Chia Girl: Five Common Holiday Ingredients That Can Harm Your Pets

Dog photoWho can resist a face like this?

The phrase “puppy dog eyes” exists for a reason.  I mean, look at him!  He’s smiling, quite sincerely I might add, hoping his charm will lead to a little taste from your plate.  I confess, he isn’t my dog, but I might be tempted to share with him. After-all, just one bite won’t hurt, right?


Trips to emergency vet clinics increase each year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  Decoration-related injuries, like Christmas tree mishaps or ingesting toxic plants, cause a lot of those visits.

But vets report a large number of these emergencies are food related.  A well-meaning table scrap can have devastating consequences ranging from an upset tummy to organ failure.

Chocolate tops the list of most dangerous foods for dogs, but here are five common foods you may not know can harm your best friend:

1.  Potatoes – I’m amazed even some of my hardcore dog-adoring pals didn’t realize uncooked spuds can be toxic.  So if your pooch exhibits dumpster diving tendencies, you need to secure the trash.  Serving Fido a scoop of cooked potatoes is perfectly safe.

2.  Grapes and Raisins – Even just a few nibbles can cause renal failure.  No one knows exactly why grapes are so dangerous, but according to experts, the toxin is in the flesh of the grape, not the skin or seeds.

3.  Onions – Onions are bad news for your both dogs and cats.  They cause  hemolytic anemia, a breakdown of the red blood cells.  Onion powder can be just as dangerous as the actual whole vegetable, so keep Fluffy out of the stuffing.  You should also avoid garlic for similar reasons.

4.  Bones – Ok, so a bone doesn’t technically qualify as an ingredient, but it is on the “must have” list for dogs.  This Thanksgiving my friend’s dog escaped with the turkey carcass, causing quite the post-meal showdown.  The dog lost.  While it may be instinct to offer your dog a nice bone, don’t do it.  The bone can actually splinter, causing intestinal obstructions.

5.  Turkey Skin –  Some research suggests it can cause acute pancreatitis in dogs.  Symptoms include vomiting, depression and pain.

So how can your furry pal safely celebrate?   Treat your dog with healthy options like carrots, green beans and small slivers of white meat.  Good options for cats include lean meat and small amounts of fish or cheese.  The key word here is “small” amount.  Remember, it’s a treat, not the main attraction.

What are your pets favorite healthy treats?

Chia Girl