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Christmas is fast approaching, and along with it comes many parties and great feasts. While our bodies may be able to handle all of these different types of foods, a lot of them can cause harm to our furry friends.

Chocolate: This one is something to be aware of at all times, but during the Holidays we normally see an increase in the number of calls about chocolate toxicity. The degree of toxicity depends on the type of chocolate that the animal ingests. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is, as it contains a larger number of methylxanthines. Methylxanthine is the same chemical that is in coffee that makes our heart race and our hands tremor when we have too much. The same signs are seen in dogs that ingest chocolate, as their heart rate increases, they can develop tremors or seizures, and they often develop intestinal upset.

Turkey: We may be tempted to give our friends Turkey as a special holiday treat; however, this tasty gift may backfire on us. Often times the turkey can cause diarrhea in our pets, which is not only uncomfortable for them, but leaves us with a big mess to clean up. If the turkey pieces have a lot of skin or fat on them, they can also upset the pancreas, and cause pancreatitis. The pancreas is a very sensitive organ, and when it gets angry, it can cause everything from vomiting to diarrhea to very bloody stools, and in severe cases even death.

Teflon Pans: This one is not a risk for our dogs and cats, but is a risk for those of us who have friends who love to fly…birds! When Teflon, or other non-stick, pans are heated to high temperatures, they release a scentless chemical into the air, which affects the respiratory system of birds, and causes them to die suddenly.

Don’t forget that your local veterinarians are always here to answer any questions you may have about the safety of your pets over the holidays!

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