Keeping Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

We all love our animals like part of the family- making it only natural to want to spoil them this holiday season! Holidays are a great time to indulge in treats that we as people don’t often eat throughout the rest of the year, and all too often these indulgent treats get shared with our furry family members too. Too much of a good thing can turn bad very quickly however, for humans and pets alike. The holiday season typically sees a spike in the number of sick dogs and cats, primarily due to ingesting something not good for them. There are many human foods that are toxic to dogs and cats, so it is extremely important to keep this in mind when those begging eyes look at you from under the table to ensure their health this season. One of the most commonly known toxic ingredients to dogs is chocolate- even a tiny amount can induce vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. There are several lesser known items that can be just as harmful though, and are used commonly for the typical holiday feasts. Alcohol, onions and garlic, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, caffeinated drinks and yeast based bread dough. Warning signs that your pets have ingested one or more of these items include vomiting and diarrhea, but based on what food item it was may also include panting, trouble breathing, stumbling, swelling of the belly and muscle spasms. General overeating is another reason household pets may suffer this holiday season. With the abundance of food and treats around it is common for dogs and cats to get “table scraps”. In moderation these “table scraps” are typically okay for your pets to have- as long as they don’t include any of the above mentioned ingredients. However, too many “table scraps” can lead to overeating and cause sickness in animals. Animals feel the same as humans do when we overeat, but it takes a lot less food for their smaller stomachs to reach that point. Additionally, it is important to be mindful of what your animals be able to access when putting out your decorations. Electrical cords, tinsel, breakable glass decorations and edible tree ornaments all can cause harm to your pets if they are easily reachable and unsupervised. So remember this holiday season that showing love for your household pets means controlling what and how much they eat and play with to keep them safe and healthy. Happy Holidays!

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