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Holiday Foods Can Be Dangerous For Dogs

Many holiday foods can be dangerous for dogs.
Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Many holiday foods can be dangerous for dogs.

We may consider dogs to be members of the family, but sharing the bounty of the holiday dinner table can make them very sick, or even turn deadly. 

Billings veterinarian Rob Bruner of Big Sky Pet Center says vets can see a lot of sick dogs this time of year.

"It’s not uncommon to have a pet a day at least to come in with some sort of gastrointestinal distress: vomiting, diarrhea. And then numerous calls because we don’t know exactly what they got into because they are tricky," Bruner said. 

Unfortunately much of what graces our holiday table is toxic to dogs and it’s important to know what those foods are. The list is quite long: like chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, xylitol (artificial sweetener) and nuts, just to name a few. And a very big no-no for dogs is fat, because even a small amount can cause pancreatitis.

"Pancreatitis in dogs can be quite serious, especially if we can’t get the vomiting and diarrhea under control," Bruner said. 

Bruner explains dogs become dehydrated and very tender in the abdomen and can refuse to eat.

He does offer some suggestions on how to treat our dogs to their own holiday feast. Bruner says you can give them something bland. Boil some rice and mix in some bits of turkey with no fat or gravy.

"They’re just happy they got something, Even if you took a little bowl of dog food and had it on the kitchen counter or the kitchen table and they got a little bit of that. They would think they’re getting a feast anyway," Bruner said.