Happy Holidays from all of us here at ESA Of America! We know many of you will be traveling over the holiday season which means your Emotional Support Animal will also be along for the trip. However, the two things that don't always mix well are holidays and dogs.
You might be wondering why that is. The simple truth is that dogs love to eat, and unfortunately, certain holiday foods can kill your dog if he/she eats them.
Even if you are vigilant in watching what your dog eats and keep table food out of his reach, holiday guests might not be so attentive. Make sure that you keep an eye on food that is left within your dog's reach, including the trash cans.
Here's what you need to know about the 6 holiday foods that can kill your dog.
1. Chocolate Candies, Cakes, and Cookies
Chocolate is a favorite treat for many people, and dogs seem to like it too, even though it isn't good for them. Every type of chocolate contains caffeine and methylxanthines, substances that are toxic for dogs. White chocolate is the least toxic, while unsweetened cocoa has the most toxicity. Typically, eating small amounts lead to mild symptoms, while larger amounts can create severe reactions, including:
. Excessive thirst
. Abdominal discomfort and vomiting
. Muscle tremors
. Increase in body temperature
. Severe agitation
. Irregular heart beat
. Seizures and death
2. Macadamia Nuts, Cookies, and Candies
While they are available throughout the entire year, macadamia nuts seem to be popular during the holidays. They show up in cookies and cakes, as well as in chocolate-covered versions and nut mixes. Unfortunately, macadamia nuts are highly toxic for your dog. According to the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), sensitivity to these nuts varies from one dog to another, and there's no scientific way to guestimate how much your dog can eat before it creates a toxic reaction. Your dog might eat one and become ill, and then again, it might need to eat six or seven before experiencing a bad reaction.
If your dog does eat macadamia nuts, you'll need to watch for the following symptoms:
. Muscle tremors
. Weakness in the back legs, creating difficulty in standing up from a prone position
. Full paralysis of the back legs
. Rapid heart rate and vomiting
When the poisoning is mild, your dog should recover without medical treatment after a couple of days. You'll notice the symptoms becoming weaker, and your dog becoming stronger. If your pet's symptoms are severe, you should take your dog to the veterinarian for treatment. IV-fluid therapy and pain management are generally needed when a pet is showing signs of extreme distress.
Since macadamia nuts are often paired with chocolate when used in baking, your pet is placed at a double risk if he ingests food containing both. The toxicity of chocolate and macadamia nuts together can lead to such a severe reaction that your pet's life might be in danger. Therefore, you should take your pet to the veterinarian immediately.
3. Raised Dough
Raised dough is made with live yeast, which can expand in the stomach of your pet if he eats raw dough. As the dough expands, it causes severe stomach discomfort, limiting the proper flow of blood. If your dog develops a twisted stomach, the tissues begin to die. Typically, you won't know that this condition has occurred until it is too late. If you discover that your dog is having difficulty breathing, it is a clear sign that the stomach is expanding. Once your pet develops seizures or foams at the mouth, it is typically too late to save him.
A sugar-free sweetener used in candies, gum, and baked goods, xylitol is highly toxic and can lead to your dog's death in as little as 30 minutes. Eating a lot of xylitol can lead to disorientation, seizures, and liver failure in your dog.
Found in cookies, pumpkin pie, and sweet potato pie, nutmeg is toxic from your pets. It's even used in eggnog, so forget that tiny sip you were going to let your dog enjoy. Nutmeg contains myristicin, a dangerous chemical. High levels of nutmeg can lead to:
. Hallucinogenic responses
. Seizures, convulsions, and death
Baked in cookies, cakes, and pies, raisins are toxic for dogs. Their ingestion is linked to vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, kidney failure and death.
so we've compiled a list of foods to make sure you keep far away from your dog...
If you plan on traveling this holiday season and you still don't have your ID or VIP Kit, today is the day to do so to still have it arrive before the 24th. We are receiving DOZENS of calls everyday about businesses requiring far more than the law gives them permission to require but if you want your travel plans to go off without a hitch you really should have your ID and harness.