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To Share or Not to Share - What Foods From the Dinner Table are Safe for Your PetWhich Foods from the Dinner Table Can Your Pet Eat?

It’s Thanksgiving time, again!  We know we all like to make our pets happy by giving them treats from the table every now and then, but some foods that we eat can actually be quite dangerous for them.  So, which foods are safe?  Here are some things to keep in mind this holiday season:

Hard No’s

Alcohol, avocado, caffeine, grapes, raisins, and some artificial sweeteners like xylitol found in some candies and gums can all cause death, among other dangerous side effects.  Raw meats may contain bacteria that can contribute to the development of infections.  Onions, garlic, and chives can cause vomiting, discolored urine, asthma, tiredness, and diarrhea, all indicating the damage they do to the gastrointestinal tract, red blood cells, and the liver.  Chocolate, any baked good that contains yeast, and macadamia nuts can also have negative effects on your dog or cat’s health.  Sometimes, it only takes a small amount of these substances to be lethal.  To read more about the signs and symptoms that your pet may be displaying in a negative reaction to any of these foods, click to view slides here.

Maybe’s

We’ve heard mixed messages about dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheeses, and you may also be surprised to find bones on this list, too!

One source says that our pets’ digestive systems aren’t designed to process dairy products, and thus can produce diarrhea and vomiting.  At the same time, not all cats and dogs that drink milk have this response, so not all are lactose-intolerant.  Another source argues that yogurt can improve pets’ digestive systems, just as it does for humans, as long as the yogurts and cheeses they consume are non- or low-fat and are without flavoring or sweetening.  Cottage-cheese is recommended for dogs, and harder cheeses, like Gouda, are recommended for cats.

As for bones, the process of gnawing on them can clean your pet’s teeth, but they can also splinter and cause internal damage if those fragments are swallowed.  As such, it is important to get pressed bones if you choose to buy any bones at all.  Some toys and baby carrots are also said to work just as well for dental hygiene.

Hard Yes’s

Fruits and vegetables are in!  Pears, bananas, oranges, seedless watermelon, blueberries, pumpkin, and green beans are all good and safe sources of nutrition.  That being said, it is a good idea to mind seeds and remember that all is in moderation!  Apple slices can be particularly beneficial, helping your pet’s breath to smell better and clean their teeth, not to mention they are a good source of fiber and vitamin A and C.  Remember to peel them for your cats, though.  Green beans and pumpkin are also high in fiber and low in calories, which may help your pet lose some extra weight.

If something doesn’t sit well with your pet, make sure to call us at Longview Animal Hospital: (903)-807-0887 or (if outside of our normal operating hours): East TX Pet Emergency Hospital: (903)-759-8545.