Authored by: Dr. Lindsey, DVM
The holidays are always a busy time for veterinary clinics. Since animals may not be in their usual routines during the holidays, there are many things that they can get into and get sick from. I remember once a dog who was rushed into the clinic because he was choking on a turkey bone. It’s always best to not feed dogs any of the holiday meal because any human food has the potential to make some dogs sick. It may be best to have the dogs in a different room from where the food is being served so they aren’t tempted to “counter surf” when no one is watching.
There are some human foods that are harmful or toxic to pets. Alcohol, grapes/raisins, chocolate, avocado, undercooked or raw meat, and dairy products are just a few examples. If you think your pet may have ingested something they shouldn’t, call your veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. As I talked earlier about the dog who came into the clinic choking on a bone, bones are very dangerous choking hazards for dogs. Bones can also cause cuts in the mouth, become stuck around the jaw, or become lodged in the stomach or intestines.
There are human foods that most dogs can have on occasion. Carrots and green beans are a treat that may be helpful to make a dog feel fuller because they are high in fiber. Some people talk about giving their dogs’ boiled chicken and rice if the dog has an upset stomach. Peanut butter is another popular treat that many dogs love. The peanut butter shouldn’t contain xylitol as that is an ingredient harmful to pets. Some people also like giving their dogs canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) to help with bowel problems. Always talk to your veterinarian before giving your pet human food.
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I hope your pet will stay safe and happy during the holiday season!
Dr. Lindsey graduated from Colorado State University in 2009 and works in general practice, shelter medicine, and more recently as a civilian contractor veterinarian for the Army. She is also certified in acupuncture and resides in Palm Springs, CA.