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Top Holiday Foods That Are Dangerous for Pets

It feels good to treat your furry best friend with exquisite human food from time to time. So, it won’t be surprising if you want to include your animal companions in your holiday dinners. Who can resist those puppy dog eyes anyway? Giving them a taste of your favorite dishes is just a no-brainer. But there are numerous holiday meals and ingredients that are toxic to your four-legged family members. Recipes vary widely. Consequently, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog or cat any prepared dishes. Take extra precautions and steer clear of the top six holiday foods below, known to be dangerous for pets.

1. Poultry Bones. Cooking the bones of chickens, turkeys, ducks, and other domestic fowls can weaken the bones. This increases the risk of it breaking and splintering. The sharp fragments can puncture your dog or cat’s internal organs. Common warning signs of internal bleeding include a swollen stomach, difficulty defecating, and bloody stool. They may also exhibit abdominal discomfort and anxious behavior.

2. Turkey Skin and Fat. The primary source of fat in a turkey is the skin. A big fatty meal can mean disaster to your pet’s health in the form of pancreatitis. This can immediately trigger symptoms, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Immediate veterinary attention is crucial as it can be fatal if not treated right away. A well-cooked turkey is a lump of lean meat that is safe for your dog and cat in small amounts, though. Provided that you give them only the skinless and boneless portion. They ought to be plain and unseasoned too.

3. Caffeine and Chocolate. Countless dessert treats and holiday foods call for chocolate, coffee, and tea. But all of these contain caffeine. Dogs and cats are generally more sensitive to the effects of this compound than humans. You can’t also share your chocolate bars with your animal companions. It contains an ingredient known as theobromine. It’s similar to caffeine, which is extremely poisonous to dogs and cats.

4. Alcoholic Beverages. Just like how alcohol can damage your liver and brain, the same can be expected in animals. However, it can be more harmful to the latter as they are way smaller than humans. The smaller the size of your pet, the more dangerous the effects can be. As a matter of fact, even a tiny amount of alcohol can cause your furry friend to vomit.
5. Onions, Garlic, and Chives. Eating these can result in gastrointestinal irritation, which can lead to red blood cell damage. Cats are more sensitive to these health issues. But if a large enough quantity of these vegetables or herbs is consumed, dogs can be susceptible too.
6. Nuts. Almonds, pecans, and walnuts contain significant amounts of oils. These fats can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Worse, it can potentially result in animal pancreatitis. On the other hand, macadamia nuts can induce weakness and depression in dogs. It can also lead to vomiting, tremors, joint stiffness, and hyperthermia. 

Instead of offering holiday foods that can harm your pets, feed them healthy white meat turkey. Flavorful fruits like bananas and apples make a great addition to their meals too. You can also delight with pumpkin puree and various vegetable selections like carrots.

Do you want to learn more about what is and isn’t safe for your beloved furball this holiday season? Contact the Animal Emergency Clinic of San Diego today. Call our office now in Poway, California, to make an appointment.

Experienced Emergency Vet Care in Poway

Animal Emergency Clinic of San Diego is a family-run after-hours and critical care hospital, providing veterinary emergency care since 1985. If your pet is experiencing an emergency, contact us to get the help your pet needs.

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