YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The holiday season is here and while we humans have several ways of celebrating, some of those things could be dangerous or even deadly for our pets.
Dr. John Daugherty, a veterinarian and medical director of the Poland Veterinary Centre, says you shouldn’t feed your pets human food.
He says to avoid fatty foods and buttery sides, which can upset their stomachs. Make sure to also avoid chicken and turkey bones, and if your pet is a counter surfer, be extra careful.
You should avoid raisins and grapes, and also watch out for sweeteners like xylitol in desserts. All of it is deadly to dogs.
In the end, Daugherty says it comes down to common sense.
“Realize that you don’t want to be in an emergency center on a holiday weekend because you may spend more time there than you spend at home with your family,” he said.
But if you insist on Thanksgiving day, a little sweet potato, turkey or cranberry is OK.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions pet owners to be mindful of things that could make pets sick. The agency offers seven safety tips:
- Stocking full of treats: Make sure your pet doesn’t gobble them up all at once, making them hard to digest or getting stuck in their trachea or gastrointestinal tract.
- Tinsel and ribbons: A cat or dog could eat these items, causing serious stomach and intestinal damage. Keep tinsel off the tree and collect all ribbons and string.
- Salt dough ornaments and homemade playdough: The amount of salt in these items could be fatal to your pet if eaten. One cup of salt is 48 teaspoons. A 10-pound cat can get sick after eating 1/2 teaspoon of table salt, and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons can be fatal.
- Holiday plants: If you have holiday plants such as poinsettias, mistletoe, or holly around, take care. When you display (or dispose of) these plants, your cat or dog may decide they’re good to eat. These plants, if eaten, could upset your pet’s stomach. You can read more about what houseplants may be dangerous to your pets at ASPCA Poisonous Plants.
- Table scraps: Don’t give your pet table scraps that are high in fat, such as fat trimmings from meat or skin from a roasted turkey or chicken. Not only can rich foods cause an upset stomach, but they can also cause a potentially life-threatening and painful disease called pancreatitis. Also, bones can get get caught or break in a pet’s mouth.
- Other human treats, including alcohol: You may know that eating chocolate can be dangerous to your dog or cat. But that’s not the only thing. For instance, the seemingly harmless mints common in the holiday season can cause life-threatening problems for your dog if they contain xylitol, also found in food items, such as candy, chewing gum, some peanut butters, and baked goods, and personal hygiene products, such as toothpaste and mouthwash. Alcohol is also dangerous for your pet.
- Food and snack bags: Food bags, especially the mylar-type potato chip, cereal, and snack bags, can be dangerous for your pets. These bags are thin enough that if a dog puts his head far enough into one and breathes in, the bag can wrap around his nose and mouth, suffocating him.
The FDA has produced a YouTube video showing these dangers for pets.