Contributed by Dr. Alison Birken, owner and DVM of Victoria Park Animal Hospital.
Daily pet emergencies at the hospital nearly double during the holidays, with the consumption of toxic foods for dogs being one of the leading causes. While there are potentially harmful holiday decorations, hazardous holiday plants and Christmas trees, there is also a hefty list of what not to feed dogs. So to ensure more time celebrating, and less time at the veterinary hospital, check out these toxic foods for dogs.
What Not to Feed Dogs Over the Holidays
- Rich and Fatty Foods. Rich and fatty foods can cause problems ranging from stomach upset to more serious illnesses such as pancreatitis, which causes pain, vomiting and dehydration.
- Alcohol. Alcohol can cause intoxication in our pets, and many dogs are attracted to the sweet taste and smell.
- Candy Canes, Gingerbread Cookies, Popcorn, Raisins and Cranberry Garlands. Candy canes, gingerbread cookies, popcorn, raisins and cranberry garlands can also be enticing to your pet, but when ingested, can cause upset stomach or a more serious intestinal obstruction.
- Chocolate, Coffee and Tea. Chocolate, coffee and tea all contain dangerous components called xanthines, which cause nervous system or urinary system damage and heart muscle stimulation. Problems from ingestion range from diarrhea to seizures and death. Unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolate are the most toxic to our pets.
- Uncooked Meat, Fish and Poultry. Uncooked meat, fish and poultry can contain disease-causing bacteria, such as E. coli, and parasites like Toxoplasma Gondii.
- Bones From Fish, Meat or Poultry. Bones from fish, meat or poultry—even small bones—can splinter and cause tearing throughout the intestinal tract, requiring surgery.
- Tobacco. Tobacco products can be fatal to pets if ingested. Signs of poisoning develop within 15-45 minutes and include over-excitement, salivation, vomiting and diarrhea. Pets may develop seizures, collapse and even die from cardiac arrest. Keep all tobacco products out of reach and make sure to empty all ashtrays regularly.
- Uncooked Yeast Dough. Uncooked yeast dough can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
- Grapes, Raisins, Macadamia Nuts and Xylitol. Grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts and xylitol (an artificial sweetener) are toxic for pets.
By being aware of dangerous foods for dogs, you can better avoid potential pet emergencies. And with all the festivities, do not forget to relax and spend some quality time with your pet. Your dog will truly think that is the best gift of all!