Can my dog ​​eat this? How to keep pets safe during the holidays

Holiday meals are intended for the whole family, depending on demand. If pets are part of the family, shouldn’t they have some leftovers?

Not necessarily, experts argue.

The arrival of the Christmas season means decorations all over the house and lots of guests as well as all the food. Pets can become anxious or overexcited and engage in unpleasant behaviors.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, give your pets plenty of attention and exercise before guests arrive, recommends the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Remind guests to be careful entering and exiting the house in case pets get too excited and escape. A safe place with fresh water, food, bedding, and toys can also help keep pets from feeling overly excited.

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Decorations can also be dangerous. According to the Animal Rescue League, holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and some species of lilies are dangerous if ingested. Use artificial plants instead.

Keep tinsel, candles and Christmas tree water away from pets to avoid gastrointestinal upset. Pets can mistake tinsel for a toy and can block the digestive tract if swallowed.

And when it comes to food, human stomachs and pet stomachs react very differently.

Giving real bones to dogs is also risky. Whether cooked or raw, bones can splinter and lead to intestinal obstruction and broken teeth. Keep all pets out of the kitchen while cooking, but also be careful where they are after the meal. Make sure no one feeds leftover food to your pets.

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Anything containing chocolate is known to be deadly to dogs, but side dishes or snacks are also potentially dangerous to pets. Experts from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University say what dogs and cats shouldn’t feed during the holidays.

Do not feed these to dogs:

  • Rich, fatty foods such as turkey skin or meat and vegetables cooked in oil. This can cause vomiting or pancreatitis.
  • Uncooked foods or leaking cookware used in the preparation of raw meat.
  • Chocolate is toxic, causing gastrointestinal upset, tremors and seizures, and is potentially fatal.
  • Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in sweeteners, is extremely toxic. This can cause hypoglycemia, liver failure, or death.
  • Raisins and grapes can cause kidney failure or illness.
  • Garlic and onions can cause blood problems.
  • Macadamia nuts can cause weakness in the hind legs, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Do not feed these to cats:

  • Chocolate, bones, and unfamiliar foods can cause stomach upset and vomiting.
  • Uncooked foods or leaking cookware used in the preparation of raw meat.
  • Onion and garlic flavoring in many ready meals can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Flowers and plants like lilies, poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe can be deadly.
  • Strings and bows from gifts and tinsel on the tree can be deadly if they cause intestinal obstruction.

If pets eat and swallow anything that could be harmful, immediately contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

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