We're all guilty of letting our dogs sneak a quick bite of our holiday meal, but some of these common holiday treats are actually poisonous for cats and dogs.
It's hard to resist those cute faces. But as tempting as it may be, try not to give your cat or dog these 10 foods:
- Mince pies
- Sage and onion stuffing
- Onion gravy
- Macadamia nuts
- Blue cheese
- Moldy foods
- Turkey bones and fat
Pudding and mince pies
Anything that contains dried fruits -- raisins, sultanas, currants -- can cause kidney failure in cats and dogs. Symptoms to look out for include vomiting, increased thirst and less frequent urination.
Sage and onion stuffing
Foods containing allium vegetables such as onion, garlic, shallots, leeks or chives can damage your pet's red blood cells and cause anemia. Symptoms of allium poisoning include diarrhea, stomach pain, fatigue, weakness, lack of appetite.
Everyone probably knows by now not to give their dog or cat chocolate, but the reason why may be different than you expect. The compound theobromine in chocolate causes overstimulation of muscles, such as the heart, and can lead to death in rare cases.
Signs of chocolate poisoning in pets include vomiting, a more excitable mood or muscle twitching, elevated heart rate or breathing, tremors or twitching.
Although the cause is unknown, macadamia nuts can cause joint pain and stiffness, weakness and fatigue. This variety of nut can also induce vomiting, tremors and raised body temperature for up to two days.
Blue cheese and moldy foods
Blue cheese can cause muscle tremors and seizures in cats and dogs for up to two days. Other moldy foods can cause similar symptoms.
This one seems pretty obvious, but animals are more sensitive to the ethanol present in alcohol than humans are. Consumption of alcohol will cause your pet to become drowsy and unstable on their feet. It may even cause a drop in body temperature and blood sugar, which can lead to seizures or a coma.
Turkey bones and fat
Turkey bones aren't poisonous, but they're brittle and sharp, which can cause them to splinter and get stuck in your pet's throat or stomach.
Turkey fat -- and fatty foods, in general -- can cause discomfort diarrhea. So save yourself the midnight cleanup and avoid feeding your pet fatty foods altogether.
Tips to prevent pets from eating dangerous foods
- Keep food out of reach or in the fridge
- Keep pets in another room while eating
- Always check ingredients
If you're pet accidentally ingests any of the aforementioned foods, call your vet right away and make sure to note the time and amount of food that was ingested. Don't try to induce vomiting; wait for instructions from your vet or go to an emergency clinic if symptoms worsen.