Safe Holidays with your Pets

Holidays can be such a wonderful time with family and friends coming home. It can also be a time when holiday treats can easily end up unexpectedly ingested by the family pets. Please be especially careful with the following common holiday treats during the next couple months and seek medical attention if accidentally ingested:

Chocolate can cause seizure and death in dogs (and less commonly in cats since they less commonly ingest). The darker the chocolate, the concentrated the toxins are.

Macadamia Nuts may appear harmless, but can be toxic, causing depression, weakness, vomiting and tremors.
Coffee/Caffeinated Drinks can trigger seizures and changes in cardiac rhythm that can lead to seizures.

Unbaked Bread Dough can prove problematic due to expansion in the stomach, which can lead to the stomach twisting, cutting off the blood supply. The unbaked dough can also produce alcohol leading to seizures and respiratory failure in severe cases

Sugar Free Treats often contain xylitol as the artificial sweetener. Xylitol causes a sudden release of insulin in your dog’s blood, dropping their blood sugar to dangerously low levels in as fast as fifteen minutes. Without immediate medical attention this can lead to seizure and death.

Now that we have gone over some unsafe holiday foods, the following is a safe and healthy holiday doggy treat recipe you can make at home, courtesy of

Makes about 5 dozen
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup brewer’s yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup low-sodium canned chicken stock, plus more for brushing
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, yeast, and salt; set aside
2. Place oil in a large bowl. Add stock and flour mixture in three alternating batches, beginning and ending with stock. Mix well.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to about 3/8-inch thick. Shape biscuits using a dog-bone-shaped cookie cutter or by cutting around a store-bought dog bone with a butter knife.(Make biscuits that are appropriate for your dog’s size.)
4. If desired, you can spell out your dog’s name or a holiday message in the dough with a toothpick (wet the toothpick first so it won’t stick).
5. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
6. Bake biscuits 10 minutes. Brush with stock; rotate baking sheets, and bake 10 minutes more. Turn off oven, leaving door closed. Let dog biscuits stand in oven to dry completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Wrap as a gift, or store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Photo Credit: Photo by Minnie Zhou on Unsplash