Chinese New Year is a time of celebration and joy in Singapore, but it can also pose potential risks to our beloved pets. Many traditional Chinese New Year treats and dishes can be harmful or even toxic to animals. As a responsible pet owner, it's crucial to be aware of these foods and take steps to keep your pets safe during the festivities. In this article, we'll highlight some common Chinese New Year treats and foods that you should avoid feeding to your pets. We'll also provide tips on how to ensure your furry friends have a happy and healthy holiday season!
1. Bak Kwa (Barbecued Meat Jerky)
Bak Kwa is often high in salt, sugar, and seasonings, making it a risky treat for pets. These ingredients can lead to digestive problems, salt poisoning, or obesity. Store Bak Kwa securely and out of reach of curious pets. Avoid sharing it with them, even in small amounts.
2. Nian Gao (Sticky Rice Cake)
Nian Gao's sticky texture can be a choking hazard for pets, and its high sugar content is unhealthy for them. Keep Nian Gao well-contained and ensure that your pets cannot access it. Opt for pet-safe treats instead.
3. Huat Kueh (Steamed Prosperity Cake)
These cakes are often adorned with coins or decorations that can be choking hazards or pose other dangers to pets. If you have Huat Kueh at home, keep it out of your pets' reach, and dispose of decorations safely.
4. Chocolate and Candies
Chinese New Year often involves the exchange of sweets and candies. While these treats can be delightful for humans, they are extremely dangerous for pets, especially dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance that is toxic to dogs and cats. Ingesting even a small amount of chocolate can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and, in severe cases, seizures and death.
Alcoholic beverages may be consumed during celebrations, but they should never be offered to pets. Alcohol can cause alcohol poisoning in animals, leading to symptoms like disorientation, difficulty breathing, and even coma. Ensure that any alcoholic drinks are kept out of reach of curious pets.
6. Onions and Garlic
Many Chinese dishes incorporate onions and garlic for flavor, but these ingredients are toxic to pets. They can cause gastrointestinal upset and, in more severe cases, damage to red blood cells. Make sure to keep any dishes containing onions or garlic well away from your pets.
7. Grapes and Raisins
Traditional Chinese New Year snacks sometimes include grapes and raisins. However, these seemingly harmless fruits can be toxic to dogs and, in rare cases, cats. Consumption can lead to kidney failure, so it's best to avoid sharing them with your pets.
8. Fatty Foods
Fatty and greasy foods, often present in celebratory feasts, like Crispy Duck, Fried Dumplings, Fried Spring Rolls, etc. can lead to pancreatitis in pets. This painful condition can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and a decreased appetite. Refrain from giving your pets dishes laden with excessive fat or oil.
While it might be tempting to share leftover meat bones with your pets, it's best to avoid this practice. Cooked bones can splinter easily and cause choking hazards or internal injuries if ingested.
10. Food with Spices
Some Chinese New Year dishes are heavily spiced or contain chili peppers. Spicy food can upset a pet's stomach and cause discomfort. Stick to plain and bland options if you wish to treat your pet to a special meal.
Tips to Protect Your Pets During the Festivities:
Here are some crucial tips to ensure your pets stay safe and healthy during Chinese New Year:
- Secure Food: Store Chinese New Year snacks and dishes securely, out of your pets' reach. Ensure garbage bins are inaccessible to them.
- Educate Family and Guests: Inform family members and guests about the dangers of feeding pets from the dinner table. Kindly request that they refrain from sharing human food with your pets.
- Pet-Safe Space: Create a comfortable and secure area for your pets to retreat to during festivities. Provide their favorite toys and bedding to keep them occupied and content.
- Emergency Contact: Keep the contact information of your nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic handy in case of emergencies. Know the signs of food poisoning or distress in pets.
- Alternative Pet-Safe Treats: Purchase or prepare special treats made specifically for pets, ensuring they are safe and nutritious. Treats like dental chews can help occupy and entertain them. We recommend Happi Doggy Dental Chew Zest, & Naturvet All-In-One (4-IN-1 Support) Soft Chews.
- Interactive Toys & Feeders: Toys and feeders that can interact with them will not only entertain them, but also help them to be mentally & physically stimulated. We recommend interactive toys like Wickedball Interactive Dog Toy PE/SE, Homerun - Smart Interactive Cat Toy, Cheerble Mini WickedBall Interactive Cat Toy, Wickedbone - Smart & Interactive Dog Chewing Toy, & Cheerble Wicked Mouse Interactive Cat Toy; and interactive feeders like Skymee Owl Robot Pet Camera & Pet Treats Dispenser.
During Chinese New Year, it's essential to prioritize the safety and well-being of your pets. Avoid sharing any of the mentioned foods with them and keep all toxic substances out of their reach. If you suspect your pet has ingested something harmful, contact your veterinarian immediately. By taking these precautions and being mindful of your pet's needs, you can ensure that your furry family members have a happy and healthy Chinese New Year celebration alongside you.
Share this with your fellow pet owner friends who might need this information right now! Feel free to leave a comment down below about your knowledge & experiences on protect your pets from Chinese New Year foods they shouldn't eat to help other pet owners, we would also love to read them!
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Rose Hazel San Diego
Hazel loves pets & she has owned cats, dogs, & even hedgehogs! She also fosters cats & dogs in need around her area. With her social media & copywriting background, she gladly shares her knowledge of pets through these articles!
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