Home for the Holidays

Cookies for Santa (Food Safety)

‘Tis the season for family, friends, and FOOD!!! While you will be surrounded by holiday delicacies, so will your pets, but unfortunately not everything is pet friendly. To avoid a trip to the animal emergency center, here are some food safety tips.

Food Don’ts

  • DON’T give anything containing onion or garlic as both can be lethal to pets.
  • DON’T give cookies, especially the ones containing chocolate, macadamia nuts, and raisins. They are toxic to pets.
  • DON’T give candies and more specifically, candy containing xylitol. Xylitol is found in sugar-free candy/gum and is toxic to animals
  • DON’T overindulge. Resist their cute begging face and encourage guests to do the same. This can cause GI upset and could lead to more severe issues such as pancreatitis.
  • DON’T give uncooked meat or raw dough.
  • DON’T give grapes. They are toxic to animals

Food Do’s

  • DO give raw carrots.
  • DO give raw apples, just not the core or seeds
  • DO give bananas
  • DO give raw celery
  • DO give raw cucumbers
  • DO give blueberries

These are all great treats that are low in calories. But again, remember not to overindulge even on safe treats like these!

Pets Gifts

Spoiling the fur babies with gifts is another way of showing them they are loved during the holiday season. You can go big or keep it simple. In whatever way you may want to spoil your fur babies, know there are things you may buy that can benefit both you and your pet. Everyday care items such as poop bags, cat litter, treats, or even flea/tic k medication may not exactly excite your pet to receive but you will be happy you bought them when you did. Being busy with your holiday to do list may let you forget Snuggles needed cat litter or Fido ran out of poop bags, but with these as part of your gift list, you will not have to remember to get them later.

If you are feeling creative and very festive, you may also bake pet friendly treats. There are lots of safe pet treat recipes you can find online or on Pinterest! Just be sure not to bake them at the same time as your holiday cookies or you’ll be in for a fun surprise!

Your pets’ age and size does matter when it comes to choosing toys. Toys should not be too big where your pet may injure his or herself, nor too small where it may be a choking hazard. Younger pets may be able to play with toys that help with their dental health, while older pets may need softer toys to chew on. There is something for every life stage!

Wrapping it up!

While it is fun to have presents for your fur babies, they may not know that not all gifts are for them. With this in mind, some precautions should be taken to keep your pets from ingesting your nephew’s toy dinosaurs or Grandpa’s socks.

From the wrapping paper, to the tape, to the gift itself, your pets are at risk of either toxicity or possible blockage. Different chemicals are used in the dye for the wrapping paper as well as for the glue in tape that can be toxic to your pets. If your pet tears through it all getting to the gift, if it contains small parts they can easily ingest, this may cause an intestinal blockage and a trip to the ER.

If you are keeping all the presents under the Christmas tree, a gate around it could keep your pets away. Also, storing them away from your pets until Christmas day is an option, out of sight, out of mind. Keep the “Happy” in “Happy Holidays” with these precautions.