How to Protect Your Holiday Party Animals, According to a Veterinarian

This is the season to have fun and celebrate with our friends and family. And for pet parents, that includes spoiling their furry babies with extra toys and special treats.

While it’s only natural to want to include your favorite furrian who hogs the couch and steals names at all the feasts and festivities, there are a few things all pet parents should be wary of to avoid. incident or emergency.

For starters, here are some common holiday foods you should keep away from your pets, according to a vet:

  • Fatty foods and oils: Foods high in fat like cheese log, gravy, mashed potatoes, and prime rib can cause pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas in cats and dogs. The disease triggers an excessive release of digestive enzymes causing symptoms such as nausea, loose stools, lack of appetite, abdominal pain and severe dehydration, says Dr Jacqueline Brister, veterinarian and consultant at Embrace Pet Insurance.
  • Grapes: Grapes and all products that contain grapes in any form are toxic to your puppy. “While some dogs eat grapes or raisins and have no problems, others may eat only one or two and show acute symptoms, including life-threatening kidney failure,” notes Dr. Brister. . The first signs of grape toxicity in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of appetite, excessive thirst, and excessive urination.
  • BONE: Avoid feeding your pet carcass bones, as they can cause intestinal blockage or even perforation of the intestines, says Dr. Brister. In some cases, choking can also be a problem. And if the carcass was baked or fried in oil or butter, pancreatitis will be an added concern, she adds.
  • Macadamia nuts: Used in everything from cookies and cakes to salads and pies, macadamia nuts are a great source of healthy fat and fiber for humans. However, consuming even a small amount of these nuts can be extremely harmful to dogs, notes Dr. Brister. If ingested, it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, high body temperature, muscle tremors, and weakness, among other symptoms.
  • Yeast: “Rising bread dough can swell in your pet’s stomach, which can lead to a potentially fatal obstruction,” says Dr. Brister. Additionally, the alcohol released by the yeast during the leavening process can lead to alcohol poisoning in cats and dogs (similar to what you would see in humans), which could be fatal, she adds. The main symptoms of yeast poisoning include lethargy, swollen stomach, upset stomach, gagging, and unsteadiness.
  • Onions and garlic: Onion and garlic (in all of their forms – cooked, dehydrated, powdered, or raw) are very toxic to your pet – garlic being considered about five times more toxic than onions. “Onions and garlic are harmful to red blood cells in cats and dogs and can lead to potentially serious anemia. This toxicity tends to be more severe in cats than in dogs,” notes Dr. Brister. In addition, pet owners should also avoid feeding their canine and feline pets foods containing chives, leeks and shallots, the vet adds.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains chemicals called methylxanthines (like caffeine and theobromine) that dogs are very sensitive to, says Dr. Bridget. Eating chocolate, especially dark chocolate or baking chocolate, can lead to an upset stomach, hyperactivity, high heart rate and abnormal heartbeat, muscle tension or seizures, among other symptoms, he adds. -she.
  • Artificial sweeteners: Xylitol is an artificial sweetener commonly used in baked goods, candies, pudding, syrups, and sugar-free sauces and treats. If ingested, it can cause fatal liver failure in dogs within a very short time, even if only a small amount has been ingested, says Dr. Brister. Some common symptoms of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, weakness, unsteadiness, lack of coordination, and seizures.

Some non-toxic, vet-approved human foods that you can safely feed your fur babies include lean meats such as baked turkey breast or baked chicken, carrots, pumpkin, roasted sweet potatoes. and green beans.

Offer them only occasionally and in small quantities, advises Dr. Brister. And make sure they’re not cooked with butters or oils, and that they don’t contain any seasonings, sweeteners, or spices (including salt and pepper), the vet adds.

Apart from that, swap flowers and noxious plants like amaryllis, azalea, holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and Star of Bethlehem with pet-friendly festive flora like the Christmas cactus, the butterfly orchid, roses, Swedish ivy and the majestic palm tree.

If your pet likes to chew on things (or get into trouble in general), avoid ornaments and decorations with string, glass, garlands, thread, or long pieces of fabric, as swallowing them can cause blockages. intestinal tract, notes Dr. Brister.

Consider protecting your tree from animals by securing it to a wall or adding a child safety fence or using shatterproof ornaments and decorations made of wood, metal or fabric. Alternatively, you can also go for a smaller tabletop tree, suggests Dr. Brister. You can read more about animal safe holiday decorating ideas here.

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