Holiday Foods That Harm Dogs and Cats
It’s the most wonderful time of year – if you’re a human with an appetite for holiday foods and goodies. If you’re a four-legged friend, the bevy of holiday food can be rough. Many of the treats we enjoy are foods that harm dogs and cats and other pets: Pet insurer Petplan reports a 90 percent spike in food poisoning claims around the holidays.
- Chocolate: Most pet owners know that chocolate and pets don’t mix, and science buffs may even know it’s because it contains theobromine, a chemical that can be toxic pets. You get it’s not wise to feed your pets Hershey’s Kisses, but what about those treats they can get into themselves? Make sure candy bowls and other rich chocolaty goodies like fudge are put well out of reach.
- Avocados: Ready to whip up a batch of your secret-recipe guac? Keep it out of the reach of kitty. Avocados, pits (and if you’re growing one in a jar, leaves) can upset your pet’s stomach enough to necessitate a trip to the vet.
- Leftovers: Let’s be real here: Foisting extras into a pet bowl that you wouldn’t want to eat yourself isn’t much of a treat, is it? That alone should convince you not to feed drippings, bones and gristly chunks of meat to your pets, but if it doesn’t, consider that it can cause issues ranging from nausea, and diarrhea to pancreatitis and obstructed GI tracts.
- Booze: Good parents don’t let their two-legged children get into the adult beverages at parties, so don’t let your four-legged ones get away with it either. Pets can get alcohol poisoning just as easy as people, and it takes a lot less to do the trick. Keep untended cocktails out of reach.
- Raisins: Nobody knows why, but raisins and grapes can trigger sudden, acute kidney failure in dogs and cats. Watch out for them in cookies and other treats!
- Macadamia Nuts: They’re a holiday tradition in many homes, but they also cause everything from upset tummies and depression to tremors and joint pain in dogs.
- Onions and Garlic: Even when they’re cooked, onions and garlic (as well as leeks, scallions and chives) contain a chemical that damages dogs’ and cats’ red blood cells, potentially fatally preventing them from carrying oxygen. Messy eaters in the house? Make sure you keep ranging pets away from the floor.
Look outside your kitchen if you want to treat your pet. Your favorite pet store is certain to be stocked with edible treats, safe toys and other goodies designed to keep your furry, feathered or scaled favorite out of the emergency room.