dog waiting for leftovers.

The holidays are a time for feasting, and many people loosen the reins on diet restrictions and enjoy the many delectable foods that can be found on holiday tables. As our pets also gather around the table and plead with you with their eyes to feed them, it can be easy to forget about how some human food can be harmful to your pets. Your friends at Dupont Veterinary Clinic want to help you figure out which foods to avoid giving to your pets this season:

Treating Pets to Holiday Foods Is Never a Good Idea

Turkey with the trimmings, Christmas ham with cheesy potatoes and onions, broccoli smothered in cheese sauce, all with a side of sugary cranberries. Those foods are fatty and toxic and can have catastrophic consequences for dogs and cats.  

What’s So Bad About Good Food?

What tastes good is not always the same as good-for-you food. Salt, sugar, and fats are often what make food taste delicious. Unfortunately, animals have different (and delicate) digestive systems that cannot process the same foods the human body can. If you notice any of the following in your pets after eating, take them to the vet immediately:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Pancreatitis
  • Diabetes
  • Muscle tremors
  • Lethargy
  • Death

Pancreatitis and Pets

That buttered dinner roll slathered in gravy is just what Fido was hoping for. But then, something odd happens. Your dog vomits and then again, and again. He may have an acute attack of pancreatitis, a life-threatening health crisis. The pancreas releases enzymes into the small intestine, where they are activated to aid digestion. If we eat too much fat too quickly, the enzymes can activate before reaching the small intestine. The enzymes begin their digestive duties on the pancreas, causing inflammation and acute pain.  

 Symptoms of pancreatitis include:

  • Repeat vomiting
  • Pain in the belly
  • Change in posture: Head down, hindquarters up

Pancreatitis can happen fast, and if it does, your pet needs to get to an emergency veterinary clinic as soon as possible.

Other Holiday Foods That Can Make Your Pets Sick

Onions, garlic, and other holiday seasonings can be toxic for your pet. These foods are always poisonous, not just during the holidays:

Highly seasoned foods:

  • Turkey skin, usually basted with butter and oils, is not only fatty, but it may be highly seasoned
  • Stuffing
  • Gravy
  • Pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie

Fatty foods:

  • Gravy
  • Cheese sauces
  • Butter & oils

Salty & Sugary foods:

  • Meats
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Most side dishes
  • Pie
  • Desserts

The sugar substitute, xylitol, is also highly toxic for pets.

Other toxic foods:

  • Garlic (fresh, powdered, salt)
  • Onions (fresh, powdered, salt)
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Chocolate
  • Ice cream, whipped cream, and other dairy
  • Almonds, pistachios, Macadamia nuts, and walnuts are a few of the nuts that are toxic to pets
  • Alcohol

Don’t Forget Garbage Scraps

There will be a lot of toxic food in your garbage bin. Nosey pups and kitties are all for foraging tasty snacks. Take the garbage out as soon as you can and always secure household garbage and trash.

Call Us When You Need Us

When your pets are sick, call us at (260) 637-7676 to schedule an appointment. The staff and veterinarians at Dupont Veterinary Clinic are here for you when you need us. We encourage you to make a pet health emergency plan before the holidays. If our clinic is closed, we want to ensure your pets get the care they need in an emergency.