I came across this article written by Dr. Julio Lopez, DVM from Every Day Heath. I found it so fitting to share with you all since the holidays are upon us and we will be enjoying time with friends and family. We want to share this happy time of the year with all of those that are important to us and that includes our pets. In this article you will find several foods to avoid as well as how to create a safe environment for your pets. We all decorate for the holidays and there are so many distractions for the pets to look at and be curious of, but we need to make sure that we keep them safe.
Dangerous Foods To Avoid
1. Chocolates. Chocolate products contain methylxanthines, which include caffeine and theobromine. Depending on the type and amount of chocolate ingested, your pet may be at risk for serious complications. Cocoa powder and baker’s, semi-sweet, and dark chocolates contain large amounts of methylxanthines, making them toxic even in small amounts. Vomiting and diarrhea are common side effects of eating chocolate. More serious effects include anxiousness, hyperactivity, stumbling, tremors, abnormal heart rhythms, and seizures. In most cases, if the pet is treated early, the prognosis is generally good.
2. Xylitol. Sugar-free items containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be deadly to pets. Ingestion causes a dangerous drop in blood sugar, which can result in vomiting, lethargy, weakness, collapse, or seizures. Signs appear as quickly as 15 to 30 minutes after ingestion, but may be delayed for up to 12 hours. In some dogs, liver failure can occur up to 72 hours after ingesting xylitol.
3. Fat Trimmings and Bones. Although it’s tempting to feed your pet fatty leftovers or bones, it’s best to avoid this practice. Possible consequences are serious and include inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), broken teeth, severe vomiting, diarrhea, or a blockage of the esophagus, stomach, or intestines — which would require emergency surgery.
4. Grapes and Raisins. Although we don’t know why it happens, eating grapes or raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. We don’t know how much a dog can consume in order for it to be dangerous, so it’s best to keep these items far from reach and inform your guests about the potential danger. Signs that your dog may have eaten grapes or raising include vomiting, followed by lethargy, loss of appetite, increased thirst, and increased urination.
How to Create a Safe Environment for Your Pets
6. Beware of tinsel, ornaments, and ribbon. Cats are especially attracted to, and will want to play with, dangling or sparkly ornaments. Keep your pets away from ornaments as broken glass from ornaments can cause cuts, and eating ornaments, tinsel, or hooks can cause serious intestinal injury.
7. Know which plants are toxic. Poinsettias get the most attention as potentially poisonous holiday plants, but their toxicity is overrated. Eating them will not risk your cat or dog’s life; however, it can cause irritation to the mouth and possibly vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause heart problems, but eating it usually only causes gastrointestinal symptoms. The same goes for holly.
8. Keep liquid potpourri out of reach. Both cats and dogs both can be attracted to the smell of potpourri. It takes only a few licks of these oils to cause serious chemical burns.