What’s your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal...the turkey, the stuffing, the pumpkin pie?? Well, when the aromas start filling the air, your dog’s beady little eyes will make it hard to resist slipping the extra scraps his/her way.
But, before the belts are loosened and the afternoon naps set in, let’s remember why the seemingly harmless act of sharing table food could put your dog’s overall health in real danger.
Aside from the side effects of encouraging bad begging behaviors and gaining extra weight (we can all thank these holiday meals for the extra pounds headed our way!) you may be shocked to hear how the following 10 food items could prove fatal to your pet.
The “good” fat turned “deadly.” Avocados contain an element called persin in their leaves, fruit, seeds and bark. Persin is extremely toxic to animals and leads to difficulty in breathing, severe congestion, swollen mammary glands, accumulation of fluid around the heart, and yes - even death. Keep that guac out of reach!
2. Fresh fruit
Not all fruit is off limits for your dog. Slices of bananas, apples, pears, oranges and even seedless watermelon make great treats. However, avoid any fruit with pits – peaches and plums – due to a chocking hazard.
Also, blueberries and raisins have a toxic element that causes side effects that range from hyperactivity and repeated vomiting to lethargy, depression, kidney failure or even loss of life. So, watch the fruit cake and fruit salad this year!
3. Macadamia Nuts
So delicious, yet fatal for dogs. Just six of these nuts can cause a reaction, which includes vomiting, tremors, weakness, and depression. Within a half-day after ingesting, symptoms appear and last about 12 to 48 hours. Reactions can worsen to include paralysis of the hindquarters and hyperthermia, so if you suspect your pet’s been sneaking a macadamia or two, contact your vet immediately.
4. Milk Products
Household pets, namely dogs and cats, do not carry enough lactase (the enzyme that helps break down lactose) to properly digest milk products. So, sharing leftover milk from your cereal or letting them lick your ice cream bowl clean can lead to digestive issues like an upset stomach, diarrhea, or even food allergies.
Hidden away in many of our favorite liquid treats – tea, soft drinks, energy drinks and coffee – is an ingredient that adds a pip in our step. Although it may perk us up, the methylxanthines in caffeine can trigger vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, panting, increased thirst and urination in our dogs, but also more serious symptoms such as tremors, abnormal heart rhythms and death.
Packing the 1 – 2 punch, chocolate contains the methylxanthines from caffeine as well as theobromine – an element that can trigger reactions like restlessness, vomiting and muscle spasms. The darker the chocolate the higher the concentration of theobromine making baking and dark chocolate the most toxic for your pet to ingest.
And, remember #4 on our list? Chocolate milk might make your children squeal for joy, but just four to 10 ounces could be lethal to smaller dogs.
There’s a reason why marketers put bones on dog merchandise. But, if you do “give a dog a bone” it could splinter and cause choking, intestinal blockage, or tears in your dog’s digestive track. So, let your trash take care of that leftover turkey leg or ham bone this holiday season!
Are you trying a new turkey marinade this year? If you’ve been searching through recipes you’ll find that many include onions, garlic or chives. Normal spices, such as these, can trigger irritation in a dog’s gastrointestinal track. In severe cases this irritation leads to red blood cell damage, asthma attacks and even liver damage.
We’re not talking about cookie dough here, although none of us should eat that either! We’re speaking to unbaked bread dough. Even the smallest amount, when ingested, expands in the dog’s stomach which causes discomfort in the very least and can trigger a ruptured stomach or intestines. The ASPCA takes this a step further and says “bread-based” treats should not exceed more than 5 – 10 percent of a dog’s daily diet and to stick with the “pupcakes” from a local dog bakery.
10. Artificial Sweetener
Your family may not ask you to pass the “Xylitol” this Thanksgiving meal, but this artificial sweetener finds itself in many products lying around the house. Just search a purse, leftover Halloween basket, or coat pocket and you are sure to find a few. Some candies, gum, toothpaste, and even sugar-free cookies are loaded with this sweetener. Xylitol causes insulin release, which triggers hypoglycemia (or lowered blood sugar levels). Signs of ingestion include vomiting, coordination problems and lethargy. These symptoms can progress to seizures and even liver failure within just a few days. Keep an eye on those candy dishes, or better yet, let the desserts be the true sweet treats of the holiday.
As we always suggest, if you notice your dog acting “off” this holiday season, play it safe and visit your vet. This time around you might just consider taking your holiday menu with you!
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours! And, please reach out with any questions you have regarding healthy diets for your Goldendoodle pup!