With the Holiday Season upon us don’t forget that there are certain hazards for pets, including overeating, and eating people food that can be potentially toxic. For example:
· Grapes and raisins are often featured in holiday recipes, and both can lead to kidney failure for your dog. It is thought cats are also at risk, however, your cat isn’t likely to try to eat either of these fruits.
· The artificial sweetener xylitol, which is often found in gum, mints and other candies, and baked goods, is also toxic to your dog. It can cause internal hemorrhaging and liver failure.
· The chemical in chocolate (and cocoa) that is toxic to pets is theobromine, a caffeine-like compound. And the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains, so be especially careful when using bakers and semi-sweet chocolate. Espresso beans dipped in chocolate can be a double dose of poison since they contain both caffeine and theobromine.
· Uncooked baking dough containing yeast, if ingested by your dog or cat, can “rise,” causing serious discomfort as well as potential rupture of your pet’s stomach or bowel.
· Be sure to keep foods fresh from the oven or stovetop, especially meat drippings, soups, gravies and other fragrant hot liquids, away from the edges of your stove and countertops to prevent a scalding accident.
· Ham, turkey and fish bones can splinter as your pet chews them, causing them to stick in the throat or tear the tissues of your dog’s or cat’s intestines.
· Around the holidays, your kitchen garbage can may seem like a smorgasbord to your dog or cat. Paper and string soaked in meat or other food juices is one hazard. Raw meat infected with bacteria or parasites is another. Make sure all your trash containers are either out of reach of your pet or have secure fitting lids.
I waited most of the night on Christmas Eve a few years ago while my son’s dog had to expel her stomach after eating a good portion of a large pan of Ghirardelli Brownies. It was a scary experience for as stated above the dark chocolate and higher concentration of cocoa are the really dangerous products. The dog was lucky that we heard her get into the pan of brownies from the counter and had access to an emergency clinic close to home. She was lucky to have such good care from the clinic for she could have died with the amount she had eaten if she didn't get it out of her system within two hours.
Another concern is candy and gum with xylitol the artificial sweeteners that people have in their purses and around the home. Many times people don’t realize how easy a pet can get into their purse and eat these poisonous products. Our beloved pets have to be watched just like young children.
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