Protect Pets from Harmful Foods this Holiday Season

Be Strong! You know what's best for your furry friend, and it's not the turkey dinner!

Be Strong! You know what’s best for your furry friend, and it’s not the turkey dinner!

The holidays are a time for feasting on rich foods and drinks. Many of us like to celebrate with our pets and think giving them a few scraps from the table “just this once” can’t hurt. Think twice, however, before sharing your food with your dog or cat and be aware of the harmful effects of feeding “people” food to your pet.

Sometimes we don’t plan to feed the scraps to our pets but our pets have other ideas. Make sure that the scraps and garbage are well out of your pet’s reach so they don’t accidently eat something that would make them sick.

If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call the clinic immediately for assistance.

Below is a list of foods that may be harmful to your pet:

  • Rich, fatty foods, such as turkey skins or gravy can cause stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea and pancreatitis, which can be very painful and serious, sometimes leading to hospitalization.
  • Bones can tear or obstruct your pet’s intestinal tract. Poultry bones are especially dangerous.
  • The strings that are used to tie the turkey during roasting can cause an obstruction in your pet’s intestinal tract if ingested. Pop-up thermometers appear to be tasty morsels to your dog or cat, but can also cause blockages if eaten.
  • Onions and foods containing a high amount of onion powder are toxic and can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia.
  • Grapes and raisins can be harmful as well, containing toxins that can cause kidney failure.
  • Chocolate, especially baking chocolate, is highly toxic and can actually kill your dog if ingested in large enough quantities.
  • Coffee, coffee beans, and alcoholic beverages should be kept away from animals year-round.
  • Nicotine is a stimulant that can increase the heart rate leading to collapse.

Still want to give your pet a little something special? There are plenty of high-quality dog and cat treats available at your local pet store or here at the clinic. Another form of treat for your pet could be an extra walk or some extra snuggle or grooming time.

The veterinarians and staff at the Elkhorn Veterinary Clinic wishes everyone and their pet a healthy and happy holiday season and new year!