Tis the Season!

The holiday season! A time of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and other times spent together with family. This is a great time when the leaves are changing and the temperatures are dropping. As our pets get excited to spend time with the family as well, there are some things that can harm them also! With all the baking, decorating and colder temperatures, we need to keep a close eye on our furry loved ones.

Dog baking

Although your dog would love to cook/bake with you and enjoy in the spoils of your creations, there is a cause for concern with one of our favorite ingredients.

The fact that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats is pretty well known. But how much chocolate? Is one type of chocolate worse than another?
To begin with, why is Chocolate toxic? The caffeine as well as a compound called Theobromine are the reasons for chocolates toxicity. Dogs can not handle these stimulants as well as we can. These stimulants cause increased blood pressure and heart rate as well as seizures!
The amount of chocolate that can be toxic is as little as ONE OUNCE PER POUND! Baking chocolate is going to be the worse. Milk chocolate is still bad for our pets, but they would need to ingest 100 grams/pound of body weight to be toxic.
If your think your pet has ingested the chocolate within 30 minutes, then you should try and make them vomit. If we can empty the chocolate out of their stomach, then chances of the toxicity are reduced.
Use 1 TABLESPOON PER 15 POUNDS of weight of Hydrogen Peroxide by mouth. Yes, the hydrogen peroxide in the brown bottle at your house. For example, if you have a 30 pound dog, then give 2 tablespoons of the peroxide. This will cause them to vomit quickly so be ready. If 10 minutes pass and there is no vomiting, grab the container the chocolate was in and head in to your vet or an after hours clinic. There is a different medication that we can sometimes use to help make
the patients vomit.
Here is a list of other holiday foods that can do harm to our pets.
Thanksgiving toxic food

Next, we start talking more specifically about cats.

Cats do love to eat and chase stringy things. It is soft and they can roll it around. We need to be very careful with these items around our furry felines, however. Sometimes our pets will ingest these items. When eating these stringy objects, they can get stuck underneath the tongue or in other areas in the digestive track. The intestines continue to try and move the object along even though it is fixated in one place. This can lead to a sawing affect causing pain as well as possibly causing a hole in the GI tract with the digestive juices leaking into the belly! Signs that your cat has ingested tinsel or a string are going to be lethargy, vomiting, and anorexia. If you notice any of these signs, please call us! Although tinsel and stringy items are pretty and fun, remember they are also fun for our kitties and we need to make sure they do not eat them.

We’ve discussed food and tinsel. Now lets make a big leap over to the weather. I am not a fan of the cold! Some of our companions are not fond of the cold either. Some of them can handle it well, while others can not. Take a wild guess which of these dogs does not do well in winter weather:
Chinese Crested

Just in case you couldn’t guess…. it was the middle dog! The Chinese Crested. Although this one might have been obvious because the dog is hairless, don’t assume just because your dog has hair that it can survive the outdoors. Bigger dogs are typically going to do better and dogs with longer hair will do better because they have the extra insulation. If your dog has short hair, be on the safe side and get a classy jacket or sweater for them to stay warm!
And know that the Georgia “G” will always help keep them warm 😉

So enjoy the Fall/Winter time with your pets and remember to keep a close eye on them! Keep them out of your chocolate supply, away from all the tinsel, and keep them warm!