Tasty Treats but not safe for the petsNow that many of us have enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving feast (and we hope you had a wonderful holiday!), we can expect many more holidays and gatherings on the horizon.

It would seem autumn is the harbinger of food-based celebrations – from candy corn to pies to stockings teeming over with treats, there’s no shortage of goodies to consume. With all that food around, pet poisoning emergencies are common, and pet safety awareness is key to protecting your pet.

 Avoiding Pet Toxins and Hidden Dangers

When you’re busy baking, it can be tough to keep an eye on your stealthy kitty or pup, and most pets are naturally curious about the holiday bounty. In some cases, it’s the owners themselves who indulge their pets, thinking a little snack is OK. However, table scraps or too much rich food are often the causes of gastritis and pancreatitis.

You may think a small scoop of plain mashed potatoes or a bit of deboned, chopped turkey is reasonable. However, in general, it’s a good idea to simply avoid indulging your pet in foods you find delectable. Not only does this raise the risk of poisoning and behavioral problems, it also increases your pet’s risk for obesity.

Instead, opt for a few healthy pet treats and plenty of attention and exercise.

Foods that are most toxic to pets include:

  • Any food containing the sugar substitute Xylitol (found in many sugar-free items)
  • Garlic and onions
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Pits from fruits such as cherries, apricots, and peaches
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Hazelnuts and walnuts
  • Yeast dough
  • Mouldy foods

 Pet Safety Tips for Happy Holidays

Along with pet toxin awareness, the holidays can also induce stress in pets. This is especially true if your pet struggles with fears related to strangers and new experiences.

It’s also likely that during the festivities, you’ll be distracted and unable to supervise your pet. To keep your pet calm and safe during the holidays, review the following tips:

  • Consider boarding your pet if you plan on having a full house during the holidays.
  • If you choose not to board, find a place in your home that’s secure and quiet, and allow your pet to relax here during the busiest time of the party or gathering (include fresh water, toys, and the occasional snuggle from a family member).
  • Supervise your pet around lit candles or simply opt for battery-operated candles.
  • While fall foliage is lovely, keep the twinkle lights, gourds, string, baubles, and other decorations out of your pet’s reach.
  • Ask guests to be mindful of closing doors and gates leading to the outside and to respect your wishes about not feeding scraps to your pet.

If you ever suspect your pet has ingested a toxic substance, please seek emergency veterinary care immediately.

If you’re hosting a party of wee ghouls and goblins this Halloween, protect your pet by observing basic safety awareness. From your friends at Summeridge Animal Clinic, we wish you a safe and beautiful fall!