Good and bad holiday foods

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By Lindsey Hughes

About this time every year most of us begin day dreaming about our favorite holiday treats. Images of succulent turkey, mounds of fresh mashed potatoes, heaps of casseroles and, of course, a never ending supply of pie mock us throughout the day. We aren’t the only ones being taunted by these thoughts, so are our pets! But, while we get to indulge in holiday feasts, our pets can do nothing but sit and beg us to drop a tiny morsel their way.

Realistically, you shouldn’t feed your pet from the table, but sometimes you can’t help give in. However, you should always think twice about what you have to offer before throwing your pal table scraps. To help you sort out the good foods from the bad, we’ve created this list to get your pet through the holiday season.

The Bad:

  • Poultry bones
  • High fat foods
  • Chocolate
  • Any packaged sugar-free product (They could contain xylitol.)
  • Gluten
  • Grapes/Raisins
  • Onion
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Bread dough

Foods that may be given in small amounts:

  • Steamed veggies
  • Canned pumpkin (with no added spices or sugar)
  • A couple pieces of sweet potato or yam (without butter or spices)
  • Very lean meat or fish
  • A dollop of peanut butter
  • A few banana pieces

What do you do if your pal eats of something he shouldn’t?  First, you need to watch for signs of poisoning including tremors, vomiting, increased heart rate, and diarrhea. While watching for those signs, call your vet for additional advice.

If your dog ate a large quantity of something dangerous, you need to induce vomiting.

To do this, give your pet two to three tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. If he doesn’t vomit within three minutes, give him two or three more tablespoons. While doing this, have someone contact your vet or an emergency animal care center in your area.

If you can’t get a hold of a local doctor, there are a few poison control centers you can call. The Pet Poison Helpline offers 24-hour vet services for $35 per incident. You can reach the helpline at 1-800-213-6680. The Animal Poison Control Center, operated by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, has a similar hotline that costs $65 per incident. You can contact ASPCA’s hotline at 1-888-426-4435.

If your dog is easily excitable or he’ll do anything for a treat, you may want to consider keeping him away from your feast in a safe room or in his crate.

This holiday season we are sending you all the will power in the world not to reward those puppy eyes with tasty treats from your table. But, hey, it happens to the best of us!

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