Pet hospitals predict huge spike in chocolate-related ER visits Christmas Eve

Winter in Central Pa.

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(WDAF) – The holiday season is all about celebrating with the people – and pets – you love. But, just like with your friends and family, the wrong kind of treats can be a problem for everyone.

It’s something that BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospitals are bracing to see. The company said it sees a 372% increase in chocolate-related emergency visits every Christmas Eve.  

“It is easy for unattended pets to get into some dangerous holiday treats as people get busy spending time with family and friends,” said Lindsey E. Bullen, DVM, Diplomate ACVN, Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist, BluePearl in Cary, NC. “While we want our pets to enjoy the holidays with us, we must be cautious when giving our furry companions certain foods.” 

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BluePearl said these are some of the most dangerous foods for pets:

  • Grapes
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Nuts and walnuts
  • Onions and garlic
  • Xylitol which is a common sugar substitute used in sugar-free candies and pastries

The company said it’s also smart to keep your pet’s “paws off” bones or fatty meats. Even in small doses the scraps can cause a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis. Yeast dough can also be a problem because the yeast will continue to rise once it’s eaten. BluePearl said the dough can distend your pet’s stomach, and release toxic levels of ethanol into the bloodstream.

If you do want to treat your furry friends, try to stick to options made for animals. BluePearl said there are some foods that are safe for your pets to consume:

  • Turkey meat.  
  • Salmon. No seasoning, bones, and non-smoked.  
  • Lamb meat. No bones or fat.  
  • Scrambled eggs  
  • Green beans  
  • Brussel sprouts  
  • Parsnips  
  • Carrots  
  • Peas  
  • Potatoes  
  • Sweet potatoes  
  • Plain, low-fat yogurt (Check the ingredient list to make sure xylitol is not listed.)  

Knowing potential harmful foods for your pet will not only keep them safe, but it will also help you avoid a costly year-end bill at the vet.

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