Vail Pet Talk column: Dos and don’ts of holiday food for pets |

Vail Pet Talk column: Dos and don’ts of holiday food for pets

Dr. Liz Foster
Pet Talk
Liz Foster, DVM.
Special to the Daily |

It’s that time of year when we are all taking part in holiday celebrations. What’s a better way to show your animal you love them than to feed them some of your holiday feast, right? If you plan to do this, be sure you are taking precautions so that your beloved pet doesn’t get sick from eating the wrong thing.

As veterinarians, we see an increase in the amount of cases of pancreatitis and gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, diarrhea and a decreased appetite) right around Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. There are ways to avoid this if you know what foods to feed and what foods not to feed.

Bones can be very dangerous to your pet, and it is recommended that you never feed your pet bones. They can cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea and even an intestinal blockage. Be sure to keep all bones out of reach of your pet and dispose of them properly.

Be sure to never feed your pet raw or undercooked meat, as it can cause an upset stomach and carries a risk of salmonella. This can lead to dangerous bacterial infections in our pets that lead to vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset and even pancreatitis. If you would like to feed your dog some turkey, please be sure it is cooked properly and you feed a piece that is low in fat and not covered in skin.

There are several foods that we love in our dishes but should not be fed to a dog. These include grapes, raisins, onions, garlic and mushrooms. Grapes and raisins can be toxic to dogs and can lead to kidney failure. Onions and garlic, although quite tasty in our meals, can lead to red blood cell destruction and anemia in our pets, so be sure to keep them away from your pet’s meal. Mushroom ingestion by a dog can lead to vomiting, seizures and potentially death, so keep those yummy fungi to yourself.

Sweet potatoes and mashed regular potatoes are OK in small quantities, as long as you nix the butter, spices or any other additives such as drippings, sour cream or gravy.

Green beans, carrots and bread rolls are other items that are OK in small quantities, as long as they don’t contain butter or spices. Save the savory stuff for your own dinner plate.

We all consider our pets as part of our family, and nothing says family like spending time together during the holidays. Keep these tips in mind so that we can all enjoy being together without an upset stomach during this special time of year.

Dr. Liz Foster is an associate veterinarian at Mountain Mobile Vet and The Animal Hospital Center. She can be reached at 970-328-7085.

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