The 4th day of Christmas: Holiday Foods and Drinks

The holiday season is upon us and many of us include our pets in the festivities. The Doctors at Urgent Pet Care want you to be aware of the hazards some holiday foods and drinks can cause if our pets decided to participate in the festivities.

Turkey and Ham

One of the biggest threats to our pets is the turkey and the ham.  Ham or turkey bones can cause a few different hazards to their health.  Poultry bones have a tendency to splinter when being chewed and can create very sharp edges. These sharp pieces can cut the esophagus or perforate the stomach or intestines while trying to pass through.

The ham bones can cause a “foreign body” and become unable to pass thru the digestive tract. (For more information about foreign bodies see our previous blog, The 1st Day of Christmas: Holiday Decorations)

Both of these situations can be painful and potentially deadly for your pet.

Stuffing, Potatoes, and sides

Stuffing, potatoes, and all the other delicious sides we enjoy at Christmas dinner can be a hazard depending on how much they eat.  Several items such as herbs, spices and additives may taste delicious to us, but they could be toxic to our pets.

Additives to avoid:

  • onions
  • garlic
  • chives
  • grapes and raisins
  • nuts
  • nutmeg
  • salt and sugar

If your pet has ingested any of these items we recommend calling Urgent Pet Care for further information and instruction.

Along with these issues, is the ingestion of foods that are too fatty for our dogs and cats.  Foods that are too fatty can cause acute gastrointestinal upset to Pancreatitis -a severe inflammation of the pancreas.  Symptoms of pancreatitis can be vague (especially in cats), making it somewhat difficult to diagnose, and can include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and abdominal pain.  Even with a positive diagnosis, however, treatment can take several days of hospitalization and consists of intravenous fluids, antibiotics, anti-vomiting drugs, pain medication, and electrolyte supplements to support the body as it heals itself.

Candy and Pies

Sweets are another delicious food group that most of us love to enjoy but can be dangerous for our pets. Please watch out for the following:

  • Chocolate especially dark and cocoa
  • Fruitcake: if raisins and nuts are in it
  • Candy: candies with chocolate or sugar free candies that contain xylitol
  • Pie: If you like to add nutmeg to your pumpkin pie
  • Bread and Yeast: made with raisins and unbaked yeast can expand in the stomach

Alcoholic Drinks

Any amount of Alcohol ingested can be dangerous.  Alcohol has the same effect on pet’s livers and brains as on humans’, but it doesn’t take as much to cause serious damage and can even lead to vomiting, respiratory distress, tremors, coma, and death.

Always remember…

To avoid visiting the emergency pet clinic on the holiday, please remember:

  • Put uncooked bread dough in the microwave or conventional oven to rise, rather than leaving them out on a countertop or table.
  • Keep your pets away from the dessert table. Better yet, give your pets their own ‘safe room’ to stay in while the family enjoys Christmas dinner.
  • Be careful where you put your dessert plate down.
  • Make sure your guests know the hazards associated with these foods and all the other common pet hazards associated with the holidays.

Visit Urgent Pet Care Omaha

If you suspect that your dog or cat has eaten any of these foods, the doctors at Urgent Pet Care Omaha recommend an exam to help determine if your pet is having an issue.  At Urgent Pet Care in Omaha, our veterinarians are here for you and your pet, every night, weekend, and holiday for any veterinary emergency. No appointment is needed during an emergency, but we do appreciate a phone call to let us know you’re coming.

To reach our Omaha office, please call 402-991-9444. For the Papillion office, please call 402-597-2911.