Fall is here, and people are beginning to bake their favorite holiday goodies, filling the house with decadent aromas. Relatives are visiting, and in the hustle and bustle, your pet is surrounded by delicious food smells, hoping that someone will share, or he can grab a sample. However, many holiday treats contain ingredients that can harm your pet. Here are seven foods dangerous to pets that you should know about before giving in to your pleading pet.  

#1: Raisins and grapes

Whether dried or fresh, this sweet fruit is toxic to dogs, and a small amount can lead to renal failure. Cousins, like currants and sultanas, are not exempted from this group of toxic fruits. If your pet has ingested raisins or grapes, call our hospital immediately. Toxicity signs include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, and dehydration. 

#2: Chocolate

The sweet, creamy goodness that most people know and love as chocolate is a harmful morsel to pets. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, and when pets consume these chemicals they can experience increased heart rate, hypertension, hyperthermia, restlessness, vomiting, and diarrhea. The caffeine alone can cause seizures or collapse. Remember the rule of thumb that the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more toxic it is to your pet. 

#3: Nuts 

Nuts may seem like a safe treat, but most are high in fat, which can lead to gastrointestinal issues in dogs and cats, including vomiting, diarrhea, or pancreatitis. One of the worst offenders in this category is the macadamia nut, which has been known to cause lethargy, muscle tremors, weakness, joint stiffness, and high fever in dogs. 

#4: Xylitol

This sugar substitute is a monster in disguise for pets. Xylitol can be found just about everywhere—in toothpastes, condiments, peanut butters, gums, supplements, and beauty products. If not treated quickly, pets who consume xylitol may experience liver failure. Xylitol toxicity signs include vomiting, tremors, collapse, seizures, lethargy, hypoglycemia, and jaundice. Call us immediately if your pet ingests xylitol. 

#5: Garlic and onions

Large amounts of garlic and onions can cause anemia in cats and dogs by damaging the red blood cells, causing them to rupture. Beware of garlic and onion hiding in recipes in powder form—don’t let your pet enjoy the leftovers from your plate. Toxicity signs include lethargy, weakness, vomiting, nausea, drooling, pale gums, oral irritation, and abdominal pain.  

#6: Animal bones

It’s the classic holiday treat for a dog: the leftover turkey or ham bone…with a bit of meat still clinging to it, of course. But, cooked bones can easily break apart when chewed, leaving pets at risk of intestinal blockage or perforated internal organs that may require surgical repair. Prevent your holiday dinner from turning into a holiday emergency veterinary visit by keeping animal bones away from your furry friends.

#7: Alcohol

While most pet owners know not to give their pet an alcoholic beverage, alcohol can lurk in less obvious places, like bread dough, which has yeast that produces alcohol as it rises. Pets with alcohol poisoning may exhibit lethargy, lack of coordination, weakness, collapse, hypotension, hypoglycemia, and hypothermia. 

Are you ready for the holidays? Keep your pet safe by keeping human foods out of paw’s reach. And, save our contact information in case your furry pal gets into something he shouldn’t.