Pets-Giving: Tips on how to make a holiday plate that’s safe for your pet to consume

Cute pet dog puppy standing on a pumpkin in autumn. (E.Boros, Adobe Stock)

HOUSTON – We all know how much our furry friends love to ask for food with their eyes wide, tails wiggling and tounges sticking out during our holiday feasts. But, if you or your loved ones plan on sneaking those babies’ food under the table this year, make sure you know what’s safe for them to consume and what’s not.

The Humane Society is offering a list of tips to avoid a trip to the veterinary this holiday season:

  • Don’t give pets fatty holiday foods that are harmful. As tempting as it is to have your pet share in your holiday meal, avoid the temptation to share table scraps. Fatty foods such as gravy, butter, turkey drippings, bacon and cream are difficult for many pets to digest and can cause pancreatitis, which is dangerous and potentially deadly.
  • Also, avoid giving these foods to pets because they contain harmful properties that will make them sick and could be potentially lethal: SAGE, ONION, NUTS, DESSERTS, CHOCOLATE, YEAST DOUGH, TURKEY SKIN, GRAVY, GRAPES, FOODS WITH ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
  • Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets as ingesting these can cause dangerous drops in blood pressure, blood sugar, and body temperature.
  • Educate well-meaning guests, such as friends and family, about the dangers of feeding your pet table scraps and “people treats.” Ask them to refrain.
  • Make a healthy holiday plate for your pet. You can make your dog or cat a part of the celebration with a special plate of their favorite food. You can safely add plain pumpkin, sweet potatoes (without seasoning or butter), carrots, green beans or cranberries (no added sugar).
  • Keep temptations out of pets’ reach. Dispose of trash and table scraps quickly and securely away from curious noses and paws.
  • Some holiday flowers and festive plants are toxic to pets. Holiday poinsettias, amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas and other decorative plants can make your pet sick if ingested. Likewise, plastic and glass decorations can look like shiny new toys to pets, so be sure these are secure and out of reach to avoid accidents or injuries.
  • Give your pet a quiet place. Pets are easily overexcited when there are guests, louder than normal noises and music, and other out-of-the-ordinary distractions. Plan ahead by creating a safe place where pets can relax in a room or crate with their favorite toys, treats and bedding.
  • Quick action can save lives. If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, contact your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately. Some warning signs that your pet may need emergency care can include vomiting, excessive thirst, stomach pain, choking, trouble breathing or noticeable behavioral changes such as lethargy or not eating.

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