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Winter Hazard #5: Festive Foods

If there one thing the Winter season is synonymous with, it is big gatherings of family and friends surrounding a smorgasbord of fun and filling foods, often filling tables or displayed buffet style for visitors to graze on. This is a very important time to be aware of the food dangers that are all too common for pets to encounter in this type of setting. Find out more as Dr. Mahaney explains potential food dangers for pets in this time of year.

Winter Hazards - Meats

Meats – Turkey and other holiday meats alone are very high in protein, which pets who do not consume meat in its natural form as part of their regular diet may have a hard time digesting. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or inflammation of the pancreas. Also, the skin, bones, fats are and seasonings we dress these foods with pose a very severe danger to pets. These components can cause digestive upset or worse as a pet's pancreas must work harder when processing these foods.

Winter Hazards - Sweets

Sweets – Chocolate may be the best-known food danger for pets, as it contains methyl xanthine stimulants like caffeine. Dogs, especially, do not metabolize these stimulants in their liver, and are therefore prone to elevations in heart rate and blood pressure, and possibly even seizures, coma, or death. All candy is high in sugar which can cause digestive upset for pets, so it is best to avoid these.

Easy tips to protect your pets from holiday food dangers:

  • Make sure your guests are aware that your pet is not to eat human foods.
  • Keep buffets and food displays in places that pets are unable to get them.
  • If you want to treat your pet to special foods at holiday time, choose pet-healthy foods like carrots, apples, and the other foods discussed in the video above.

If you suspect your pet may have ingested an unsafe food item, please consult your veterinarian immediately.

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