Ho Ho Hold the Table Scraps!

By Martha Michael >>>

With all the tasty holiday food and the time spent at the dinner table with family members, it can be tempting to give Rex and Lucy scraps and snacks, but it’s not a good Christmas tradition, according to experts. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Pets, or the ASPCA as we know it, has posted a list of dangerous “people food” that are known to go down the hatch of a dog, cat or other pet, at times.

Believe it or not, on the non-profit group’s web article alcohol tops the list (OK, it’s in alphabetical order). But it may surprise you to know that some individuals find it amusing to share their beverages with their furry friends. But if you can, you’ll want to put a stop to it. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death, says the ASPCA article.

The organization’s article is a veritable ABCs of no-no foods, from avocados to Xylitol, including citrus, onions and garlic, among others. The holidays will find many Americans practically bathing in chocolate, but what’s delicious to humans can be dangerous to dogs and cats. The ASPCA says that products like chocolate, coffee and caffeine contain methylxanthines from the cacao seeds. When pets consume this chemical, it can cause them to not just experience excessive thirst, panting, vomiting and diarrhea, but ultimately can cause tremors, seizures and death. If you want to “pick corn with the chickens,” white chocolate has the least methylxanthines and baking chocolate has the highest level of the chemical.
Nuts are another holiday favorite, and many of us exchange macadamia nuts in Christmas baskets and baking projects. But don’t unwrap it for Fifi or Jack. Your dog may become weak and experience hyperthermia after ingesting macadamia nuts. Almonds, pecans and walnuts are high in fat, which can, in the short term, make your happy pet sick, with symptoms like vomiting, but also the furry one could contract pancreatitis.
When you are fixing dinner, are you ever tempted to drop a slice of bacon for the dog? Raw meat and raw eggs are both carriers of bacteria that may include Salmonella or E. coli, which we already know are harmful to humans. As for raw eggs, they have an enzyme that decreases absorption of biotin, which is a B vitamin. You may see the results of that in your kitty’s coat or your dog’s skin, for instance.
And what’s the sugary sweetness of Christmas cookies without something salty to follow it up? Well, once again, you can wallow in the world of junk food, but don’t drag your pet into it. If dogs and cats ingest too much salt they can become extremely thirsty and have to urinate excessively. Some pets have come down with ion poisoning, says the ASPCA. They suggest you watch for such signs as elevated body temperature, depression, tremors and seizures.
That pumpkin pie you’re baking will please a crowd, but not so for Buddy and Tiger. The article warns that yeast dough will rise in their stomachs, cause them to bloat and possibly twist, which is life-threatening.
It’s nice to share holiday activities with the pets, but limit those to caroling and tree-trimming. A trip to the vet on Christmas won’t be a gift to anyone.