Keeping your pets safe during holiday dinners

Local News

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The holidays are just around the corner, and with Thanksgiving just days away, big meals are in the future for families across the country.

Some, particularly furry, members of the family may want to get in celebrating with you, but there are certain things that your pets cannot eat. Some items just cause some irritation, but others can cause serious illnesses and sometimes death.

Avoid giving your pets fatty and spicy foods. There are a lot of spices used during holiday dinners, pretty much all of them are incompatible with your pets. Garlic, onions, and chives can cause red blood cell damage along with gastrointestinal issues. Those ingredients are all over the menu at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

You always see cats drinking milk right? You shouldn’t, because your pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk. I am guilty of this too with my cats. Milk and other dairy-based products can cause them diarrhea or other digestive irritations.

Meats are on the menu this holiday season just like they have been in the past. You should avoid feeding your pets raw meats of any kind. Raw meats can contain Salmonella or E. Coli, which are harmful to humans as well as pets. Just because your dog or cat are distant relatives of wild animals, doesn’t mean they can eat like them. On that subject, do not give your pets meat bones! Bones can splinter and cause all sorts of severe issues, some of which could be fatal.

All these rules don’t mean that you have to leave your pets out of the holiday festivities. Treat them with special food that they don’t get very often that they really like. Or give them an extra treat during the day. Even though they may look at you like you have betrayed them this holiday season when you tell them ‘no’ you will feel better knowing that you kept them safe.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has a list of foods to avoid feeding to your pet on their website and they go into much greater detail regarding many foods not listed here.

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