Holiday Fare You Should NOT Feed Your Pet

Dr. Patty Khuly

Holiday Food and Pets

Yes, the season is upon us. ‘Tis the season for vomiting, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal ailments aplenty. While it starts around Halloween-time and peaks sometime in late December, the days immediately following Thanksgiving and Christmas are the worst of all.

For many pets, the day after each of these two all-American holidays will be teeming with the fetid results of the previous day's dietary indiscretions. And, in a surprisingly high percentage of these cases, said dietary indulgences will lead to a veterinary visit.

So if you have any desire to make things easier on yourself, your veterinarian, your pocketbook — and of course, your pet — please stay away from the following six items:

#1 Un-customary Edibles

This refers to any foodstuff that might be new to your pet. Even the most innocuous-seeming food (like white meat turkey or cornbread) can work horrors on an untested digestive tract.

#2 Anything Even Remotely “Garbage-y”

Anything that’s going a tad “off” can wreak havoc on your pet's intestinal bacteria. So, if you have to make a choice between the garbage bag and the pet bowl, always stick to the bag!

#3 Bony Things

Anything hard, sharp, and/or sizable enough to get stuck is a VERY bad idea — even those big ham bones that have “never been a problem before.”

#4 Sweet Stuff

Any dessert can be bad for your pet's belly, but those with heavy fats and/or chocolate (in any form) can be especially problematic.

#5 Onion-y Items

Onions can be especially tricky. This is not just because we see lots of vomiting and diarrhea associated with onion toxicity, but also because this class of plants (of the allium genus, which includes onions, garlic, leeks and chives) is actually toxic to their red blood cells.

#6 Disobedient Relatives & Undisciplined friends

As to these two final items, I strongly suggest you post a visually prominent sign referencing your wishes:

"Do not feed the animals... unless you would like to pay up front for the damage you're likely to do when you feed them without my permission."

Add a smiley face if you must, but be clear and direct on this point. And if they should flout your law? What can I say… at least you know who won’t be making it on next year's guest list.

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