Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

Vets have head it all: "Our dog ate some chocolate." "Chewed on holly." "We gave him some ham." Some of these things can lead to illness, but there are more common household items and holiday decorations that can be life threatening to your pet.

"People set out items for the holidays, but don't realize how harmful these things are to their dog's health," says Dr. Green, Veterinarian in San Diego, California. "We receive hundreds of calls around this time with ill pets, some fatalities. It's simple; pet owners need to do their homework."

In other words, be smart about how you hang up the lights and dish out your holiday feast. Amanda Moore, DVM, shares common poisonous items that you may not be aware of and what to do if your furry friend gets their paws on one.

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Foods

While some human foods are OK for animals to eat in moderation, the following items are very dangerous and should not be ingested by your pet.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Chocolate (baker's, semi-sweet, milk chocolate)
  • Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
  • Moldy or spoiled foods
  • Onions, onion powder
  • Fatty foods
  • Salt
  • Yeast dough
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Xylitol (a common sweetener found in many chewing gums and candies)

Moore says, "Avoid rich or fatty foods, bones and items that are listed above. In general, fresh veggies and lean meats, like cooked chicken, are just fine for your pet to eat."

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