Rome, (Reuters) - Dinner and New Year celebrations full of pitfalls for dogs and cats in the house, to keep away from particular cake, sparkling wine and leftovers. Food traditions, decorations and 'barrels' may in fact endanger the health of pets who might try to share with the hosts the festivities with a few extra tidbit. Tear the rule strongly advised against veterinarians, with a complete ban on some foods present on the boards of these days, toxic to animals, from chocolate to onions, grapes with sugar-free candies. "Anyone who has a dog or a cat now knows that chocolate is dangerous due to the presence of theobromine, a substance toxic to animals because metabolize very slowly," says Mark Adnkronos Salute Melosi, president dell'Anmvi, l ' National Association of Italian veterinarians. For a puppy even just half a bar of dark chocolate can cause serious damage. "More toxic food is known as onion, present in many preparations, which can cause hemolytic anemia in dogs," adds Melosi. "But there are other foods, less known for their adverse effects - said the expert - but which, if taken in large quantities, can be dangerous. Candies and sugar-free gum, for example, that contain xylitol, a substance that can cause hypoglycemia because it gives a sudden release of insulin. A particular problem for the puppies, who are more curious and looking around. " FORBIDDEN alcohol, "even that contained in sweets," assures Melosi. Not even a "grapes and raisins, especially for dogs. If foods are eaten in quantity can cause damage to the kidneys or cause vomiting and diarrhea. " Toxic to animals also avocados, exotic fruit frequently used during this period. "Both the pulp and leaves contain a dangerous toxin for dogs and cats," says Melosi. "Our animals - says the vet - today are fed in a very smooth and balanced, with kibble and canned. A sudden change of diet, in these cases, is deleterious, as are deleterious fry, stews, and all the leftovers. " The puppies also be kept away from decorations, even natural "poinsettias in particular, but also the natural fir and mistletoe: they are toxic if swallowed or chewed," he warns. Then there is the chapter 'barrels', that many animals are concerned. "In these cases - says expert - there are some rules to follow. The first is to accustom the animals more susceptible to noise, gradually, but without protecting them too: prevention is very important. During the New Year, when there are fireworks, dogs should be kept inside houses, even when they are used to being outside, and you have to be very careful that you do not escape. " Another rule of thumb "is to leave cats and dogs the ability to hide in the house. If the animal takes refuge under the sofa you have to let them do it. It 'good but not even scold him too much pampering: it serves to reassure him, without strengthening his fears. If we know that our animals get scared too is not bad being advised by the vet some calming medication to help control stress, "says Melosi.

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