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Posted on 11-03-2011

Austin Vet Reminds Pet Owners of Chocolate Dangers

The winter holiday season is an enjoyable time for most humans. It's a time filled with friends and family, special foods and festive decorations. However, this time of year can be a dangerous time for pets if pet owners aren't careful. Some of the same things that make the holidays so special for humans can be harmful to cats and dogs. Avoid a trip to the 24 hour veterinarian by educating yourself about holiday pet hazards.

24 hour veterinarian warns of holiday dangers for petsHoliday Pet Hazards

Many holiday foods, especially chocolate, can be perilous to pets. Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance similar to caffeine that is highly toxic to cats and dogs. The darker the chocolate, the greater the theobromine content and the greater the danger. Dog's symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting and diarrhea as well as hyperactivity, pacing and even seizures if the chocolate is ingested in large quantities. Cat's symptoms are similar, although cats are less likely than dogs to grab a piece of chocolate off of the table.

Other holiday foods to watch out for include onions and garlic, raisins and grapes, alcoholic beverages and yeast bread doughs.

Keeping Pets Safe During the Holidays

At Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin, our veterinarians recommend covering holiday treats, even during a party. It only takes a second for your pet to run off with a piece of chocolate or other hazardous food. We also advise pet owners to clear the holiday dinner table immediately after the meal and to carefully discard of any turkey or ham bones. Not only is this better for humans, but it eliminates any temptation for your pets.

Should you suspect that your dog or cat has ingested chocolate or other toxic substance, put a call in immediately to our after-hours veterinarian. Our veterinarian will be able to tell you what steps you need to take and whether you should bring the animal into the clinic.

Do you take special precautions around the holidays to keep your dog or cat safe and avoid a trip to the emergency animal hospital? Share your tips with our readers by leaving a comment below.

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