Dogs and cats need to avoid some holiday goodies

By Gisele Gamble Special to The Examiner

Although this Christmas is going to be much different than what we are all used to, there are still things we will have in our homes that can harm our pets. At Christmas time we tend to bake breads, cookies and pies. We make fudge, bring flowers into our homes, and decorate a tree with all kinds of interesting things hanging on it.

Dogs and cats are naturally curious and will pull ornaments off trees, take a bite of a flower or leaf of a plant, and beg with sad faces and big eyes for a bite of fudge or a cookie. As much as we love our pets, we need to be careful of what we give them and expose them to.

Although pumpkin on its own is something dogs can eat, if there are raisins in pumpkin bread that can make a dog extremely sick. I will admit I have given my dogs pumpkin bread, but it does not have raisins in it.

Chocolate is not good for dogs or cats even though the smell makes them feverishly beg for it. I have heard of dogs eating a box of chocolate cookies that survived, but they first had to visit the vet or ER to get treatment. If you have a counter surfer be sure to keep all the goodies back at least 10 inches from the edge of the counter.

Other important things to keep away from pets are:

• Flowers such as lilies, holly or poinsettias. These are toxic to dogs and cats.

• Xylitol, an artificial sweetener in gum and candy. It causes low blood sugar and possibly liver failure.

• Onions, garlic, leeks, shallots or chives. These can cause destruction of red blood cells in our pets.

• Macadamia nuts, which can potentially cause nerve system damage.

Please be aware of where your pets are and what they are doing during this holiday season. A trip to the ER ruins your holiday and you could possibly lose your pet.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center phone number is 888-426-4435. Please keep this number on your fridge or in your phone. It is also a good idea to have your local emergency vet phone number in your phone. It is best to be prepared in case of emergency.

Animals Best Friends wishes everyone a merry Christmas and happy holidays.