Keeping Pets Safe During the Holiday Season
The last thing that any of us want during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is a sick pet! To allow your family and pets to enjoy the holidays to the fullest, please keep your pets away from the following:
1. Chocolate and caffeine
Chocolate contains theobromine a molecule which affects dogs similar to how caffeine affects us. When a dog eats too much theobromine or caffeine, the can become hyperactive, start to vomit and have diarrhea and a very fast heart rate. When enough is digested, dogs become hyperthermic and can experience muscle tremors and seizures. In severe cases and if left untreated, this can lead to coma or death. Bakers chocolate and dark chocolate contain the highest concentration of theobromine.
2. Fatty foods
Fatty foods can be difficult for you dog or cat to digest and cause them to have upset stomachs, vomiting, and diarrhea. The pancreas, an organ that helps with food digestion and absorption, can become irritated when too much fat is in a pet’s diet causing a disease called pancreatitis. In mild cases of pancreatitis, pets can be treated conservatively with pain and antinausea medications. In severe cases, though, pets need to be hospitalized for supportive care. Not all pets have the same digestive system. Just because your pets have never had any issues previously with table foods does not mean that they cannot in the future.
3. Food packaging and the garbage
Food left on the counter or in the trash smells great to dogs, and some will do anything they can to get a bite. Unfortunately, when dogs get into the trash, they can eat rancid food and develop vomiting or diarrhea, can digest string and bones that can get stuck in the stomach or intestines, or can find themselves stuck in a plastic wrapping and suffocate. To prevent your pets from getting into the trash, please make sure they are supervised when in the kitchen, and make sure your trash can is sturdy and covered with a lid.
4. Raisins and fruit cake
Grapes and raisins are toxic to dog’s kidneys and can cause acute kidney failure within just 1-3 days after digestion. Damage to the kidneys may not be reversible. While we still do not know why this fruit is toxic to dogs, we do know that toxicity is dose dependent and raisins are more toxic than grapes. Early signs of grape and raisin toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst or urination, and lethargy.
5. Tinsel and decorations
While tinsel may seem like the perfect toy for your pet, if digested it can cause some serious issues! Tinsel, ribbons, string, and yarn can cause very bad obstructions in dogs and cats. Because these strings are so long, when one part of string gets stuck, the rest can keep going down the intestinal tract. As the intestines widen and constrict in attempt to dislodge the stuck string end, the free string end starts to saw through the intestinal wall. This results in a complicated surgery with greater risks for complications.
We wish you and your pets the happiest of holidays, and one with healthy and happy pets!