Here are some tips to keep your pets happy and safe during the upcoming holiday season and year round.

Rich, fatty foods like gravies, grease, and turkey skins can cause a range of problems like stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis. all conditions that can be very serious and result in hospitalization. Limit or cut out the table scraps.

Don’t feed your pet uncooked meat, fish, and poultry. They can contain disease causing bacteria, such as E. coli which can result in severe gastrointestinal upset.

Any kind of bone can be especially dangerous or even fatal to your pet. Bones can tear and/ or obstruct your pet’s digestive tract. Make certain all bones are disposed of properly.

Meat soaked stings from roasts and turkeys are enticing to your pet. Ingestion can cause a surgical emergency called a “linear foreign body” in the intestine. Dispose of all preparation equipment such as strings, plastic wrap, foil, and bags in a pet-proof garbage container.

Uncooked yeast dough can expand and produces gas in the digestive system of your pet, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach and intestines.

Alcohol can cause serious intoxication and death in pets. Dogs are attracted to the sweet smell and taste of drinks, especially eggnog. Be sure to clean up the glasses after a holiday get together where alcohol is served.

Chocolate, coffee, and tea all contain dangerous components which cause nervous system, urinary system damage, and heart muscle stimulation. Chocolate is dangerous because dogs love its flavor.   Problems from ingestion range from diarrhea to seizures and death. Unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolate are the most toxic, but all chocolates, fudge, and other candy should be placed out of the reach of your pet.

Grapes and raisins contain a toxin which can damage the kidneys.

The artificial sweeteners in many candies, gums, breath mints, and other human foods are very toxic to dogs.

A good practice is to feed your pet prior to your holiday get together so they will not be as apt to beg for treats. Make sure your pet has a quiet space to retreat, complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. If your animal loving guest would like to give your pet extra attention, ask them to feel free to start nice play or petting session.

Dr. Bland is the owner of Dr. Bland’s Vet House Calls. He can be reached at 964 673 8579 or at