The holidays always bring out a bounty of rich, temping foods, but don’t let Fido’s pleading puppy dog eyes or the cat’s hard stare at your plate fool you into thinking they can and should share in all parts of the feast. Even a small portion of the wrong food can send your pet to the emergency veterinary clinic.
To keep your pets healthy and safe this holiday season, make sure they don’t eat these foods:
Turkey skin and turkey bones: If you’d like to give your pup a small slice of turkey meat, sweet potato and vegetables – go for it! Just make sure that piece of turkey is cooked through and boneless. Bones can easily splinter and cause serious health problems (even death) for your pet. Don’t feed your pets turkey fat and skin either, as the excess fat can cause diarrhea and digestive issues in pets.
Dressing, pie and gravy: These foods often have additional spices, butter and other ingredients that are too rich for dogs and can cause pancreatitis or other digestive ailments.
Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins are not safe in any amount. They are highly toxic and can cause kidney failure in dogs. It’s still not known exactly which substance in the fruit causes this reaction. While some dogs appear to tolerate small doses of the fruit with no issues, other dogs may develop poisoning after ingesting just a few grapes or raisins. If you suspect your pet has eaten these fruits, contact your veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic immediately.
Nuts: Various types of nuts like Macadamia nuts and pistachios are very rich in fat and can cause pancreatitis. Pets have trouble digesting almonds, walnuts and pecans as well, and they can cause intestinal obstructions in smaller animals.
Onions, garlic, chives and leeks: All four are in the Allium family and are poisonous to both dogs and cats if too much is ingested. They contain thiosulphate, which can cause red blood cells to bust, leading to hemolytic anemia. Symptoms to watch for include shortness of breath, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea.
No dough! If you’re making bread from scratch, don’t feed your pets the dough. Raw, yeasted dough breaks down to alcohol when digested, which can cause some serious gas at best, and a trip to the veterinary ER at worst.
Citrus and pits: Keep foods containing citric acid away from your pets. Foods, such as cherry pits, peach pits and apple seeds, contain essential oils that can cause irritations and even central nervous system depression if a significant amount is ingested.
No sugar for your sweet fur babies! Particularly chocolate — which is toxic to dogs, cats and ferrets — and any candy containing the sweetener Xylitol. It is incredibly toxic to pets and can cause life-threatening symptoms. To be safe, opt out of giving your pets sweets during any festivities!
Keep these important tips in mind as well:
1. Keep the feast out of reach! Agile and creative dogs or cats can nab a special treat from the kitchen counter or table in a flash. That goes for the garbage too. Don’t let your pets get sick eating something you threw out.
2. If you have guests coming over, remind them not to feed your pets. They may not understand what is safe or toxic for them. Instead, offer them treats they can feed your pets.
Wishing you and your pets a happy and safe holiday season from all of us at Seattle Humane!