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Holiday Goodies & Your Pet

Holiday Goodies – Let’s Talk About Food!

Roast turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, chocolate treats, butter tarts, Christmas pudding… need we go on? Now that we’re all drooling and dreaming of holiday dinners, it’s only natural to envision sharing these goodies with our best four- legged pals.  But some treats are best left to human family members only, here’s why:

  • Caffeine-containing products: Dogs are extremely sensitive to caffeine components such as theobromine, which are found in many dark chocolates, coffee, and teas.  These toxic components can affect the heart and central nervous system.  Contact our veterinary team immediately if your pet has gotten into dark chocolate!
  • Raisins: grapes and raisins can cause kidney damage and even failure in pets. Again, contact our team right away if your pet has eaten raisins!
  • Garlic & onions: these are staple ingredients in many of our household dishes especially around the holidays. However if ingested in sufficient quantities, these items can be toxic to the red blood cells of our pets. Both cats and dogs can suffer from anemia after ingestion of garlic and onions, however cats are particularly prone. Symptoms can be delayed and may take up to a week to develop but include weakness, lethargy, dark colored urine, jaundice, exercise intolerance and collapse. If you notice your pet has eaten garlic or onions please alert your veterinarian right away for guidance. Don’t wait for symptoms to show up!
  • Fat: Gravy, dark turkey meat with crispy skin, cheese, bacon… what do these things all have in common? They are too fatty for your pet! While delicious, these foods can overwhelm your pet’s pancreas. Some pets are particularly sensitive to fat levels in their food while some are quite tolerant. However pancreatitis, in its most severe state, is nothing to laugh about and can in some cases be fatal. If your pet steals the turkey or indulges in a plate of left overs he’s likely going to be much better off in the long run if he receives veterinary attention- their pancreas will thank us later!

As always, if you are unsure whether or not worry about something your pet has eaten, contact our veterinary team for guidance.  Always better to be safe than sorry!  

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