Holiday Season Tips for Pets

The holiday season is here and those of us with pets love to make sure that our four footed family members don’t feel left out. While we love to involve our dogs and cats in the season of giving, it is important to know that what may bring us good cheer could bring our pets a visit to their veterinarian.

Food is always the greatest source of temptation. What seems like a morsel to you and me may actually be the equivalent of a full meal, especially for small dogs and cats. It is certainly tempting to share table scraps of turkey, stuffing and other delicacies with our pets, but any fatty or greasy foods may potentially cause diarrhea and more seriously, acute pancreatitis . If you simply cannot resist your pet’s persuasion, only very small treats should be given and done so away from the table to discourage begging.

All bones, especially from poultry, are particularly dangerous due to their potential to splinter and cause intestinal obstructions. Even rawhide bones may cause intestinal problems if your dog is the type of hound that will devour a rawhide in one sitting. If your dog prefers to savor a rawhide over many days or weeks, this is less of an issue. Nylon bones are usually a safe alternative.

Chocolate and other candies should also be avoided. All chocolate is potentially dangerous to dogs and cats. However, baking chocolate is the most toxic since it contains up to nine times the amount of theobromine, the offending toxin, than milk chocolate. While a 20 pound dog would need to ingest 25 ounces of baking chocolate to induce a toxin reaction, even small amounts of milk chocolate may cause vomiting or diarrhea.

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