Baer Bechtel, DVM  |  Carmen Lastine, DVM  |  Paul Grych, DVM

456 Kokopelli Blvd., Unit E  |  Fruita, CO  |  970.858.4299

Dangers of Holiday Food!

Everyone has their favorite holiday and mine is coming up!  Gathering with attitudes of gratitude over a table of tantalizing dishes is the best. To help keep your holiday season magical, I want to share some things to be aware of when it comes to keeping Fido and Fifi from any unscheduled visits to the veterinary hospital.  With a little awareness, I hope we can prevent some holiday pet hazards from stealing the festivities' joy.

The majority of pet hazards during the holiday season revolve around food.  Ahhh!  Food, glorious food!  Starting at Thanksgiving and moving right into ringing in the New Year, delicious spreads are the center point.  Most pet owners like to share bits of food with their dogs and cats, and sometimes it's to Fido and Fifi's detriment.  What pet doesn't want a serving of those mashed potatoes with rich gravy? As for a good leg of turkey, well most four legged friends will help themselves if given the opportunity!

Perhaps some of you have walked away from the table wishing you hadn't eaten quite as much during the holiday meal.  In the veterinary world, a dog or cat may experience the same serious gastric upset from rich yummy foods they don't encounter every day.  Dietary indiscretion is the term we use when whatever the pet ingested results in vomiting and or diarrhea that may go on well past the last football game of the day.  The resulting mess of one's beloved pet's GI distress tends to put a damper on any holiday party. In more serious cases, a potentially life-threatening process known as pancreatitis can ensue. 

Be mindful of your pets’ consumption of any fatty foods as well as moldy or spoiled foods, onions and recipes containing onion powder. A few doozies on the list of dietary indiscretions include: poultry skin, gravy, pie, chocolate, mashed potatoes, ham, uncooked yeast dough, coffee grounds, and alcoholic beverages.  In addition, watch out for any specialty baked goods that may contain marijuana derivatives.  We are seeing more and more of these toxicity cases.

Fido may get just an itty-bitty, teeny-weeny piece of ham from you a couple times during the day, but who knows if three or four other well-meaning folks shared the love with him in the same way.  It starts to add up!  Then we have the bandits that wait for you to fall asleep in your favorite recliner, forgetting the full trash can or the platter that was left sitting on the kitchen counter. This sort of temptation can prove to be too much for even the best trained pet.

With this food for thought, may you enjoy the holiday with no unwanted digestive upsets!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Baer Bechtel, DVM
Carmen Lastine, DVM
Paul Grych, DVM

456 Kokopelli Blvd., Unit E
Fruita, CO 81521
(970) 858-4299
(970) 858-3357 Fax

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday 7:30AM-5:30PM
Saturday 8:00AM - 12:00PM

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In case of emergency contact the
Grand Valley Veterinary Emergency Center.


1660 North Ave. • Grand Junction, CO 81501