is more then sufficient as a treat to large dogs while 1/4 of milk and 1/4 water for medium while small dogs shouldn't even drink that small amount.
** Mice and rats are also often fed milk by their owners, according to a book on rodent care "..this is fine in small amounts like thimble sized cups for mice and bottle cap sized for rats for a once in a while treat it is alright if 2% or 1% milk." While most mice and rats are omnivores and like wild cousins not only eat seeds, grains, nuts, berries and other fruits, but they also eat worms, insects, fish and eggs but milk is not a normal thing, in fact lactose can give them gas and vomiting just like anyone who is lactose intolerant, so while it seems ok its probably not the best idea to feed your mouse or rat milk even in the 1% grade.
* Whenever a [[SharkPool piranha tank]] is included in an action scene, it's this trope if the tank doesn't have a lid of some sort. Not to prevent Mooks from falling in, but because they're notorious for jumping out of the aquarium to their deaths when kept as pets.
* Whenever an iguana is portrayed as being fed live insects (usually flies). Unlike many lizards, iguanas are herbivores. They prefer fresh leafy vegetables to creepy crawly insects.
* When just about any animal is given chocolate. Humans process theobromine much more quickly than most animals, and for most animals it's very toxic and potentially fatal, especially if they get hold of dark chocolate. Most vets will flat out state that animals shouldn't have ''any'', no matter the concentration, just to be safe. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine#Danger_for_animals See here]] for more. Note that it's also possible for ''humans'' to get poisoned by chocolate, but most of us don't eat nearly enough of it for that to happen.
* Any time a cat is shown being held up by the scruff of its neck. Mother cats carry their kittens this way, but it's generally advised that humans shouldn't even try it. Kittens held this way instinctively freeze so that they won't hurt themselves by squirming around too much. If you know ''exactly'' what you're doing you can gently pinch this area to evoke the same response in adult cats, but ''never'' actually pick them up by it. Adult cats, save for unusually tiny ones, are far too heavy, and being picked up like this strangles them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Music}}]]
* Averted, believe it or not, in TobyKeith's song "Beer for My Horses" -- some Thoroughbred trainers do give their horses beer as an appetite stimulant. Guinness is the traditional choice. Because horses are so large they're pretty unlikely to be harmed by alcohol since they process it much more quickly than humans, and most beers are made of things horses eat anyway like barley and grains.
* In a song, the Dutch Santa Claus' horse is asked what he gets once the holidays are over. After the reasonable extra bag of oats, an old piece of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speculaas speculaas]] and a loaf of bread with lots of jam are mentioned.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* [[{{Foxtrot}} Jason]] regularly feeds his pet Iguana mealworms or crickets - they actually are vegetarians, or are at least 98% vegetarian. However, an early comic shows him pouring a bowl of fruits and vegetables into Quincy's terrarium, so maybe he wasn't too far off...
* [[GetFuzzy Rob Wilco's mother]] tries to force her cat to go vegetarian (something her also-vegetarian son would never dream of inflicting on his own pets); although it's unrealistic in that the cat is still alive, she's in obvious distress and begs Rob to kill her. Cats are carnivores; feeding them vegetable matter is at best a starvation diet and at worst actively detrimental to their insides.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* In ''TheSims 2'', womrats (a fictional rodent-type creature similar to a hamster or guinea pig) are depicted living in a ''maybe'' 5-gallon plastic cage. In reality, that type of cage should never be used because not only are they too small, but they do not give the animal adequate ventilation.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Parodied in a flashback in ''OutAtHome'', which shows [[BumblingDad Herman]] [[BlackComedy telling his then-six-year-old daughter over an open Christmas gift box, "Next year we'll remember, hamsters like airholes..."]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* Subverted in an episode of ''{{Arthur}}'', when Pal got sick and had to be taken to the vet, and it turned out it was from the junk food Arthur had been feeding him [[ChekhovsGun earlier in the episode]].
* RubyGloom has been shown to give her cat Doom Kitty muffins with chocolate chips. Not a good idea. See the chocolate example under "multiple media" for why.
* ''LooneyTunes'' taught generations of children how to kill their pets through poor diet. Mice are lactose intolerant and would only eat cheese if starving to death, adult cats cannot digest cows' milk, and a diet of nothing but carrots would kill a rabbit.
[[/folder]]

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[[redirect:ArtisticLicenseAnimalCare]]
25th Nov '11 10:07:34 AM Katsuhagi
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* Averted, believe it or not, in TobyKeith's song "Beer for My Horses" -- some Thoroughbred trainers do give their horses beer as an appetite stimulant. Guinness is the traditional choice.

to:

* Averted, believe it or not, in TobyKeith's song "Beer for My Horses" -- some Thoroughbred trainers do give their horses beer as an appetite stimulant. Guinness is the traditional choice. Because horses are so large they're pretty unlikely to be harmed by alcohol since they process it much more quickly than humans, and most beers are made of things horses eat anyway like barley and grains.
24th Nov '11 4:49:00 PM DesertDragon
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* When just about any animal is given chocolate. Humans process theobromine much more quickly than most animals, and for most animals it's very toxic and potentially fatal, especially if they get hold of dark chocolate. Most vets will flat out state that animals shouldn't have ''any'', no matter the concentration, just to be safe[[hottip:*:larger dogs will probably be okay if they have less concentrated chocolate, but it's still a bad idea]]. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine#Danger_for_animals See here]] for more. Note that it's also possible for ''humans'' to get poisoned by chocolate, but most of us don't eat nearly enough of it for that to happen.

to:

* When just about any animal is given chocolate. Humans process theobromine much more quickly than most animals, and for most animals it's very toxic and potentially fatal, especially if they get hold of dark chocolate. Most vets will flat out state that animals shouldn't have ''any'', no matter the concentration, just to be safe[[hottip:*:larger dogs will probably be okay if they have less concentrated chocolate, but it's still a bad idea]].safe. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine#Danger_for_animals See here]] for more. Note that it's also possible for ''humans'' to get poisoned by chocolate, but most of us don't eat nearly enough of it for that to happen.
24th Nov '11 4:34:04 PM DesertDragon
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Also known as: [[SarcasmMode Congratulations You Have Just Killed Your Hamster]].

to:

Also known as: [[SarcasmMode Congratulations You Have Just Killed Your Hamster]].
Hamster.
24th Nov '11 4:32:25 PM Katsuhagi
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* When just about any animal is given chocolate. Humans process theobromine much more quickly than most animals, and for most animals it's very toxic and potentially fatal, especially if they get hold of dark chocolate. Most vets will flat out state that animals shouldn't have ''any'' of ''any'' concentration just to be safe. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine#Danger_for_animals See here]] for more. Note that it's also possible for ''humans'' to get poisoned by chocolate, but most of us don't eat nearly enough of it for that to happen.

to:

* When just about any animal is given chocolate. Humans process theobromine much more quickly than most animals, and for most animals it's very toxic and potentially fatal, especially if they get hold of dark chocolate. Most vets will flat out state that animals shouldn't have ''any'' of ''any'' concentration ''any'', no matter the concentration, just to be safe.safe[[hottip:*:larger dogs will probably be okay if they have less concentrated chocolate, but it's still a bad idea]]. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine#Danger_for_animals See here]] for more. Note that it's also possible for ''humans'' to get poisoned by chocolate, but most of us don't eat nearly enough of it for that to happen.
24th Nov '11 4:31:24 PM Katsuhagi
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* When just about any animal is given chocolate. Humans process theobromine much more quickly than most animals, and for most animals it's very toxic and potentially fatal. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine#Danger_for_animals See here]] for more. Note that it's also possible for ''humans'' to get poisoned by chocolate, but most of us don't eat nearly enough of it for that to happen.
** The percentage of cacao influences the candy's theobromine content, and the weight of the animal makes a difference in how much it can handle. Dark chocolate could easily poison a small animal, but a big dog is not going to die if it gets hold of a Hershey bar.

to:

* When just about any animal is given chocolate. Humans process theobromine much more quickly than most animals, and for most animals it's very toxic and potentially fatal.fatal, especially if they get hold of dark chocolate. Most vets will flat out state that animals shouldn't have ''any'' of ''any'' concentration just to be safe. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine#Danger_for_animals See here]] for more. Note that it's also possible for ''humans'' to get poisoned by chocolate, but most of us don't eat nearly enough of it for that to happen.
** The percentage of cacao influences the candy's theobromine content, and the weight of the animal makes a difference in how much it can handle. Dark chocolate could easily poison a small animal, but a big dog is not going to die if it gets hold of a Hershey bar.
happen.
24th Nov '11 4:29:49 PM Katsuhagi
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* Harold the dog of the ''{{Bunnicula}}'' books is regularly depicted as eating [[TrademarkFavoriteFood fudge]]. In one of the young reader books, he flat-out tells the readers that he can only eat chocolate because he's fictional, but the trope is otherwise in full effect. In another young reader mystery book, his owners are still aware that he steals fudge and also still unaware that he's fictionally immune to chocolate, and the plot is centered around the animals determining what, exactly, a pan of white-chocolate fudge is.
** Not impossible since Harold is a big dog and fudge (even chocolate flavored fudge) doesn't really have enough cacao to harm him. Many large dogs get a taste for chocolate from indulgent (stupid) owners giving them pieces of it.

to:

* Harold the dog of the ''{{Bunnicula}}'' books is regularly depicted as eating [[TrademarkFavoriteFood fudge]]. In one of the young reader books, he flat-out tells the readers that he can only eat chocolate because he's fictional, but the trope is otherwise in full effect. While fudge is probably one of the less dangerous types of chocolate a dog the size of Harold can have, it still makes his owners look pretty careless. In another young reader mystery book, his owners are still aware that he steals fudge and also still unaware that he's fictionally immune to chocolate, and the plot is centered around the animals determining what, exactly, a pan of white-chocolate fudge is.
** Not impossible since Harold is a big dog and fudge (even chocolate flavored fudge) doesn't really have enough cacao to harm him. Many large dogs get a taste for chocolate from indulgent (stupid) owners giving them pieces of it.
is.
24th Nov '11 4:26:10 PM Katsuhagi
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* The Movie ''SevenPounds'' features a dog that is according to its owner a vegetarian. Yeah, no. No, they're not.
** Keeping a dog on a diet of grains and vegetables is not impossible. It's just not very good for the dog.

to:

* The Movie ''SevenPounds'' features a dog that is according to its owner a vegetarian. Yeah, no. No, they're not.
** Keeping a
While it is possible to do this ''under strict vet supervision'', the food she's shown feeding the dog on a diet of grains and vegetables is not impossible. It's just not very good for the dog.would cause long-term health problems.
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