Don't Let Your Pet Fall Victim to Holiday Dangers

From: Frank Groff
Published: Mon Dec 11 2017

As the holidays approach, pet owners must be especially vigilant when it comes to our 4-legged family members. Typical holiday foods and decorations can present a minefield of dangers to your pet. Here are some warnings issued by veterinarian Dr. Oscar Chavez, BVetMed, MRCVS chief medical officer for JustFood ForDogs:

· TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY FOODS: The pancreas is a small digestive organ that helps pets digest fat and other things. Feeding your pets fatty holiday foods that can send them to the veterinary hospital with acute pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas).

· CHOCOLATE AND OTHER TREATS– Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which can be potent stimulants to pets, causing vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, increased heart rate, tremors, seizures, and even death. While dangerous to all animals, dogs are 5 times more likely to suffer the ill effects of chocolate than cats. The darker the chocolate the greater the danger and the smaller the dog the more susceptible they are. Other no-no’s? Raisins and grapes can cause kidney failure while and gum, mints, candies and even some peanut butter contain xylitol, an extremely potent and potentially deadly ingredient.

· ALCOHOL – Some pet owners find humor by allowing their pets to drink alcohol and watch them get tipsy and exhibit the signs of being drunk. Bad idea as alcohol, which can even be found in foods like rum cake or candies, can poison your pet and even be fatal.

· HOLIDAY PLANTS – While you may have heard that consuming poinsettias are dangerous to your pets, these plants are relatively harmless. You do need to be much more concerned about mistletoe, holly, lilies, laurels and amaryllis. These plants are common during the holidays. Clinical signs of toxicity can vary from vomiting and diarrhea to extreme lethargy, weakness, convulsions or death. The list of poisonous plants can be long, but the ASPCA provides a good resource:

· ORNAMENTS -- Broken ornaments can cause injuries and ingested ornaments can cause intestinal blockage or even toxicity. Keep any homemade ornaments, particularly those made from salt-dough or other food-based materials, out of reach of pets.

· TINSEL & DECORATIONS – Their shiny appearance can prove tempting for pets to eat. Consuming them can cause intestinal blockages, sometimes requiring surgery.

Headquartered Los Alamitos, Calif., JustFoodForDogs was founded in 2010 by entrepreneur and dog lover Shawn Buckley, who tasked 9 veterinarians with elevating dog food beyond what is found on pet store and grocery shelves. In fact, 75%+ of that commercial product may contain toxins, carcinogens and ungodly byproducts which can include animal feces and brain matter, all are permitted by the FDA. JFFD, on the other hand, is on the vanguard of preparing small batch, homemade food made from scratch using USDA certified meats and produce that even humans can consume. Studies show that dogs enjoying a diet of human-grade food are healthier than dogs consuming commercial product. JFFD is prepared in kitchens at its 10 So Cal locations so consumers can see firsthand how it is made. Their food is also shipped nationwide through JFFD's thriving e-commerce business. Locations are in Costa Mesa, West Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Manhattan Beach, Capistrano Beach, Downtown Los Angeles, Anaheim Hills, Long Beach, Glendale, and Del Mar. For more information, visit
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