Holiday Food–Tips to Keep Your Pet Healthy

Holidays are always filled with family and lots of great food.  We know you want your pets to celebrate, too, so please keep in mind the following:

  • A small amount of white turkey is an acceptable treat but definitely avoid the turkey skin and the turkey bones!  The skin is often fatty and can cause pets to develop pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pet’s pancreas.
  •  Do not give your pet bones.  Bones have potential to both break off and cause a perforation of the digestive tract or, if large amounts are consumed, could cause an obstruction.

Candy.  Avoid giving your pet candy.  Candies, gums, mints, baked goods and chocolate containing the “sugar free” sweetener xylitol are especially poisonous, causing rapid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver failure in dogs and possibly other species (ferrets).

Chocolate.  Chocolate is toxic to pets. Granted, a 50 pound dog would have to eat about 50 ounces of milk chocolate (but only 5 ounces of baking chocolate) for a toxic dose, but much smaller amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea.   Signs of chocolate toxicity include tremors, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and in severe cases, seizures and death. If you suspect that your pet has eaten chocolate, consult your veterinarian.

Wrapped Candy, Other candies.  Other candies such as lollipops and those with plastic components, pose a danger if ingested. Lollipop sticks and plastic parts can cause intestinal obstruction and potentially rupture the intestines, which is a life-threatening emergency.

Other foods your pet should avoid:  raisins and grapes, excessively salty foods, foods flavored with onion or garlic powder, desserts and sweets.

Leftovers.  All leftovers should be placed on countertops out of the reach of your pet or secured behind a pet-proof door.

Trash Can.  Please keep your trash can secure.  Many items used in the meal preparation and then thrown away can be dangerous.   A turkey string, foil wrappers, etc may smell like food and be eaten by a curious pet.

If you have any questions about any of these foods, please call us!

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