MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Keep Pets Safe from Holiday Food Hazards

Guest Post (guest poster later requested link removal)

Tis’ the season for holiday treats! While our families are busy enjoying all of the wonderful foods that come with this time of year, it’s important to make sure pets don’t get their paws on potentially dangerous human foods. Below are a few ingredients that may be a part of your holiday festivities that could mean serious digestive upset or an emergency trip to the vet if ingested by your pets. 

Onions, Garlic and Chives: You might use these ingredients to flavor that big holiday dinner, but take caution to ensure your pets don’t ingest large quantities of these foods. These ingredients might make our food tastier, but can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and potential red cell damage for our pets. 

•Fatty Foods: Too many fatty table scraps can lead to pancreatitis in dogs and cats, which is a potentially fatal condition. Symptoms of pancreatitis include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, abdominal pain and depression. Just one instance of eating too much food that is high in fat can trigger pancreatitis in pets, so watch your dinner guests to make sure treats aren’t being given under the table. 

•Alcohol: When enjoying your glass of champagne or holiday cocktail, don’t let your sweet pup or kitty sneak any sips. Alcohol can cause pets to experience vomiting, diarrhea, a decrease in coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma and even death. Don’t take any chances with your pet’s wellbeing by keeping alcoholic beverages far from reach. You might also consider keeping your pet in a separate room during holiday parties. 

•Macadamia Nuts: While these nuts can make a tasty addition to holiday cookies, they contain an unknown toxic element that can trigger vomiting, lethargy and even temporary hind end paralysis in dogs and cats. 

•Grapes and Raisins: Whether you’re serving a healthy snack to party guests or adding raisins to those holiday cookies, make sure your pets don’t’ sneak a bite of these foods. Both grapes and raisins are toxic for our canine and feline companions and can cause kidney damage, kidney failure and even death.  

Milk: When setting out milk and cookies for Santa, make sure Fido doesn’t help himself instead. Dairy products cause diarrhea and digestive upset for pets -so keep Santa’s snack out of reach from four-legged family members to avoid a holiday mess. 

Chocolate and Coffee: When you cozy up with that yummy dessert and cappuccino this holiday season, don’t leave your treat unattended. Chocolate and caffeine can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures or even death. Protect your furry family members by keeping foods that contain these dangers out of reach. 

•Xylitol: When popping that after-dinner mint or piece of gum, be aware that many sugar free varieties contain a sweetener called xylitol, which can be deadly for dogs. Xylitol can cause a dog’s blood sugar level to drop to a dangerous low, causing weakness, confusion, seizures and sometimes even death. 

•Avocados: Avocados may not be a traditional holiday food but they’re a year-round favorite for many families. Although delicious and healthy for human consumption, avocados are a danger to pets for multiple reasons. The large pit can cause gastrointestinal obstruction if swallowed and the rest of the fruit contains persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in pets. 

To keep the holidays safe and happy for your pet, stick to healthy canine or feline treats or pet-safe human foods (i.e. an apple slice for your dog). If you ever have any concerns about foods your pet has ingested, immediately contact a veterinarian.

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