Treats are in abundance from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Humans shouldn’t overindulge, but we can indulge. Our pets, sometimes, cannot indulge at all, so get treats made for them!
Dogs and Cats
A bit of turkey meat won’t hurt, but the skin has way too much fat for doggie and kitty digestion and any cooked bones can become brittle, splintering when chewed and cutting their insides.
Sweets are absolute no-nos. A complete list of pet allergies would be a large book but, to name a few: Chocolate and artificial sweeteners are toxic. The dough can rise in their stomachs, causing ruptures. Yeast can ferment after being eaten, and alcohol or caffeine are cause for immediate emergency care. Human-friendly ingredients – including cherries, chives, garlic, leeks, macadamia nuts, onions, and raisins – are found in numerous recipes, always in small but dangerous amounts, sometimes at fatal levels.
We never think of tobacco as a pet treat (especially if we don’t smoke) but a leftover cigar or cigarette might be too tempting for a pet. Empty ashtrays frequently and keep all tobacco products where your pets can’t reach.
Felines tend to be more careful than dogs in avoiding dangerous foods, but dangerous ingredients could be hidden from a cat’s sensitive tongue if used in small amounts.
PS: At holiday meal times, feed your pets first so they’re less tempted to beg for a treat at the table.
Other Pets and Dangers
Avocado can be serious problems for birds, donkeys, goats, horses, rabbits, and sheep and all fruits with pits are choke hazards. Juices on aluminum foil or dishes smell just like meat, but most contain far more fat than is healthy.
Brightening up your home with plants is great, but holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias — as well as potpourri – are dangerous, though not usually fatal, if eaten.
Dogs tend to be more careful than cats in avoiding dangerous playthings, but glitter, strings, ribbons, and many other decorations are choking hazards.
The Bottom Line
Your pets want treats, but they really don’t care what treats they get. Purchase pet-friendly food; keep them handy and politely inform your guests that you don’t feed your pets have human food. Domestic animals can eat many of the same foods we love, and, just like our infants and toddlers, they may think they can eat anything they can put in their mouths. It’s up to pet owners to keep them safe.
San Francisco families will make many holiday memories this year, make all of them happy. At Nor Cal Vet of Daly City, we want to see your pet, but we’re happy to wait for their regularly scheduled check-up.