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Share your love, not holiday meals, with your pets

It’s time to resurrect the “we can never educate fellow pet parents enough about danger foods that lurk in our pantries, especially at the holidays,” column.

Let’s talk turkey … skin, gravy and ham. All are too greasy for your pet. Never give your dog a poultry or ham bone. They are too porous and can easily splinter in your pet’s mouth, throat or intestine.

Don’t feel guilty not sharing table food with your pet. This is a bad learned habit we humans teach our pets because we inherently feel we’re sharing our love by sharing our food. More often than not human foods are too greasy, acidic and overall unhealthy for our pets.

Are you aware of the following toxic foods to dogs?

Onions and garlic — large amounts can destroy red blood cells and cause anemia.

Raisins/grapes — can cause kidney failure.

Xylitol — an artificial sweetener found in chewing gum and used for baking — can cause liver damage and a life-threatening drop in blood sugar.

Alcohol — can cause vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. (so can uncooked, store bought yeast like that used to make pizza crusts, which can ferment in your dog’s stomach and cause the same damage that the fermented ingredients in alcohol can).

Chocolate — although the amount determines the toxicity, the darker the chocolate the more serious the poisoning.

Show your love with attention or even a frozen green bean for a healthy treat.

A vet once told me that substituting frozen green beans for dog treats is a great healthy alternative and revealed that the calories and fat content in a dog treat can equate to a regular-sized candy bar. That was an eye-opener for newbie dog owner me.

Keep the counters and unattended tables clear of people food if you have a persistent, counter-surfing pooch.

Ask your veterinarian about a list of foods that you and your children should and should not feed your pets.

Shower your pet with love this holiday and forego the human delicacies in which we humans tend to over-indulge. Your pet’s digestive system will thank you.

Amy is the author of the new children’s book, “Oakley’s Great Cape Escape,” as well as, “Have Dog Will Blog,” editor of the Central PA Pets magazine and director of the Central PA Pet Expo. She can be contacted at ahanna@altoonamirror.com.

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