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Holiday Hazards – Table scraps

Okay, fess up. You know that you’re not supposed to feed your pets from the table. But you do it anyway… occasionally. (I happen to know that one of our cats likes olives. Don’t ask.)

Once in a while, this is okay. But please don’t make it a habit! And please try to enforce this rule over the holiday season (and any other time you have guests)! You might be able to ignore Fido’s begging eyes, but Aunt Maggie might not be able to resist. During the holiday season, make it a hard and fast rule that the pets do not get fed people food!

Other than creating bad habits (like begging, or even worse stealing from the tables or counters), feeding pets “people food” can be dangerous to them. Some foods that we eat can actually be poisonous to animals. And some of the dishes that are common this time of year can be pretty high in fat, which is bad for our furry family members any time.

Onions, garlic, grapes, and raisins can be tasty additions to many dishes. But these are some of the foods that are poisonous to dogs and cats. These types of food can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and even red blood cell damage (which can be life-threatening). Chocolate is another food that can be very dangerous to dogs and cats.

It might look cute when Fluffy licks out the gravy boat or when Spot finishes that last piece of pumpkin pie. But these kinds of holiday foods are high in fat, and our pets’ stomachs aren’t used to that. Eating food with a high fat content can cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can cause severe stomach upset and pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid dehydration. Pancreatitis needs immediate medical attention, and can still be life-threatening.

Will you be making homemade bread or rolls this year? Make sure Champ can’t get to the raw bread dough. If a dog eats raw bread dough, it will rise in his stomach (just like it will on your counter). The rising dough will cause stomach pain and upset, may cause vomiting, and can even lead to bloat that requires immediate medical attention.

Keeping any “people food” away from your pets is the best way to prevent any holiday emergencies. But that can be much easier said than done… So be sure to keep an eye on your pets during your busy celebrations. If you notice that your pet is vomiting or has diarrhea, doesn’t want to eat their regular food, isn’t drinking well, or is not acting normally, call us (or your regular veterinarian) immediately. We are available for emergencies outside of normal hours (and on holidays).

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