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Surviving Christmas with your Pet

The family has gathered, the presents are unwrapped, nibblies and lunch are done and dusted now you just need to clean up! That’s why you have a dog, right? Before you empty the mountain of scraps into your pet’s bowl you need to consider what you’re giving them.

Popular Christmas human food poisonous to dogs and cats include:

  • Chocolate toxic to dogs and cats, even in small quantities.
  • Grapes, sultanas and raisins - can cause acute kidney failure.
  • Onions & garlic - can cause gastric irritation and anaemia if they are consumed in large quantities.
  • Caffeine (no tiramisu for your doggie)
  • Alcohol and hops are bad for animals. Ingestion can lead to injury, sickness, urination problems, and even death. An 330ml can put a pet into a coma.
  • Macadamia nuts - can be toxic to dogs. Symptoms will likely occur within 12 hours and can include vomiting, hyperthermia and elevated heart rate.
  • Bones can splinter and puncture a pet's mouth lining, gums, throat, stomach or intestinal tract, usually requiring surgery. All bones are potentially dangerous, including turkey, chicken, beef and pork.
  • Ham, pork, bacon and cured meats can be dangerous because they're high in fat and often salty. Salty foods can lead to stomach ailments and pancreatitis. Dogs, especially large breeds, who gulp too much water after eating salty food may develop a life-threatening condition called bloat during which the stomach fills with gas and twists, leading to painful death unless emergency medical help is received immediately.
  • Nutmeg – one of the lesser known poisonous foods. Dogs can suffer from tremors, seizures, issues with the nervous system and even death.
  • Avocadoes – contains a dangerous toxin which can damage the heart, lungs and tissues of many different animals.
  • Turkey skin, pork crackling, sausages and fatty meats – can lead to inflammation of the pancreas due to the high fat content.
  • Xylitol - an artificial sweetener now widely used is sugar free food such as cakes, muffins and bread. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs.

So don’t spend your Christmas rushing your pet to the vet – simply bin the extras and source pet friendly treats to spoil your furry friend at Christmas.

To share holiday flavor with the dog, you can add a bit of white turkey meat or defatted broth to the dog's bowl.

Make sure visitors do not leave out medications, toiletries, tobacco products or items that could be choking hazards. Keep doors to guest bedrooms and bathrooms shut to keep out pets.