During the Christmas and Advent period, it is especially difficult to say no to a pleading, puppy-eyed dog at the festive table. As the dining room is full of divinely smelling delicacies at this time, there is almost always a little left over from the multi-course menus, and sometimes even one of the visiting relatives may sneak a bite to your pet out of sheer kindness. And if the dog is left alone for a long time during the holidays, there is also the risk that snacks left on the kitchen counter will go missing.
Unfortunately, despite good intentions, leniency and the disruption of the usual diet may not lead to happy satiety, but to a dog that comes down with sickness, vomiting or diarrhea, and in more serious cases the evening may even end at the vet’s emergency room.
Poisonous foods for dogs
In order to spend the Christmas and holiday evenings not at the vet’s office but in a cozy decorated living room, it is particularly important to follow some rules, and you must not succumb to the heart-wrenching stares during dinner either. The following foods are seriously toxic to dogs.
Dieters and people with diabetes often eat desserts sweetened with xylitol, but this ingredient is one of the most toxic substances for dogs, even tasting it can be fatal. After ingestion, the insulin level suddenly increases, blood sugar level drops, and the liver and kidneys can also shut down as a result even half an hour after eating the food containing xylitol. If you suspect your dog to have tasted such food, take it to the vet immediately! It is important to know that this ingredient is often even found in chewing gum and toothpaste.
Without chocolate and cocoa powder, there may be no Christmas holidays, but for most dogs cocoa is highly toxic, primarily due to its theobromine content. Chocolates with a high cocoa content are especially dangerous. Symptoms of poisoning include increased heart rate, drooling, tremors, strong panting, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle spasms, thirst and increased urination.
Raisin cookies are also extremely popular during the holiday season, but they are especially dangerous for dogs. Just like fresh grapes, raisins can have a very toxic effect, which can result vomiting and may even lead to kidney failure. Although some dog owners like to emphasize that their pet also eats grapes grown in their garden, this can be toxic for some dogs immediately, and in the long term for others, so you should never experiment with it.
A glass of wine, champagne, or sweet liqueur is a usual part of the holiday dinner, but care must be taken that the dog does not accidentally get a taste of these drinks, as even a small amount of alcohol can lead to life-threatening liver damage. 5-8 milliliters of alcohol per kilogram of body weight can be fatal.
Foods and drinks containing caffeine
After the meal, guests may opt for a cup of coffee, and sweets flavored with coffee are also very popular at this time. It is good to know, however, that the caffeine boost can also cost the dog’s life, as its body has a hard time breaking it down, so the heart rate can rise suddenly and for a long time. In addition to coffee, it is dangerous for your dog to sip coke, energy drinks or even tea.
It is advisable to handle all kinds of nuts carefully around your dog, as some are highly poisonous. The most dangerous is macadamia nuts, which can cause severe symptoms if ingested even in small amounts, including tremors, fever and weakness, which require immediate medical intervention. Don’t forget that moldy walnuts your dog may find and eat under a tree in the garden can also cause poisoning due to mycotoxins. Also, never give salty seeds to your dog.
Many dieters especially like avocado, but this fruit is also very dangerous for dogs. The substance called persin in it can cause poisoning, severe vomiting and diarrhea after consumption, and prolonged symptoms can even cause dehydration.
The consumption of dough leavened with yeast can also lead to digestive system diseases, especially if the dog tastes the cake dough left to rise on the kitchen counter. It can cause pain and tension in the stomach and intestines, severe, unrelenting bloating, and even liver damage due to fermentation processes.
Onions and garlic
Onions and garlic contain a substance called thiosulfate, which the digestive system of a dog cannot break down. Even in small amounts, this can cause severe digestive system symptoms, and when it accumulates in larger amounts, even the number of red blood cells can decrease life-threateningly. It should not be consumed boiled, fried or as a flavoring of food.
Hot, spicy foods
Hot and spicy foods, meat, sausages, and deli meats all have a harmful effect on a dog’s digestive system. The capsaicin content of hot peppers strongly irritates the gastrointestinal tract, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and even inflammation. You can treat your dog to natural, unseasoned meat, and ask your relatives not to offer them spicy foods either. Cooked bones left over during dinner should not end up in the dog’s bowl either.
The list is not complete, so if you are not entirely sure that a certain food is safe for your dog to consume, do not experiment! It is easy to find out about seasonal dangers in advance, as there are already excellent, completely free presentations on the subject available on the Internet.
If you know in advance that relatives like to spoil your dog with snacks, prepare a small bowl of your own reward snacks, so that the evening will not end in your dog becoming sick and you rushing with them to the vet.