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

MassLive.com 11/24/2022 Ryan Mancini, masslive.com

Depending on who is asked, holiday meals are meant for the whole family. If pets are part of the family, shouldn’t they have some leftovers?

Not necessarily, experts argue.

The arrival of the holiday season means decorations all over the home and plenty of guests, as well as all that food. Pets can become anxious or over-excited, bringing about unpleasant behaviors.

To ensure that doesn’t happen, give your pets plenty of attention and exercise before any guests arrive, the Animal Rescue League of Boston recommended. Remind guests to be mindful of walking in and out of the home in case pets get too excited and escape. A safe space with fresh water, food, bedding and toys can also help alleviate pets feeling too excited.

Decorations can be hazardous too. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and some types of lilies are all dangerous if ingested, according to the Animal Rescue League. Use artificial plants instead.

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

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

Giving dogs real bones is also risky. Regardless if they are cooked or raw, bones can splinter and cause intestinal obstructions and fracture teeth. Leave all pets out of the kitchen while cooking but also be mindful of where they are after meals. Be sure no one feeds your pets with any food scraps.

Anything with chocolate is known to be lethal for dogs, but side dishes or snacks are also potentially dangerous to pets. Here’s what not to feed dogs and cats during the holidays according to professionals at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

Don’t feed these to dogs:

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

Don’t feed these to cats:

  • Chocolate, bones, unfamiliar foods could cause an upset stomach and vomiting.
  • Uncooked foods or licking cookware used in the preparation of raw meats.
  • Onion and garlic flavoring in many prepared dishes can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Flowers and plants, such as lilies, poinsettias, holly and mistletoe, can be fatal.
  • String and bows from presents and tinsel on the tree can be fatal if it causes an obstruction in the intestines.

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

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit masslive.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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