Your pet is a part of your family, so it’s no surprise that you want to share all of your holiday festivities with him or her. Most pet owners report purchasing gifts with their furry friends, taking holiday portraits, and otherwise involving dogs and cats in all of the fun. In most cases we see no problems with this, but we do want to issue a word of caution regarding sharing your holiday feasts.
What is safe for humans might be dangerous for dogs and cats, so watch out for foods that contain the following ingredients:
- Macadamia nuts
- Fruit-based pies
- Yeast-based doughs
- Fatty foods including cheese sauces, butter, and gravy
- Xylitol (an artificial sweetener)
Most of the foods on this list range from mildly to seriously toxic for dogs and cats. Fatty foods, while not technically toxic, can cause gastrointestinal upset or even pancreatitis. This inflammation of the pancreas can become an emergency and requires immediate veterinary attention.
Also, pay attention to non-food items included in your holiday dishes. Things like string, foil, toothpicks, and plastic wrap are a no-brainer for us humans. Dogs and cats, however, sometimes scarf them up with the rest of the snack.
And finally, remember that abstaining from giving your pet treats doesn’t mean they won’t get into something anyway. Ask guests to please refrain from slipping morsels of tempting foods to your pet, no matter how much they might beg (and how adorable they are doing it). And make sure to store leftovers securely, because it only takes a moment for a determined dog or cat to get into any foods left out on the countertops or tables.
If your pet does get into any of your holiday treats, don’t panic. Most of the time, everything turns out just fine. But do give us a call right away so that we can review your pet’s behavior with you, and schedule treatment when necessary.