Holidays bring joy, freedom, guests, decorations and foods. While planning for holidays, you should not forget an important part of your household – your pets! While holidays bring a lot of delicious foods, some of these foods may pose some health hazards to your pets and you should be well aware of them.
Even if you may know that certain foods like grapes are not good for your dog, your guests may not. Though pet-proofing your home may seem an extreme measure, it can just save you from an emergency visit to your vet.
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Dangerous Foods for Pets
With such a large amount of food available around the home during holidays, pets can naturally and unexpectedly help themselves to treats. Especially dogs are experts in spotting unattended plates and trash bags, while cat are used to jump on tables and countertops.
To add to the hazard, some of your guests can readily extend a helping hand to your pet with a treat. The sad part is that while your pets may enjoy the treats, a number of them may not suit the health of your canine and feline children. Here are some such foods that you should avoid giving to your pets.
Chocolate and chocolate foods contain methylxanthines that include theobromine and caffeine. Based on the quantity and type of chocolate consumed, your pet may be at a risk of serious complications. Baker’s, dark and semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa powder all consist of high amounts of methylxanthines, and so, are toxic even in small amounts.
Diarrhoea and vomiting are common adverse effects of consuming chocolate. More severe effects include hyperactivity, anxiety, tremours, seizures, abnormal heart rhythm and stumbling. In most situations, if pets are treated early, the outcome is usually good.
Marsfield vets like Gordon Vet cautions pet parents that artificial sweetener xylitol contained in sugar-free foods can be hazardous for dogs. Its ingestion can cause a drop in blood sugar to a dangerous extent, causing lethargy, vomiting, seizures, weakness and collapse.
Symptoms start as early as within 15-30 minutes after consumption but may even be delayed for up to 12 hours. Sometimes, liver failure can take place within up to 72 hours after consuming xylitol.
3. Fat Trimmings and Bones
Though it’s quite tempting to give fatty leftovers and bones to your pets, it should be avoided. Consumption can cause hazardous consequences like pancreatitis, severe vomiting, broken teeth, blockage of esophagus, stomach or intestine or diarrhoea which would need emergency surgery.
4. Grapes and Raisins
Although the cause is not known, grapes and raisins can result in kidney failure in dogs. It’s even not known what quantity of these fruits can cause this consequence; therefore, it’s best to keep your dogs away from them.
Signs that your dog might have consumed grapes or raisins include vomiting, lethargy, increased thirst and urination, and loss of appetite.
Cats and dogs are extremely sensitive to alcohol; even small quantities can result in coma and even death. Signs of consumption normally start appearing within 15-30 minutes and may include vomiting, unsteady gait and lethargy.
6. Plants like Lilies
Just like foods, some plants too are dangerous for pets. Plants and flowers are often used in holiday decorations and are gifted to each other. If they contain any poisonous plants and your pet consumes them, serious consequences can occur.
Lilies are dangerous for cats because they can cause kidney failure. If you find lilies in the decoration and flower arrangements, remove them right away and also clean up any pollens, as every part of that plant is toxic for your cat.
Christmas tree water is another overlooked danger for pets as it may contain fertilizer as well as bacteria.
So, save your pets from all these nice-looking dangers and don’t let them spoil your holiday fun by hurting your pets.