Keeping Your Dog Safe During Holiday Meals

keep your dog safe during holiday mealsWe love to give our dogs and even cats treats from the kitchen and during family gatherings our dogs can be given all kinds of scraps they should not get.  Either dropped on the ground or given to those poor pleading eyes, they may ingest foods that seem harmless, but can actually be highly toxic to them.

In fact, a relatively new find is grapes and raisins.  As few as six grapes can kill a dog if treatment is not administered immediately.  Another common food around Christmas and Easter is chocolate.  The more pure the chocolate the more likely it is to be toxic.  So, keep that yummy treat well out of their reach and if they get into it, call your veterinarian right away.

Another relatively new toxin is the artificial sweetener called xylitol that is found in many sugar free products including gum.  Lots of people carry gum in their purses or leave it on counters.  One pack can cause a small or medium dog to have kidney toxicity.  So, be sure you and your guests keep your gum out of reach of your dogs.

And during these holidays and Thanksgiving you will see tons of onion and garlic being used.  While some dogs can handle food cooked with them you want to keep them clear of the raw product.  It is best to keep them away from any foods cooked with fresh or powder, especially poultry skin that will retain the toxins in the skin and fat.  Some people use baby foods as treats or when a dog goes off his food.  Be sure to read the labels and stay clear of onion and garlic in them as well.

Also, remember that if your dog is on a kibble only diet that you need to keep portions small as a huge meal of new foods could set your dog off into digestive upset including vomiting and diarrhea.  Your dog will be safe eating poultry, green beans, potatoes, eggs, pumpkin, carrots, apple and sweet potatoes.  However, avoid heavy gravies or highly sweetened dishes.  Keep it simple and pure for your dog and keep his portions small.

And if you are going to have large crowds or guests that cannot resist the urge to drop “treats” to your dogs, do your dog a favor and keep them away from the crowds and let them have a quiet meal before or after the event.