2017-12-06 / Front Page

Holiday Treats Can Be Fatal To Fido

By Liz Goff
Pet owners who are tempted to share holiday goodies with their furry friends are reminded that those cookies, candy and other treats might be deadly to cats and dogs, officials at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) said.

“Some people treat their pets like they are members of the family,” the officials said. “That’s great, but you have to remember they are a different breed with different digestive systems and nutritional guidelines.

“We have to be aware that some human foods can be harmful to pets, some can be dangerous – and others are deadly,” officials said.

Many pets accidentally ingest chocolate candy during the holiday season, officials said. “Remember to keep chocolates out of the reach of cats and dogs this holiday season, because the cocoa content in these products can cause a heart attack,” the officials said.

Chocolate also contains theocroine, a bitter alkaloid from the cacao plant that is toxic to dogs and puppies, officials said. “Canine hearts are more than 100 times more sensitive to this alkaloid than ours.”

Officials are also warning pet owners to keep all products containing Xylitol out of the reach of cats and dogs. The natural sweetener can cause low blood sugar in puppies and dogs, resulting in dehydration, loss of coordination, seizures and kidney failure – even when digested in low doses, ASPCA officials said.

Owners are advised to seek immediate medical attention if your pet ingests chocolate or Xylitol. Depending on the amount of the substance ingested, pets could need treatment to induce vomiting, or the vet may have to pump the pooch’s stomach to properly remove the toxic agent, the officials said. In cases where a small amount of the agent was ingested, your vet (or an emergency veterinarian) would likely prescribe medication to help your cat or dog with digestion.


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