Thanksgiving. A time when friends and family gather to celebrate and feast. Every good host and hostess takes into account allergies and diet restrictions of invited guests. But what about the uninvited guests—the family dog, cat, bird, or ferret? How can a (spoiled) pet be expected to stay out of the kitchen, dining room, living room, and all the other places the thoughtful hostess has placed inviting tidbits? There are a myriad of foods that are toxic to pets. Here are some of the most common.
- Alcoholic beverages, Apple seeds, Apricot pits, Avocados
- Cherry pits, Candy, Chocolate, Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
- Hops (used in home beer brewing)
- Macadamia nuts, Moldy foods, Mushroom plants, Mustard seeds
- Onions and onion powder, (commercially dehydrated onion powder in powdered gravy mix)
- Peach pits, Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
- Raisins, Rhubarb leaves
- Tea (caffeine), Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
- Xylitol (a candy and gum sweetener)
- Yeast, and Raw doughs
Depending on your pet’s disposition and general obedience it may be best to keep Rover and Muffin confined, apart from all foodstuffs. If your dog is free to mingle, be sure to remind folks—particularly children—that pets should NOT be fed any people food. You may want to provide pet food treats for any youngsters set on feeding Muffy, Bootsie, or Tweetie.
Not only is there danger while you are entertaining your guests, but many accidents happen after your guests gone home and you decide to “clean up tomorrow.” That’s when pets roam the house, hoovering leftover appetizers, nuts, and candies, especially chocolates.
Possible effects of eating toxic foods include vomiting, disorientation, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of coordination, weakness, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, and seizures. If you witness your pet eating something that you suspect might be toxic, or the candy dish is inexplicably empty, seek emergency assistance. Sometimes, even if poisoned, an animal may appear normal for several hours or even days after the incident.
If you think your dog, cat, bird, or ferret has consumed something toxic, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435).
In the event that the poison center or your vet recommends that you induce vomiting, you will need access to fresh, non-expired, bubbly hydrogen peroxide. A needleless syringe for small dogs and cats or a turkey baster for larger dogs will help in administering the hydrogen peroxide. You may want to take your pet outside before you induce vomiting. Syrup of ipecac, salt, and activated charcoal products are no longer recommended.
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