Dietary indiscretion is the term we use to describe what happens when your pet eats something that doesn’t agree with them. The result is usually vomiting, diarrhea or a combination of both.
During the season of gifting, pets will often receive new treats and food items that they may not be used to. Any new food item may upset the digestive tract enough to cause nausea and vomiting, even if it is a pet specific treat. Offers of table food and leftovers add to the problem. When entertaining, food can be easy access for pets with buffets, plates of appetizers and leftovers on the counter. Remember to secure your garbage containers and compost bins too. Some food items are not only irritating, but are also toxic. Chocolate, grapes, and macadamia nuts are all potentially toxic.
Inappropriate food isn’t the only problem. Dogs and cats will chew and swallow other things. We call this foreign body ingestion. These items can irritate the lining of the stomach and intestines. In worse case scenarios, they can cause a blockage. Plants and bouquets of flowers may pose an extra risk. Not just irritating, some plants such as lilies, amaryllis and mistletoe will have additional toxic activity. Decorations are a big temptation, especially for cats. Tinsel, wires, ribbons, and cords are irresistible to kitties that are attracted to string-like objects.
The holidays are busy enough without any unexpected veterinary visits. These few guidelines should help you keep your pet safe and sound this time of year.