Holiday time is yucky poop time at The Doggie Den. Not fun! This time of year customers - and especially their kids - insist on giving dogs holiday "treats" that pups cannot digest. It's no treat for the dogs a few hours later, and even less for us when they come to daycare! Not something you get used too, cleaning up that kind of mess several times a day. So I gripe. It helps.
For us the rich holiday goodies may result in a few extra pounds. The cookies, cake, candy, Christmas breads, etc... oooo la la! This time of the year I'm afraid of my bathroom scale! But the consequences for our canine companions are much greater, especially if they ingest too much chocolate. In any form, ranging from one-ounce baking squares to hand-dipped truffles to intense home-made cakes or brownies, chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both methylxanthines than can cause stimulation of the central nervous system, an increase in heart rate and tremors. Clinical signs - vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity, and increased thirst, urination and heart rate - can be seen with the ingestion of as little as 2 ounces of baking chocolate by a 10 lb dog.
Thinking sugar-free is okay? It may be a healthier choice for us (and I'm not even sure about that!) but gum or candies made with xylitol can make dogs ill. If they ingest significant amounts, they may develop a sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, loss of coordination and seizures. Also, data from the ASPCA Poison Control Center appears to point to a link between xylitol and liver failure in dogs.
So take care to keep sweets out of your pup's reach - and don't let them in the kitchen unsupervised if you're baking or have left goodies on counters. If you suspect your pup may have eaten chocolate, candies containing xylitol, or any other potentially poisonous substance, CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN OR THE ANIMAL POISON CONTROL CENTER HOTLINE FOR 24 HOUR TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE: 888-426-4435.
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