The holidays are fast approaching, and we’ve all seen those cute faces that beg for a “special treat.” Unfortunately, one “special treat” could end up seriously hurting your best friend.
To help keep them safe, here’s a list of 7 foods you should not give your dog (or cat). This isn’t a complete list, so make sure you do your research before feeding them any “treats.”
1. Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine
It’s so tempting. One little taste couldn’t hurt. Right? WRONG! These products all contain substances called methylxanthines which are found in cacao seeds. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is actually more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines while baking chocolate contains the highest level.
Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products including gum, candy, baked goods, some peanut butters, and even toothpaste. This ingredient can be hiding in foods, so make sure you read labels thoroughly. It can cause insulin release, which can lead to liver failure. An increase in insulin also leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). The initial symptoms of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Symptoms can progress to seizures, and elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.
3. Onions, Garlic, Chives
These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and lead to red blood cell damage and anemia. Cats are more susceptible, but dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed.
4. Yeast Dough
Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and cause the stomach to bloat.
Your pet is the life of the party without a single drink, so let’s keep it that way. Friends don’t let friends with paws drink. Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. Don’t give your pet alcohol. If you suspect that your pet has ingested alcohol, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately.
Avocado makes a yummy guacamole, but you need to keep it away from your pets. It’s very fatty and can cause their tummy to be really upset. Also, if they get their paws on an entire avocado it can cause obstruction because of the pit, so make sure to keep them out of their reach.
7. Grapes and Raisins
Although the toxic substance in grapes and raisins is unknown, these foods can cause kidney failure. The best thing to do is to keep these foods away from your pets.
It’s great to spend time with friends and family over the holidays. Remember that this is just a list of some of the more common foods that can harm your pet. When in doubt, it’s best to just say no, and make sure your guests do as well.
If you're like us and want to share some traditional Thanksgiving foods with your dogs, here are a few yummy items that they can enjoy. Happy holidays!
Green Beans (Plain, no salt, fat or other seasonings)
Sweet Potatoes (Boiled or dehydrated, no butter, salt or seasonings)
Pumpkin (plain canned pumpkin, not pie filling)
Turkey (roasted, boiled, or dehydrated without salt or seasonings)
For Fun, here is a simple recipe you could make for your dogs to enjoy for Thanksgiving.
Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup peanut butter (organic if you have it)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup water as needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients except the water then add it sparingly since the amount of water will depend on the oil content in the peanut butter.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into fun shapes.
Bake on cookie sheets for about 20 minutes then remove and cool. Be sure to cool the treats completely before serving or refrigerating.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Dachshund Enlightenment Foundation.