LOS ANGELES - Americans eat close to 7,000 calories on Christmas Day alone. With all that food around, it is important that humans remain the only ones ingesting it. Chances are you will encounter a pet in your home or elsewhere that will gladly help you clear your plate.
Even if you resist giving them food, it only takes a second for them to seize an opportunity. Appetizers, desserts, and dinner tables can easily be left unguarded because of holiday chaos. A knock on the door, a child's meltdown, a family photo-op -- that's all a dog or cat needs to swoop in.
Glazes and seasoning on meats can leave your pet with an upset stomach, but bones could land them in the emergency room. Meat such as ham is too high in sodium and fat for the average dog to handle, and should be kept clear unless you want to spend the night cleaning up after them.
Sugars are abundant in desserts, chocolates, candy and even cranberry sauce. Too much sugar can lead to diabetes down the road, and artificial sweeteners have been known to cause immediate serious problems.
Just because your mother told you to eat your vegetables doesn't mean the dog should too. Typically they're OK, but only if they are lightly prepared.
Additionally, the ASPCA warns of leaving cocktails unattended. Your pet could become weak, ill, and maybe even go into a coma if they get curious.
Pets will still give you guilty looks from under the dinner table, but you'll both be happier if you stay vigilant. If you really want to give your pet a happy holiday, shower them with pet-appropriate gifts like chew toys and snacks or take them for a special walk and extra playtime.
Watch the video for more tips on keeping your pet safe during the holidays.