Forever Farm, Lake Toxaway, NC
CANINE CRUISIN': Montreat, NC

Keeping Your Dog Safe Around Holiday Food

Holidaycake Holidays are a time for lots of good food, and many of us are tempted to include our dogs in the festivities. Unfortunately, food for humans is generally not healthy for dogs to consume -- and some aspects of human food are downright dangerous. Here are several tips to keep your dog safe during your holiday feasts, courtesy of Asheville Humane Society (www.ashevillehumane.org).

- Even the most docile, well trained dog might discover that a turkey, roast or bone simmering on the stove or counter or accidentally dropped on the floor might be worth fighting for. This could result in the dog biting anyone who attempts to take it away, including a small child that just happens to walk by.  Keep food and bones out of reach and keep your dog out of the kitchen during preparations and servings. 

- If your dog normally joins the family at dinnertime, remove him/her from the room and provide a favorite chew toy or Kong instead.

- Watch those hot containers filled with turkey and ham drippings on the stove or table. Your dog can easily tip them over causing severe scalding and burns to themselves.

- Don't feed dogs the cooled drippings from meat. Human seasonings aren't good for dogs, and the rich stock and drippings can easily upset their digestive systems.

- Dogs should not be garbage disposals for holiday left-overs. Any sudden change of diet, even for just one meal, can give your dog stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating or other health problems. This is particularly true for older animals, whose digestive systems are often more delicate and nutritional requirements more strict. Consumption of human food can also result in pitiful begging, an aggravating habit hard to break, when the family sits down for meals.

- BONES ARE DANGEROUS!  Please, please don't feed your pets bones, especially poultry bones. Poultry bones splinter easily. Each year thousands of pets are treated for consumption of splintered bones, causing pain and sometimes death. Only offer bones that are specifically designed for dogs to chew on.

- Aluminum foil that has been wrapped around meat and disposable baking pans might be attractive to a pet, but do not let your dog near these -- ingestion of aluminum foil may cause vomiting, intestinal blockage or even more serious problems. Also be careful of aluminum foil wrapped candy. 

- Plastic food wrap can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Some dogs will eat the plastic wrapping when there are food remnants left coating its surface.

- Bright and attractive candy wrappers can be a choking hazard or cause digestive problems. Also, chocolate is toxic to dogs.

- Spicy foods, alcohol, and fatty foods may seem harmless but can lead to upset stomachs. For example, onions can be toxic to cats and dogs. 

- Instead of "people food," have appropriate dog and cat treats available and give sparingly.

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