Onions, garlic and other root vegetables can be toxic to pets and should never be offered in any form. Avoid offering cats & dogs Thanksgiving stuffing and gravy, as they are often onion flavored. Even dehydrated onions can be harmful. Onions and Garlic contain (N-propyl disulphide)
that destroys red blood cells in pets, causing a form of anemia called Heinz body anemia. Raw tomatoes & raw potatoes are members of the Solanaceae family of plants and are in the same family as Deadly Nightshade. They are dangerous because they contain a poisonous alkaloid called Glycoalkaloid Solanine, which can cause symptoms such as violent lower gastrointestinal upset. The stems and leaves are especially toxic.
Some people believe just a tiny bit of alcohol never hurt anyone. Unfortunately, that is not truefor pets. They not only get sick and disoriented, but it can cause urination problems, coma and even death from alcohol poisoning. It really doesn’t take much. So try not to feel compelled to share your libations with your furry family members. And if you would never do such a thing, then be sure to keep your drinks out of their reach at least.
Bones from the table and even the butcher can splinter and become hazardous to your pet’s health regardless if they’ve been cooked or not. The sharp splinters can get stuck in your pet’s teeth and throat. They can rip, puncture and migrate through the body and not necessarily through the normal path of least resistance either. All table bones are dangerous but chicken, turkey, pork and veal bones are the most harmful.
Most people know chocolate is toxic to pets. But did you know bakers chocolate, cocoa powder & cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms? Even just letting your pet lick the bowl or a spoon can make them very sick. Semi-sweet and dark chocolate is the next most hazardous form.
And milk chocolate is the least dangerous, but should still be avoided as it can lead to a nasty attack of pancreatitis which is still potentially life threatening. Caffeine is another ingredient in chocolate that can be harmful to pets, potential side effects are vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac
& respiratory arrest.
Milk and milk based products can cause intestinal upset. Grapes and raisins should be avoided as they can cause severe health issues. All parts of avocado fruit including the seeds, leaves, and bark can be harmful causing diarrhea and vomiting.
During the holidays we bakers are often tempted to give our pets a taste of uncooked batter and the like. But beware, raw eggs should never be given to your pets. The yeast in bread dough is dangerous and should be avoided as it can expand in your pet’s stomach. Salt is another culprit in both baking and cooking. It can lead to not only pancreatitis, but also bloat from too much water intake as well as sodium poisoning in large doses. Macadamia nuts can be life threatening, and some of the symptoms seen can include vomiting, tremors, loss of coordination, hypothermia, or hyperthermia. Artificial sweetners found in gum, candy, and baked goods can be toxic as well. Xylitol is an everyday product that should be avoided as it can lead to loss of coordination, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and eventually liver failure.
All Tobacco products can be fatal to pets if ingested. That includes cigarette butts, cigars, pipes, nicotine gum & patches, as well as chewing tobacco. Signs of Tobacco Poisoning are increased salivation & panting, hyperactivity, vomiting, and diarrhea. Advanced signs are twitching,
muscle weakness, collapsing, increased heart rate, coma and, cardiac arrest.
If you must give your pets treats at the holidays or throughout the year introduce pet safe treats in small amounts slowly. Try to avoid high calorie goodies as they lead to obesity. Ideal treats are great-tasting, low calorie, nutritious and low fat. We often recommend raw carrot slices, green beans & plain rice cakes as substitutes to commercial dog treats. When in doubt just offer a piece or two of your pet’s kibble. They are usually just as content.
Always consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions about proper nutrition, treats, diet, weight issues or any other health concerns.