What Your Dog Can and Can’t Eat on Thanksgiving

What Your Dog Can and Can't Eat On Thanksgiving

We have officially entered the Thanksgiving season and it is certainly a time to celebrate and spend time with friends and family as best as we can with the pandemic. Aside from that, many people also have the family pet join in on the festivities. So, with that in mind, it is important to know what you can and can’t feed your dog on the holiday. Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the foods your dog can and can’t eat during Thanksgiving.

Foods Your Dog CAN Eat

Bread: Bread is a safe treat for your dog, as long as it is plain bread. Make sure that it does not include any nuts, raisins, or spices. You also want to make sure that you do not overdo it with the bread as dogs do not gain any nutritional value from bread and like humans, too much can cause weight gain.

Carrots and Celery: If you’re preparing the stuffing, you may be able to provide your furry friend some spare carrots and celery. These vegetables are low in calories while also being full of nutrients and vitamins. Just be sure to first cut them into bite-sized pieces so that they are easier to digest.

Corn: Corn is a common ingredient in many dog foods, so it is perfectly healthy to give your dog to snack on. However, do not give them the cob because that can cause choking or intestinal blockages if it is swallowed.

Cheese: Cheese is a great choice for the occasional treat, as long as your dog is not lactose-intolerant. Be sure to avoid any high or full-fat varieties. A great option would be low or non-fat cottage cheese.

Turkey: Luckily, the usual main dish for most Thanksgiving is also perfectly safe for dogs. Now, before you prepare them a plate, make sure to remove any fat or skin, and never give them the bones because they can splinter and cause tears or blockages within the digestive tract.

Foods Your Dog CANNOT Eat

Chocolate: This has been mentioned previously, but it’s always good to reiterate that you should not feed your dog chocolate as it is highly toxic, especially dark chocolate, and it can stop your dog’s metabolic process resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death.

Garlic and Onions: Garlic and onions are also highly toxic to dogs and can cause anemia, elevated heart rate, and general weakness. Be sure to remain alert in case your dog may have eaten a stray piece of garlic or onion because the symptoms may not appear for a few days.

Apple Pie: While apple pie is a staple dessert for most Thanksgiving dinners, it would be a terrible idea to feed a slice to your dog. The high-fat crust along with common spice like cinnamon and nutmeg can result in a plethora of issues like upset stomach, liver disease, and high blood pressure. 

So, these tips are here to ensure that you and your family can have a safe and pleasant Thanksgiving holiday that is also safe for your furry friend to join. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

Halloween Safety Tips For Pets

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween is typically a fun and festive time for children and their families. However, for pets, it can be quite a nightmare with a lot of unnecessary stress. You can mitigate a lot of these issues by following some of these tips below. So, let’s take a look at some ways you can keep your animals safe during Halloween.

Keep Trick-Or-Treat Candies Away From Pets

One big thing to remember is that chocolate of all kinds, especially baking or dark chocolate can be dangerous and even lethal for both cats and dogs. Some common symptoms to be aware of when it comes to chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Be sure to be on the lookout for Halloween candies that contain the artificial sweetener xylitol as that can also be poisonous to dogs. This is because even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in their blood sugar which can lead to loss of coordination and seizures. Now, while the toxicity of xylitol in cats has yet to be established, your best bet to be safe than sorry.

Do Not Leave Your Pets Out In The Yard

Unfortunately, Halloween is a time where pranksters have been known to tease, injure, and even steal pets. While this is very much so inexcusable, it is also preventable nonetheless. Black cats, in particular, are at risk from pranks to the point where many shelters will not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution. So, make sure you keep your animals safely housed indoors during the holiday.

Keep Pets Away From The Door

As we’ve established earlier, indoors is definitely better than outdoors on Halloween. However, it is important to note that the door will be opening and closing constantly and you will have strangers on your doorstep dressed in unusual costumes. This can be scary for your pets resulting in escape attempts or even unexpected aggression. So, be sure to keep them in a secure crate or a room away from the door in order to reduce any stress and prevent them from dashing outside into the night.

Keep Glowsticks Away From Your Pets

Now, even though glowsticks are known to keep people safe at night on Halloween, they can cause unnecessary drama if your pet happens to chew one open. Luckily, the liquid inside glowsticks are typically non-toxic, so they won’t make them sick. They do, however, taste awful, and pets who chew on one may start to drool or paw at their mouth, and sometimes vomit. So, if you suspect or notice that your pet has chewed on a glowstick, offer some fresh water or a small meal in order to clear the material out of their mouth. 

Keep ID’s Ready

In the unfortunate event that your cat or dog does escape or become lost, it is important to have their proper identification on them to increase the chances of them being returned. Collars and tags are a great way to assist in the event someone is able to find you lost animal. Microchips offer a more permanent identification if the collar or tag accidentally falls off. The key is to make sure the information is up to date. So, use this season as a regular reminder to double check the address and phone number on the tags or with the company that supports pet microchips.

These are just a few tips that will help you keep your furry friend safe during Halloween. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

Keeping Your Pets Safe Amidst Coronavirus

Keeping Your Pets Safe Amidst Coronavirus

Last month, we discussed some of the ways you can keep your pets busy while you are all home during a pandemic. Now, while maintaining the health and safety of yourself and those closest to you is of the utmost priority during this COVID-19 pandemic, you might also be thinking about how you can keep your pets safe and clear from the virus as well. The good news is that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that the disease is typically spread to humans through person-to-person contact. Here in the US, there have been very few reports of pets or livestock succumbing to the coronavirus.

Now, while there is little evidence that suggests that the coronavirus can be transmitted to or from animals, you can’t be too safe and should still practice best hygiene practices around your animals. For example, you should be washing your hands thoroughly throughout the day and especially before and after you have direct contact with your pets, their food or their supplies. Let’s take a look at a couple of other ways you can keep your pet safe during this pandemic.

Stock Up On Pet Supplies

You should also look to prepare a kit that includes any essential supplies you would need on hand in the event of an emergency. This emergency kit should have at least a month’s supply of your pet’s medications along with about two weeks worth of food.

Designate An Emergency Caregiver

You also want to identify someone who will be relied upon to help with your pet’s short-term or long-term care in the event that you are unable to do so. This can be a family member, a friend, your neighbor, or even your favorite boarding facility.

Create A Pet Dossier

Now, if assistance is required from your designated emergency caregiver, you should try to make things easier by having all of your pet’s information in one place. Some of the things you want to make available are their habits, food preferences, any medical conditions the caregiver should be aware of and the medications they take, your local veterinarian contact information, and also any behavioral tendencies that. This information will make things much smoother for the caregiver.

At the end of the day, we all want to make sure that we are putting in the proper safety precautions that will ensure the safety of not just ourselves but everyone we come in contact with and that includes our pets. So, these are some basic guidelines that people can follow. For more information on how you can keep your pet safe during this pandemic, feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

How To Keep Your Pets Safe from Wildlife

How To Keep Pets Safe From Wildlife

Wildlife and pets don’t mix well most of the time and it is up to you as the owner to keep your pet safe in the event they encounter a wild animal. Now, due to the fact that this does not happen as often, it can be difficult to foresee these types of issues. However, with the spring and summer months approaching, you can expect more and more wild animals to be out and about, making their way into backyards. Therefore, it is critical to be aware of the potential dangers your pet might face.

Depending on where you live, you might deal with different threats to the safety of your pet. Some common animals that you will want to keep an eye out for are, especially in the Colorado area include: coyotes, deer, and moose. Coyotes can be particularly dangerous as they are a rabies reservoir species which means an attack from them can put your pet at risk for rabies.

As it pertains to pet safety around wild animals, you would most likely deal with two scenarios which are home safety and walking safety. So, let’s take a look at how you can keep your pet safe in both scenarios.

Home Safety

One of the main draws for wild animals is food. So one of the easiest things you can do to keep your pet safe is to make sure there is no trash in your yard and avoid leaving food outdoors. Also, if you have noticed a lot of rodents in your home or outside near your home, you will want to take care of the problem immediately, because they can lure in snakes and other predators to your yard. Now, while you may consider your yard as a safe place, it is important that keep eyes on your pet as they are outside, especially at dusk and dawn. It is during these times that wild animals can find their ways into fenced yards and cause trouble.

Another factor that can draw in wild animals is pet waste, so, be sure to regularly clean your yard for animal waste to prevent any wildlife from wandering into your yard.

Walking Safety

Now, when you are walking your pet, make sure you keep them on a leash and near you at all times. By allowing them to roam, it puts them at risk for animal attacks, especially in a wooded area. In the event a wild animal does approach you, avoid running away from the animal. Simply face them and slowly back away. You can also try to keep the animal from approaching by making a lot of noise and make yourself appear as big as possible. Stomping your feet, throwing rocks, and shouting are all methods that can help. Finally, never approach a wild animal if you see one. Instead, try to leave a path for them to escape while staying as far away as possible.

Cherrelyn Animal Hospital is available if you have additional questions about protecting your pet from wildlife. Also, if your pet has been involved in an attack with a wild animal, give us a call at (303) 532-1258!

7 Dangerous Holiday Foods For Pets

Aside from the twinkling lights, gift-giving, and time with family, one other thing we like to look forward to during this season is feasting. But keep in mind that our pets cannot eat everything that we can. When you bring guests over, your friendly dog or cat may be waiting for scraps around the table. But warn your family and guests of the dangers that come from sneaking them a bite, as there are a number of dangerous holiday foods for pets to watch out for.

Chocolate

Although we may be stating the obvious, chocolate is one of the most toxic foods for pets. While cats seem to be less tempted by chocolate, dogs are notoriously attracted to this delicious sweet. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which are toxic to both dogs and cats. Ingestion of small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea, while large amounts can cause seizures and heart arrhythmias.

Different forms of chocolate vary in their toxicity, with dry cocoa powder at the top of the list, followed by unsweetened baker’s chocolate. As a general rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is for your pet. Any type of dessert that contains chocolate, such as brownies or chocolate chip cookies, should not be fed to pets.

Sugar-Free Items With Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is used as a sugar substitute in chewing gum, candy, peanut butter, store-bought baked goods, and other foods. A 2010 academic paper collected data on xylitol toxicosis in dogs in the U.S., finding that 2500 cases were reported in 2008. Xylitol is toxic to dogs and can cause low blood sugar and liver toxicity. Ingestion will cause a rapid and massive insulin release in dogs, leading to weakness, seizures, and vomiting. Pet owners should examine labels closely, especially on sugar-free products. Instead of being listed as “Xylitol,” it is sometimes listed as “Sugar Alcohol,” so be wary of both terms.

Raisins and Grapes

Salads, baked goods, or even savory dishes can have raisins or grapes in them. However, raisins or grapes can cause sudden kidney failure in dogs and ingesting even small amounts can be fatal for both cats and dogs.  Initial signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperactive behavior. After 24 hours, the pet may become lethargic and depressed. While raisins are more toxic to dogs than grapes, it is extremely important to keep any food items containing either away from your pet.

Coffee

Any type of caffeine is toxic for pets. It can cause seizures, heart arrhythmias, and even death. Therefore, caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and tea, can be dangerous. If you serve coffee or tea to any of your guests, advise them to keep their mugs away from your dog or cat.

Alcohol

At safe and reasonable amounts, alcohol is fun and bubbly, but be extra careful to keep it away from pets. Even for humans, alcohol poisoning is a serious issue. For our fluffy companions, who are much smaller in body mass and lack tolerance, alcohol is significantly more toxic. Alcohol can lead to staggering, decreased reflexes, slowing respiratory rate, cardiac arrest, and even death.

Onions and Garlic

Fragrant and delicious, onions and garlic are found in many holiday dishes to provide some flavor, kick, and seasoning. However, they both contain thiosulphate, which causes red blood cells to burst in cats and dogs. This can possibly lead to something called hemolytic anemia, where red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be made. Side effects of ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and lethargy.

The good news is that a small bite of food flavored with onion or garlic will not cause problems in most pets. Ingestion of large quantities, however, such as an entire clove of garlic, can be serious. Garlic has much less thiosulphate than onions, but it is recommended that both are kept away from dogs and cats. In particular, cats are more sensitive to garlic.

Ham and Bacon

Ham, bacon, and other pork products are high in fat content and difficult for pets to digest. They can cause pancreatitis, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness. Even small portions of ham or bacon can contribute a disproportionately large amount of calories and fat to a dog or cat’s diet.

We hope that your holidays will not be interrupted by concerning signs of distress in your pet. Be sure to review this list of dangerous holiday foods for pets before a gathering or party and inform your guests of the involved risks. If you begin to suspect that your pet has ingested something potentially toxic, call a professional veterinary clinic, like Cherrelyn Animal Hospital, immediately.