5 Holiday Foods That Are Dangerous To Pets

Basically, the most wonderful time of year is that window from October till the end of December. You’ve got Halloween, then Thanksgiving, which then is followed by Christmas and New Year’s Eve. And squeezed in between all those holidays are tons and tons of parties. Parties are fun. They’re a time to enjoy good food and drinks with close friends and family. And even with our little furry friends whom we like to mix into the festivities. Every good party calls for a tasty spread for guests to munch on, however, a lot of what we put out is actually quite harmful to our pets.

So, if you’re a concerned parent wanting to know what could be potentially dangerous for your pet, here’s a list from Vetstreet that has five of the dangerous holiday foods we should help our pets to avoid.

During the holidays its often quite cold outside, so often times we like to partake in an after-dinner cup of coffee – whether to warm up, keep our energy levels up in order to keep the party going, or just because it’s delicious. But dogs, cats, and other pets should be kept away from it as caffeine can cause seizures and abnormal heart rhythms in pets, and sometimes can be fatal. Other caffeinated drinks, like tea, or even soda, should also be kept away from all four-legged members of the household.

We already know that bread is something oh-so-delicious that also piles on the pounds around the holidays. But what do we care since swimsuit season isn’t till much later in the year. Well, it’s actually something we should care about because it is quite dangerous for our pets. Those who are holiday bakers should exercise caution when in the kitchen because unbaked bread dough can expand in animal stomachs if ingested. In some cases, it can actually expand so much in a dog’s stomach that it’ll twist and cut off blood supply – meaning your pet will need emergency surgery.

What’s a holiday party without chocolate? While we might not be able to get enough of the sweet treat, our furry friends should most definitely be kept away as it can cause seizures and even be fatal for pets. Darker chocolate, like the baker’s chocolate that goes into holiday cookies, is actually more toxic to pets than milk or white chocolate. The toxic ingredients include caffeine and theobromine – which is a chemical found in the cacao plant.

Macadamia nuts are a common ingredient to add to holiday cookies or left out in bowls as an appetizer. They, however, are incredibly toxic to dogs. While it’s not always easy to detect poisoning in a pet, the clinical warning signs to watch out for are depression, weakness, vomiting, tremors, joint stiffness, and lack of coordination.

Remember when you first started drinking? It was so easy to get tipsy off booze – we probably all had that friend that we’d make fun of because they basically licked the cap and were wasted. Well, now imagine how that experience must be for pets who are so small compared to our younger selves – and we weren’t exactly alcohol tolerant the same way we are now. Alcohol and pets do not mix because it doesn’t take a lot to make them dangerously sick. So do your pets a favor and keep the alcohol out of reach. It might even be a good idea for yourself as well because no one likes a holiday party mess.

Like everything when it concerns taking care of our pets, it’s all about being aware. The holidays are a great time to celebrate the love and bonds of family that unite us, and of course that includes our furbabies. We just need to make sure we don’t forget to exercise caution so they can have a fun holiday season too!

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Anastasia is an American ex-pat living in Ireland. When she's not writing she can be found wandering the Irish countryside in search of inspiration. You can follow her writing adventures on Twitter @AnastasiaArell5 or Instagram @writeranastasia26
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