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Dogs and Holiday Meals: Start with your ABCs

We just came back from a walk with our dog. Once again, a nice encounter for our dog and a few kids and senior folks. However, once more I was surprised when a clearly smart woman, didn't know the chocolate in her hand, was poisonous to our dog.

This encounter was a reminder for us to pay close attention as the holidays begin. Starting with the ABC's of what to avoid, be aware of, and watch out for, especially if you plan to have people over. The holidays bring out happy and well-intentioned guests, and isn't better to be safe than have to make a trip to the emergency room?

Let's begin with the ABC's...

Alcohol - Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Butter & High Fat Foods- such as ham, gravy, butter, and desserts, may cause inflammation of your dog’s pancreas. Pancreatitis causes intense abdominal pain and vomiting and requires hospitalization to recover. Keep foods securely sealed and enclosed in a high space or the refrigerator. Secure the lid on the trash can to avoid garbage raiding.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine - These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.

Learn more go to the ASPCA - People Foods to Avoid Feeding your Pets

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