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Healthy Hounds: Holiday Foods to Avoid

posted on November 24th, 2015 by Amanda French
Healthy Hounds Series, Pet Health, Uncategorized

The holidays are upon us and they’re always a great time to enjoy family and friends, of the canine and human variety.  This time of year brings people together around delicious seasonal foods and drink, and while you may be tempted to let your pup join the festivities, it could result in an avoidable trip to the vet’s office. So we have put together a list of some of the foods to avoid giving fido.

BONES

Your holiday dinner will most likely include a bone of some kind, either turkey, chicken, ham, or steak will provide some tasty bones, but don’t feed them to your pet. They could easily crack or chip, making them very sharp, and get stuck in your dog’s throat, stomach, or intestinal tract, and cause some serious damage.

ONION AND GARLIC

These are toxic to dogs (and cats) in any form: crushed, diced, powdered or minced. They contain sulfides, which can destroy red blood cells and even bring on a disease called Heinz Body Anemia.

RAISINS AND GRAPES

Lots of people bake with raisins during the holidays or use grapes in a fruit salad. Aside from being a choking hazard they can cause extensive kidney damage.

AVOCADO

The avocado is poisonous to dogs and this includes the entire fruit, skin, pit, and leaves. The avocado can cause a build up of fluid in the abdomen, heart, and lungs, resulting in a depletion of oxygen, which can be dangerous enough to cause death.

WALNUTS AND MACADAMIA NUTS

Another serious choking hazard, these nuts can cause pancreatitis in dogs, resulting in gastrointestinal upset including severe vomiting and diarrhea.

CHOCOLATE

Chocolate and hot cocoa go with the holidays just like the Thanksgiving turkey or Chrismas ham. Whatever you do, DO NOT give it to your pups, it is very toxic, possibly even fatal, to dogs and cats. Chocolate poisoning requires emergency medical attention.

TOMATO STEMS AND LEAVES, AND POTATO SKINS

These contain a chemical called oxylates that are poisonous to canines and especially felines, which can cause gastrointestinal upset, seizures, tremors, and an irregular heart beat that can cause very serious medical complications.

MUSHROOMS

Mushrooms are extremely toxic to dogs, causing damage to the kidneys, liver, and the nervous system, which can lead to vomiting, seizures, and possibly death.

CHEWING GUM

Gum and candy containing Xylitol (an artificial sweetener) can cause a severe drop in blood glucose in dogs.  Dogs can exhibit symptoms within 30 minutes after consuming Xylitol, the side effects include loss of coordination, depression, and possibly seizures.

BEER

While we humans are able to enjoy hops (responsibly, please!) they are very harmful to our canine companions. Never give your dog alcoholic beverages. Although they’re naturally curious, please do not take this as a sign that they’ll enjoy a sip or more. Alcohol consumption can cause intoxication, abnormal panting, fever, irregular heart rate, liver damage, coma, seizures, and possibly death.

Please keep an eye on your pet’s behaviors as friends, family, or visitors may be unaware of the danger certain foods can present to your canine sidekick. Please contact your veterinarian or local animal emergeny hospital if your dog exhibits any unusual behavior including, but not limited to: lack of coordination, depression, excessive salivation, lethargy, gastrointestinal upset including vomiting or diahrea, excessive drinking and/or urination.

Making sure to keep Fido away from these possibly troublesome food items can help to ensure that a happy holiday season is had by all, no matter how many legs they might have.