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Anime and Manga
- In Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin, Gohei Takeda trains the protagonist, Gin, to be a bearhound by beating him with a piece of wood, feeding him only raw bear meat (which is mentioned to stink so terrible that even adult dogs cower at the smell of it) and forcing him to get pieces of aforementioned meat from the bottom of a large basin filled with water. Did we mention that this Training from Hell started when Gin was still supposed to be nursed by his mother? While he did grow up into a through-and-through badass, making a puppy go through stuff like that in real life would definitely not end half as well.
- In the Sailor Moon 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 '90s 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 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 Wagaya No O Inari Sama the anime, Kuugen eats insane amounts of chocolate cake, which 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 the cat. He responds "Are you trying to kill me!?" (onions and garlic contain chemicals that can destroy his 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.
- The Pokémon creatures may not be exactly like animals, but Ash has been shown feeding Pikachu ice cream and chocolate at least once in the anime. To say nothing of the memetic episode where Pikachu fell in love with ketchup.
- In an odd inverse, humans in more recent seasons have been shown eating things prepared with Berries normally eaten by Pokémon. Though nothing really states that berries are really bad for humans apart from intense tastes.
- All of this was actually enforced by the original series bible. Not wanting to raise ethical questions about eating Pokémon (which are obviously more sentient than the average animal, as they're capable of understanding speech and following orders) the show was officially supposed to stay away from showing any person or Pokémon eating meat of any kind and avoid implications of a food chain altogether, and thus even Pokemon obviously based on carnivores like Persian, Arbok, and Gyarados are seen eating either generic kibble styles of food, fruit (both real and made up) or just whatever the humans are having. Even then, Pokémon eating only human food is something that's frowned upon in-universe. This element is averted in the games, as many Pokédex entries make it clear that Pokémon eat each other and the games have also shown that humans eat Pokémon. The anime does occasionally mention Pokémon preying on one another— specifically Heatmor's Pokédex entry in the Black/White arc talks about it preying on Durant and Ash's Pidgey trying to eat his Caterpie when they met.
- In Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, giving Lucario (a dog-based Pokémon), chocolate was a plot point in the movie (then again, this is a part-steel bipedal dog that can shoot hadoukens).
- Several openings in the Toriko anime have animals eagerly eating chocolate. Unfortunately Truth in Television in that some animals, especially dogs, can taste and as a result, really enjoy chocolate. This just makes it more unfortunate that it's very fatal to them.
- Makoto from Free! received two Goldfish at a carnival years ago. He loved them however he kept them in a fishbowl. They died, though it's presumed the writers were going for the "goldfish have short lifespans" myth rather than "Mako mistreated his fish".
- Japolo from Shamanic Princess is a Weasel Mascot but is depicted as a herbivore.
- In Yo-kai Watch, Jibanyan, a cat yo-kai, is seen frequently eating and enjoying chocolate. Despite the fact that chocolate is very bad for cats (and most animals), cats normally don't even like it since they can't taste sweetness... It's a good thing Jibanyan is already dead. It's also Lampshaded in one of the games.
- In one Little Lotta comic Lotta wins a pony in a contest, but finds the pony isn't strong enough to carry her, so instead of hay she decides to bulk it up with high-fat goods... including meat. Equines are herbivores.
- Although, horses can and will eat meat if given the chance... doesn't mean it's that healthy for them though.
- In Lucky Luke Lucky Luke is often seen asking for a beer for his horse, Jolly Jumper. This is a very good idea. Horses often like beer as a treat, and there is nothing in beer horses won't eat of their own volition. Horses are much larger than humans and metabolize alcohol much more efficiently, so there is nothing in a beer that can harm a horse. Adding a splash of beer to water is a common way to ensure that a dehydrated horse drinks. Then again, even if that weren't the case, Jolly Jumper would probably get a pass anyway, considering that he fishes, cooks beans, smokes and beats his rider at chess...
- Harley Quinn loves animals, but in her own comic, she tends to feed both her two hyenas and stray dogs foods that would make them sick in reality, like hamburgers and pizza.
Film — Animation
- Oliver & Company, in which Jenny feeds ice cream (and even Cocoa Krispies) 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 The Aristocats, 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. Not that it's advisable to give adult cats milk anyway, but at the time the film was made, that wouldn't have been common knowledge - it still isn't as well known in this day and age as it should be, especially given the complication (for human comprehension) that some adults cats actually can cope with cow's milk without any reported side-effects.
- At the beginning of the movie, Blu is shown enjoying a hot chocolate and some chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate contains theobromine (a bitter alkaloid compound found in the cacao plant), which is very toxic and potentially fatal for most animals. Most vets will flat out state that animals shouldn't have any, ever, no matter the concentration, just to be safe.
- Tulio, the bird veterinarian, allows birds to eat out of his mouth, which is extremely dangerous because human saliva is toxic to birds. Lampshaded by Blu when he finds this disgusting.
- Lilo & Stitch:
- In the original movie, Lilo brings Stitch home for the first time and feeds him coffee. At this point she still thinks he's a regular dog. In real life, one should avoid giving their dogs coffee, because it is poisonous to them. Pets and caffeine simply do not mix. Thank god Stitch is really an alien. He is a little more destructive, but he otherwise has no resulting health problems. Also provides a double whammy of Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror: A six-year-old couldn't be expected to know this... and her older sister was too overwhelmed to realize it and provide proper supervision of Stitch's diet.
- In reality, Lilo would seem to be a poor pet caretaker with regards to Earth animals. Besides the caffeine thing, she also feeds a tropical saltwater fish a peanut butter sandwich on a weekly basis. She also tries to teach Stitch to fetch by spraying him with a water bottle, which one should not do with dogs outside of instances of bad behavior such as biting others. In fact, she might have already been a poor caretaker in-universe as in an episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series, she says that she once had a goldfish who died. While she doesn't say how it died, given the above, it's likely that she was responsible for its death.
- Lady and the Tramp has right in the first scenes Lady being served coffee (as noted above, toxic) and a donut (lacking in nutrition for animals). Also another part has a dog with a muzzle for longer than 30 minutes, something extremely dangerous for the animal.
- In An American Tail, Tiger comments that he's a vegetarian. Cats are carnivorous creatures and wouldn't be able to survive on a vegetarian diet. He did mention he'll eat fish occasionally though, which might cut him a little slack.
- This seems to be used for humor in Food Fight. The Funny Animal dog likes both raisins and chocolate. He's not technically real, being an "ike" (a food mascot), so no damage is done. Just to make it perfectly, crystal clear — both raisins and chocolate (especially dark chocolate) have the potential of being extremely toxic, to the point of being deadly, to dogs. Never feed dogs raisins or chocolate.
- Flushed Away depicts the main character, a pet rat named Roddy living alone in a cage. The movie later deconstructs this by pointing out how lonely Roddy is, and how it is unhealthy for rats to live this way. Upon seeing his home Rita, a wild rat, is astonished and appalled about how Roddy lives.
- In Rise of the Guardians, some elves are shown fitting an iron shoe onto the hoof of one of Santa's reindeer. While there are shoes designed specifically for reindeer, they generally consist of two separate pieces of metal to allow the hoof's two parts to splay out naturally, and they certainly aren't just a regular horseshoe nailed on backwards.
- 101 Dalmatians has the titular puppies at one point being fed on cow's milk, straight from the source. Most animals are lactose intolerant, and dogs are no exception. The puppies were probably already past the age at which they could digest milk, so in Real Life it would have given them severe diarrhea and upset stomachs. (A case of Science Marches On, since the movie came out in 1961.)
- Remy from Ratatouille better not have been taste-testing his own French cooking. Onions or scallions are key ingredients for most of the recipes he's shown preparing, and ingesting either of these can destroy a rat's red blood cells. Handling or even sniffing such food could've left him severely anemic.
Film — Live-Action
- Seven Pounds 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.
- In Jack and Jill, Jill's cockatoo is seen sticking its head under a chocolate fountain. Chocolate contains theobromine (a bitter alkaloid compound found in the cacao plant), which is very toxic and potentially fatal for most animals. Most vets will flat out state that animals shouldn't have any, ever, no matter the concentration, just to be safe. The filmmakers knew this and used a CGI bird for the scene, and got an outstanding rating from the AHA for the film.
- In Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Chance has to have a few porcupine spines removed from his face by vets. However, the vets choose to do this with Chance still conscious with a few vets holding him down. Chance should have been anesthetized before a vet went anywhere near him.
- In Home Alone 3, Doris the white rat doesn't have any cage-mates to live with. Fancy rats are extremely social animals that, barring temperament problems, should never be kept as solitary individuals.
- In The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, upon arrival at the mountain ruins, Jonathan turns Geraldine the Yak loose with well-meaning urgings that she "run free!". All very sweet, except he's releasing a domesticated bovine into an area of the mountains where the grass is too deeply-buried in snow for grazing, and he doesn't even bother to remove her halter, which has a dangling lead that could easily get caught in a crevice and trap her.
- Preacher from Deep Blue Sea allows his pet parrot to nibble some kind of white cake topping (frosting, whipped cream, marshmallow ... it's not clear which) from his finger. Although not necessarily toxic, all-of-the-above have far, far too much sugar and fat to agree with such a bird's digestive system.
- In Young Einstein, Marie Curie keeps her pet goldfish in a container that has less than a liter of water. This is a fraction of what a goldfish needs to survive, let alone thrive.
- In the 1973 horror film Sssssss, the Mad Scientist lets his pet boa constrictor drink alcohol from a bowl. Real snake owners know that reptiles loathe the smell of alcohol, and indeed may keep it around as an emergency means of getting their pet to let go if it bites or coils around someone.
- The rabbits in Watership Down are obsessed with lettuce. While rabbits need a great deal of fresh greens and hay to be healthy, the type of lettuce most often used in salads and sandwiches, iceberg lettuce, is very bad for them. Iceberg lettuce has almost no nutritional value; worse, it contains too much phosphorus, which can end up leeching calcium from their bones. While the rabbits of Watership Down, being wild, would rarely encounter enough lettuce to harm them and might rightly regard it as "flayrah" (their word for superior food), giving a pet rabbit this "flayrah" as a regular part of its diet is a really, really bad idea.
- Pets in Harry Potter seem to be partially magical, but if they weren't, the following would be bad ideas:
- The owl's abilty to find the recipient of a letter without an address has led to an all-too-real Red Stapler situation, which J. K. Rowling herself has 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.
- Harry attempts to feed Hedwig (owls are carnivores) 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 Hedwig to eat them. At least Hedwig reacts with disgust, lampshading this.
- Letting any pet as tiny as a rat sleep in a boy's bed, even if it's not Peter Pettigrew in animagus form, is a good way to get it squashed, be bitten or scratched, or end up with rat waste all over your sheets and/or holes chewed in your mattress.
- Black Beauty:
- This was the book that kicked off concern about animal care, mostly by telling people the story of an animal that was taken care of by ignorant humans, and how much the animal suffered for it.
- 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. This becomes a saving grace for Beauty in his later years when the same character, now much older and wiser, recognizes the scars on Beauty's body from the methods used to save Beauty's life at the time of his past mistake. Able to confirm Beauty's identity from these marks, he's then able to ensure Beauty is able to live out the rest of his days with a caring owner who looks after him kindly.
- Played straight in the Bad News Bunny series, whose title rabbit eats nothing but junk food, including Twinkies, Ring Dings and potato chips. Since it's a series about a wisecracking talking rabbit it does allude to the proper care of ordinary rabbits and advises that you Don't Try This at Home.
- Harold the dog of the Bunnicula books is regularly depicted as eating 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.note
- Pippi Longstocking 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.)
- There is a Nancy Drew novel where someone's dog dies after eating a box of chocolates that arrived in the mail. It's treated as a plot point that the chocolate, by itself, would not have killed the dog, which overlaps with Conviction by Counterfactual Clue.
- Subverted in Terry Pratchett's The Unadulterated Cat, which describes a vegan couple who claimed their cat thrived on a meat-free diet, while the rest of the neighbourhood knew it thrived on the area's entire rodent population.
- The titular Stargirl has a pet rat. She's a good owner overall but she only has one rat. Rats are extremely social animals, and unless the owner can devote at least four hours every day toward playing with the rat, it's recommended you have at least two to keep each other company.
- Mouse is mentioned as having eaten onions once as a gag in The Dresden Files. Feeding onions to a canine is a VERY Bad idea. Potientially justified, though still a bad idea in real life, given Mouse is no ordinary dog, capable of walking off buckshot and posing a threat to Fae.
- The Hunger Games: In Mockingjay, Katniss stuffs Buttercup into a bag and carries him over her shoulder, even elbowing him to get him to be quiet. She also bounces him against the floor. In the book, this only causes yowling. In real life, this would've also caused him a great deal of injury. She also picks Buttercup up by the scruff of his neck without supporting his rump. He's a grown tom cat. Any pet owner will tell you that is a humongous no-no. And after Buttercup is forced into a bag, he allows Prim to tie a ribbon around his neck and hold him in her arms. After being bagged? Both of these actions would probably cause a cat a great deal of distress (possibly causing the animal to retaliate in violence) in real life.
- In Ratman's Notebooks, Ratman uses a raw leek stolen from a neighbor's garden as a training treat for his Swarm of Rats. Uncooked leeks are toxic to rats, destroying their red blood cells. Since the book’s narrator says over and over again that he has no idea how to tell male and female rats apart, it seems safe to say the author did no research.
- In the novel Beautiful Joe, written in the same vein as Black Beauty above and depicting the care of animals through the eyes of the titular dog, this trope goes hand-in-hand with Science Marches On. The methods of care shown in this book were what were thought to be best at the time it was written - and indeed, a good amount of it does still hold true today, but much of it is so blatantly outdated that a reader with even a passing knowledge of animal care will probably take notice. Additionally, a few examples are questionable even for the time period:
- Spreading poison on a cat's coat so that they'll lick it off and die is stated to be a "humane" way to euthanize a cat. Why they aren't simply shot like dogs (which would be much faster and less painful) is never explained.
- A parrot is depicted as being allowed to roam around the house unsupervised. Never do this unless you have thoroughly parrot-proofed your place. Not only are parrots prone to chewing on just about everything they come across as a way to amuse themselves, but their curiosity can lead them into dangerous situations in a hurry, especially if they still possess flight feathers (to say nothing of the bird potentially flying away if a window is left open).
- In Mary Reed & Eric Mayer's "Chosen Of The Nile", the sacred crocodile at the Temple of Sobek is fed prepared grains, honey-sweetened milk, and wine by its keepers rather than meat or fish. Justified in that the keepers are guided by their belief that it's a living god accepting gifts, not a mundane animal slaking corporeal hunger ... and by them not wanting it to be healthy enough to pose a danger to them.
- Theres A Hair In My Dirt (by The Far Side author Gary Larson) follows a woman who thinks herself a Friend to All Living Things... and could not be further from the truth. Among others, she tosses a "turtle" into a pond (actually a tortoise, so she just condemned it to drown), returning a baby bird to its nest (where it gets tossed out-again- by its sibling), and rescuing a mouse from a snake causes her to catch the virus the mouse was carrying, killing her.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus:
- According to the "Fish Club" sketch, goldfish have a ravenous appetite and eat sausages, spring greens, gazpacho, bread and gravy.
Announcer: (reading text on screen) "The RSPCA wishes it to be known that that man was not a bona-fide animal lover, and also that goldfish do not eat sausages."
Fish Club Man: Treacle tart!
Announcer: Shut up! "They are quite happy with bread crumbs, ants' eggs and—" (text shows "AND THE OCCASIONAL PHEASANT" crossed out) Who wrote that?!
- Then there's the "Dead Parrot" sketch, in which it's a bit late for proper animal care; though bad animal care on the part of the incompetent pet shop owner is almost certainly the reason the parrot is no more, has ceased to be, and an ex-parrot.
- According to the "Fish Club" sketch, goldfish have a ravenous appetite and eat sausages, spring greens, gazpacho, bread and gravy.
- In FlashForward, a pet store owner grateful for the FBI's help offers Janis a free cockatiel. Um.....for starters, there is the obvious problem of giving a pet to someone who isn't fully committed to taking care of it. Also, 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.
- 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 It's Me or the Dog, 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 Animal Planet Heroes programs are Truth in Television examples of this trope.
- On Total Blackout, one challenge required contestants to identify objects in a set of four glass tanks by touch. Live rats were in the first tank, and a live snake (probably boa) in the third. Any responsible snake-handler would have put the reptile before the rodents, as the aroma of rat on contestants' skin could have potentially incited the snake to bite, mistaking their hands for a food source.
- Averted by the professional aquarium-builders on Tanked, but played straight by some of the customers, whose requested tank designs are so bizarre (e.g. the spade-shaped tank with its nearly-inaccessible lower section) that the finished product can't help but be difficult to maintain over time.
- For someone so lovingly obsessed with her pussy, Mrs. Slocombe from Are You Being Served? often doesn't treat her cat very well. In one instance, she brought her pregnant cat to the store. When the cat started giving birth, she asked the store nurse for some human sedatives to give the cat, and didn't even tell the nurse what they were for!
- Supernatural: Sam accidentally hits a dog with his car and takes it to a veterinarian. After she treats it, she guilt-trips Sam into adopting it because the owner cannot be found. This is something a real vet would obviously never do. Sam didn't even want the dog, and there was no reason for her to believe he'd take care of it or even keep it for longer than it took to get out of her office and set it loose. Such a system would be a good way to get animals into abusive homes, which is exactly what adoption shelters want to avoid.
- The Wire: In "Duck and Cover," Ziggy Sobotka gets a duck, which he calls his "attorney". He feeds it only peanuts and whiskey. By the next episode, it's dead. The other stevedores lampshade Ziggy's idiocy.
- Nat Geo Wild's version of the Puppy Bowl, the Fish Bowl, involves various fish swimming around in a bowl. As mentioned, putting fish in bowls is typically a bad idea. There is a lot of care taken into the welfare of the fish off-screen, and it is just a temporary enclosure rather than a permanent one.
- The Animal Planet series My Big Fat Pet Makeover is basically Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition for pets. Usually, the root of a pet's problems in any given episode boils down to basic things people should know, like the importance of not overfeeding said pet.
- 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 Artistic License – Biology, 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 MUCH better nowadays.
- Animal Planet's Call of the Wildman centered around show star Ernie "Turtleman" Brown Jr. catching and removing wild animals with his bare hands instead of using the kinds of tools that most professional animal control services use, like poles, snake hooks, or live traps. This put both him and the animals he was catching at unnecessary risk. One of the prime examples was an episode where he grabbed a coyote by the tail and lifted it off the ground. Like all mammals, an adult coyote is too heavy to be safely lifted in this manner, doing so meant that it was at massive risk of a spinal injury.
- Averted, believe it or not, in Toby Keith's song "Beer for My Horses" — some Thoroughbred trainers do give their horses beer as an appetite stimulant. Guinness is the traditional choice. Horses are very large and their digestive systems naturally produce large amounts of enzymes that break down alcohol, so they're pretty unlikely to be harmed by alcohol, and the ingredients in beer are grains, hops, yeast and water, all things horses will eat on their own (possibly excepting hops).
- 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 speculaas and a loaf of bread with lots of jam are mentioned.
- In 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...
- Taken Up to 11 in one strip, where Quincy was shown eating chocolate chip cookies.
- Played for Laughs in one strip wherein Paige gets fish... and she has an angelfish and guppies in the same aquarium. Predictably this doesn't end well, as one punchline has Paige say "That's right little guppies, eat the fish food. That's right angelfish, eat the fish-FOOD! I SAID EAT THE FISH FOOD!"
- An early Dilbert strip had Dogbert eating chocolate cake; when it was first published, the author was immediately bombarded with emails pointing out that chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine (a bitter alkaloid compound found in the cacao plant), which is very toxic and potentially fatal for most animals. Most vets will flat out state that animals shouldn't have any, ever, no matter the concentration, just to be safe. Bipedal talking egg-dogs are, apparently, not immune.
- Garfield contains many examples of unrealistic (or bad!) treatments of animals. Granted, though Jon provides some of what Garfield eats (and Jon often tries to serve cat food), he often does the obtaining food on his own, but with all the lasagna, ice cream, cake, candy, etc he eats, it's amazing he's alive. On the other hand, his hatred of raisins is helpful given it causes kidney failures in cats.
- In a lot of early strips, Charlie Brown occasionally gave Snoopy treats that dogs should never have, like potato chips, cookies, and chocolate. This tended to taper off in later years, but there were a few modern strips where Charlie Brown let him have pizza. The cheese would've made the small dog very sick.
- One arc ended with Snoopy becoming too sick to play tennis after eating an entire box of chocolate chip cookies. In real life, slight nausea would probably have been the least of his problems.
- Get Fuzzy: Rob's mother attempts to put her cat on a vegetarian diet. This, realistically, causes the cat extreme distress, at one point leading her to beg Rob to put her out of her misery. He leaves her with several hundred dollars in cash and a barbecue restaurant delivery menu, which is probably only a little better, depending on what's in the sauce/rub. For example, if there's onions in it, they'll destroy her kidneys.
- In one Phoebe and Her Unicorn comic, Phoebe is feeding bread to ducks while pointing out that they're more interested in the bread she's feeding them than the rainbow she's sitting on. Readers quickly pointed out that bread is bad for ducks, which caused Dana Claire Simpson to release a followup strip three years later where Phoebe points this out to Marigold.
- In one Arctic Circle comic, Oscar takes in a kitten and Ed asks him if he knows how to look after a cat. Oscar claims he did his research...and attempts to feed the kitten lasagna and coffee, due to using Garfield for said research. Ed calls him out on it.
- In The Sims 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. One of the creature's animations might even be lampshading this: it actively and repeatedly tries to escape the Containment Unit by climbing the front wall.
- Keeping a falcon in a birdcage and letting it perch on you without a glove on are bad ideas. Sims also seem to feed it birdseed for some reason. Granted, the falcon isn't stated to be one and is essentially a Palette Swap of the parrots, but it looks accurate (it's based on a male American Kestrel) and then doesn't work like a real falcon at all.
- In the Animal Crossing games, you can display the fish, bugs, and sea creatures that you can catch in your homes as decoration. The tanks are far too small for the fish to even move around (unless they happen to be tiny species). Goldfish are also displayed in goldfish bowls and the bird cage item also contains an absurdly tiny cage. Of course, the games aren't supposed to be realistic.
- Farming Simulator 17: One could go hog-wild pointing out inaccuracies in the depiction of husbandry, but let's not have a cow. Even though it does have livestock, and it does call itself a simulator, it's still just a game. One silly oversight stands out, however. The developers bothered to program your chickens to shut up and go to sleep when the sun is down, but they snooze outside their very prominent coop. Chickens always sleep indoors when they can, and it would have been trivial to have them disappear until dawn.
- A clickpoint on the penultimate page of the Living Books title based on Arthur's Reading Race has Arthur letting Pal (his pet dog) lick his ice cream cone...his chocolate ice cream cone. (In case it wasn't already obvious, chocolate is toxic to dogs.) It really doesn't help that Arthur comments that "Pal likes chocolate, too!" after the fact.
- In The Magic School Bus Explores the World of Animals, one mini-game about the food chain has a toucan eating an avocado. Avocados are very toxic to birds.
- It turns out to be a moot point since he's hardly a normal fox, but upon encountering Miyabi in his fox form during the prologue of Enchanted in the Moonlight, the protagonist feeds him some of her fried tofu and then takes the apparent wild animal into her bathroom and strips naked in order to give it a bath. Had she done this with a real wild fox instead of a transformed kitsune, it would most likely have quickly become a painful experience.
- Parodied in a flashback in Out at Home, which shows Herman telling his then-six-year-old daughter over an open Christmas gift box, "Next year we'll remember, hamsters like airholes..."
- In Girls with Slingshots Hazel tries to put her cat Sprinkles on a vegetarian diet to cure its excessive flatulence. It almost kills poor Sprinkles.
- In Prequel, Nah(?), a perfectly normal human woman and is in no way a vampire attempts to lure a kitten full of blood with some grape jelly. This attempt fortunately fails to succeed.
- In Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, Jared is apparently the only person to ever actually feed and pay attention to his Pokemon, or feed an obviously carnivorous Gyarados meat. He becomes a Pokemon Professor for this.
Jared: Wait, you mean you just figured out that animals like it when you pet them and give them treats? Who gave you your science license?
- In The Order of the Stick, Lord Shojo feeds his nephew Hinjo's animal companion, Argent a tub of frosting (calling it "table scraps"). Though it's implied that this was deliberate (Shojo often used Obfuscating Stupidity), as the silver fillings Argent needed to get afterwards make his bite effective against demons.
- In Shotgun Shuffle, Ellie shows her love for animals by overfeeding them until they look like furry basketballs. It should kill them well before then.
- The early strips of El Goonish Shive occasionally show cats playing with yarn. An unsupervised cat is likely to either become entangled or accidentally swallow yarn, the latter situation pretty much guaranteeing a trip to the vet. note This is averted in the commentary of many strips, written years later, wherein the author clarifies that he didn't know better at the time and advises against giving cats yarn. Oddly, he even goes into this when the one playing with yarn is a cat-girl. This is likely just to reinforce the idea not to give pet cats yarn, but it's still pretty funny.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent: The family tree published at the end of Chapter 12 shows a couple of cats from the Just Before the End prologue with lines coming out from their portraits, suggesting that they had kittens and possibly have very distant descendants in the main story's era. Both of those cats belonged to people living in urban areas of northern Europe in Next Sunday A.D., in other words in a place and time where neutering cats was a highly recommended procedure.
- Consciously averted in Freefall. When Florence, a genetically-modified wolf, has a dinner date with Winston at a French restaurant, she has to call her order ahead of time to make sure her food is free of garlic and onion, two major staples of French cuisine that are deadly to canines. She ends up with a filet of sole in butter. Her dinner conversation is on how weird it is for humans to eat jalapeno and other hot peppers just for the flavor. On another occasion, she mentions that coffee would be just as deadly to drink, but as an engineer, she craves the smell of it anyway.
- Pointed out in this Wired article, regarding the proposed "Ark Encounter" creationist theme park and its initial idea of keeping and displaying live animals inside a wooden full-size replica of Noah's Ark, all in order to attempt to prove its scientific and historical truthfulness.
Fluttersheep: owls are predators. theyre destructive. they will potentially look at you as their mate and will become aggressive around your friends and family. they can seriously hurt you. their talons and beaks are sharp as fuck and even on accident can cause you to need stitches
- There was a post that made the rounds of a vegan stating that their cat "lived for six healthy years" on an all vegan diet. As several other users pointed out, the average lifespan of a house cat is 13-17 years. Given how easy it is to look up this information, the post might have been a Stealth Parody.
- Deconstructed in this Tumblr post, which explains exactly why owls should NEVER be kept as pets. A few excerpts:
- 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 earlier in the episode. This is made even stranger by the fact that several of Arthur's classmates are dogs of the bipedal, sapient variety.
- Ruby Gloom has the cat "Doom Kitty" eating muffins with chocolate chips. Not a good idea. Chocolate contains theobromine (a bitter alkaloid compound found in the cacao plant), which is very toxic and potentially fatal for most animals. Most vets will flat out state that animals shouldn't have any, ever, no matter the concentration, just to be safe. Though, given the nature of the show, Doom Kitty may already be dead.
- Looney Tunes taught generations of children how to kill their pets through poor diet:
- Mice would only eat cheese if starving to death since it's too soft for them after eating mainly nuts and grains.
- Cats cannot digest cows' milk.
- A diet of nothing but carrots would kill a rabbit, which is noted as something that rabbits don't normally eat and should mostly be given as treat food  or, as noted above, not at all. The deal with carrots was Bugs Bunny paying homage to a Clark Gable movie called It Happened One Night. This got Lost in Imitation, and carrots became the Stock Animal Diet of all cartoon rabbits, with disastrous real-life consequences.
- Parodied in an episode of Futurama, where a hippy claims to have taught a lion to eat nothing but tofu. We then see the lion scrawny and pale as hell, clearly starving to death.
- It's pretty obvious that no Great Dane would have Scooby's famous cast-iron stomach. This is mildly averted in the second theatrical film where Scooby turns down drinking a chocolate milkshake in favour of a strawberry one.
- Played straight in an episode of Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo where Scooby and Scrappy both eat chocolate cake with no consequences.
- Also played straight in Aloha, Scooby-Doo!, where there's a Running Gag of Scooby and Shaggy constantly on the hunt for macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs.
- Porkchop in Doug, displaying some human traits, can pretty much eat any human food without suffering any adversary effects, such as pizza and ice cream. Ironically, this is seemingly averted in "Doug's Fat Cat" with Roger's cat Stinky, who got sick from eating the aforementioned food, but then it turns out that she was actually in labor. Played with in the very first episode, wherein Porkchop eats nothing but vegetables and fruits, but Doug insists he had nothing to do with this and that Porkchop's vegetarianism is "just a phase". We should hope that it is and that it ends quickly, as an all vegan diet would kill a dog.
- The ducks in Breadwinners eat nothing but bread, which would kill a real duck.
- One episode of Johnny Bravo had an emu being fed avocados, which are poisonous to birds.
- Jake of Adventure Time mentions in "Slumber Party Panic" that he can't eat chocolate or fudge since he is a dog, but in "The Pods" he's able to eat chocolate ice cream without having any ill effects. In some episodes, he's shown drinking coffee. Granted, he's a magical dog (he's shown on one occasion to be able to increase the size of his liver to better metabolize poison).
- Littlest Pet Shop (2012):
- "Topped With Buttercream" has the pets enter the pantry of a sweet shop and stuff themselves full with sugary treats. The only ill effects they suffer are a sugar high, some hallucinations, and a stomachache. In real life, that much candy and sugar would likely be lethally poisonous to those pets.
- Zoe, a dog, has been shown to be freely given chocolate cake by Blythe at the end of "Bakers and Fakers". It's not as harmful as straight up dark chocolate would be, but it certainly isn't good for her.
- Really, the main premise of the show could count. Multi-species pet day camps don't exist for a reason. Aside from the obvious risk of predatory behavior, each of these animals needs different care that isn't really fulfilled by what's seen on the show. Also, small pets like Vinny and Russel could easily be left at home in a safe enclosure throughout the day, rather than needing to go to a day camp or having someone watch them. There is also a pet door leading from the day camp room right out onto the sidewalk. Why this isn't a good idea should be obvious.
- Feast has Winston, a small Boston Terrier, chowing on loads of human food of an amount and varieties that would make any veterinarian scream in horror at what it has to be doing to his system.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Fluttershy has a job dealing with wild, non-Civilized Animal animals. This includes ferrets, who apparently live outside and everything. Ferrets are domestic animals and should ideally be inside, or at least caged.
- In "Winter Wrap Up", she feeds said ferrets what appears to be a salad. Ferrets are carnivores.
- In "Filli Vanilli", Fluttershy is seen giving cheese to mice. In Real Life, that's a good way to introduce them to the Grim Squeaker.
- "Inspiration Manifestation" has an example that's actually serendipitous because it increases the horror of the title spell. Rarity drowns her sorrows with an ice cream binge she ordinarily would have greatly regretted that night, but the spell had such control over her that it made her completely oblivious.
- "Secrets and Pies": Rainbow Dash feeds her discarded pies to her pet tortoise and Cheerilee's class hamster; the sugar content would likely be lethal for both pets. This is actually Downplayed as both pets get sick from this, just not as sick as they should have gotten.
- The episode of The Simpsons with all the greyhound puppies had them hiding the newborn pups all over the room like Easter eggs for some reason. DO NOT do this with real puppies, especially newborns.
- In one episode of My Gym Partner's a Monkey, Token Human Adam Lyon proposes adding human food to the Funny Animal school's cafeteria. The human food results in everyone except Adam becoming obese, and at the end of the episode, everyone is exercising their weight off.
- Averted in Martha Speaks where Martha has to avoid eating chocolate or onions because they're poisonous to dogs and cats. They also break the Fourth Wall in that eating alphabet soup to keep Martha's ability to talk only works on Martha and wouldn't work for other dogs.