The holidays are a great time for people and pets alike, but what is great for you during the holidays might not be safe for your pets. Pepper wanted me to make sure that you all kept your pets safe during the holidays so she had me put together a list for you.
Things Not to Feed Your Pets:
- Chocolate is very dangerous to pets. It contains high levels theobromine, which can over-stimulate the heart. Just a few ounces of chocolate can be fatal for a small dog. Keep all types of chocolate out of reach of dogs and cats, especially baker’s chocolate, which is seven times more toxic than milk chocolate.
- Holiday table scraps. Pets love rich scraps such as drippings, gravy and poultry skin; however, they can cause pets to suffer from severe indigestion, diarrhea and even pancreatitis, which is not only terribly painful, but can be fatal. Never offer fatty foods to your pets and advise guests not to feed them either.
- Poultry bones – they can splinter and form sharp points, and can get stuck in the gastrointestinal tract causing dangerous perforations. They might also become lodged in the throat, gums or the roof of the mouth.
- Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in gum, mints, candy, baked goods. Even 1/8 teaspoon can cause dangerously low blood sugar in dogs and ½ teaspoon can cause liver damage
- Uncooked yeast dough raises major health issues. Hard to believe there’s a downside to homemade bread, but uncooked yeast dough can cause abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, disorientation and depression in pets. The product of rising dough is alcohol, which can be poisonous.
- Alcohol and pets do not mix. Place alcoholic drinks safely out of reach, and patrol the party to be sure your guests do the same. Alcohol poisoning is serious and can be fatal.
- No coffee please! That means anything with coffee in it, from gourmet, chocolate-covered espresso beans to your morning latte. Caffeine creates symptoms in pets such as restlessness, tremors and seizures depending on the amount that is ingested.
- Macadamia nuts cause severe reactions, including muscular weakness, disorientation, depression, tremors and abdominal pain in dogs. Symptoms can last from one to three days.
- No grapes or raisins! Dogs have suffered poisoning after consuming between 9 ounces and 2 pounds of grapes or raisins. Symptoms range from severe gastrointestinal upset to kidney failure. I never thought about this one!
Plants that are dangerous to your pets:
- Poinsettias – he poinsettia plant’s brightly colored leaves contain a sap that is irritating to the tissues of the mouth and esophagus. If the leaves are ingested, they will often cause nausea and vomiting, but it would take a large amount of the plant’s material to cause poisoning, and most animals and children will not eat such a large enough amount because of the irritating taste and feel from the sap.
- Holly and mistletoe – These plants, along with their berries, have a greater toxicity level than the poinsettia. Symptoms of illness form ingesting these plants include intestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea,excessive drooling, and abdominal pain. Mistletoe contains multiple substances that are toxic to both dogs and cats, including toxalbumin and pharatoxin viscumin (Lectins, Phoratoxins).
- Lillies and daffodils – Both popular gift items at this time of year, plants in the lily and daffodil can be toxic to pets. In cats, Lilium and Hemerocallis genera lilies are the most dangerous. Eating even a small amount of the plant will have a severe impact on a cat’s system, causing severe symptoms such as gastrointestinal issues, arrhythmia, and convulsions. Daffodils are also toxic to both dogs and cats, especially the bulbs.
- Amaryllis – The Amaryllis contains Lycorine and other noxious substances, which cause salivation, gastrointestinal abnormalities (vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and abdominal pain), lethargy, and tremors in both cats and dogs. The bulb of the plant is reputed to be even more dangerous than the flowers and stalk.
- Christmas Trees – The oils produced by fir trees can be irritating to a pet’s mouth and stomach, causing excessive vomiting or drooling. The tree needles, meanwhile, may cause gastrointestinal irritation, obstruction and puncture. Additionally, the water used to nourish Christmas trees can be noxious. Bacteria, molds, and fertilizers can cause your pet to become extremely sick with only a few laps.
Please keep these thing in mind during the holidays so that everyone has a good time and you don’t have any emergency vet visits.
Happy Holidays from Pepper 🙂