Tis’ the season for sweet treats! With all of the holiday parties and family get-togethers going on this time of year, make sure these treats, drinks, and ingredients stay far out of reach from curious pets:
1. Chocolate: It’s pretty common knowledge that chocolate is dangerous for dogs, but a lot of people don’t realize that’s it’s also a hazard for cats. Dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate are more toxic than milk chocolate varieties. Signs of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, an increased body temperature, panting, a fast heartbeat, and seizures.
2. Macadamia Nuts: This common cookie ingredient may seem harmless, but they’re very dangerous for dogs. Symptoms of poisoning include weakness, depression, vomiting, lack of coordination, and seizures.
3. Xylitol: Some people may try to cut down on the calories in their holiday sweets by replacing sugar with xylitol, but even a small amount of this sugar substitute is extremely dangerous for dogs, rapidly causing liver failure, hypoglycemia, or even death. If you know your dog has consumed a xylitol product, seek immediate veterinary attention.
4. Alcohol: If your holiday gatherings include festive cocktails, be sure guests keep an eye on their drinks. It doesn’t take very much alcohol at all to make an animal very ill.
5. Coffee: A warm cup of coffee may be the perfect cold weather indulgence, but it’s downright dangerous when ingested by pets. Coffee can trigger an abnormal heartbeat and seizures in dogs and cats, which can be deadly.