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24 December, 2020

Foods to avoid with your pet

WE love our pets madly and Christmas is no different. There are many foods and treats that should never be given to our four legged best mates at any time, let alone Christmas-time.

By Peter McCullagh

Treating our pet to many regular human treats can cause serious problem with their digestive systems, causing illness and in some cases extreme poisoning.

The Christmas favourite for many of us are the fruit mince pies and Christmas cake. These treats are packed with dried fruits including grapes, raisins and sultanas which contain a toxin dangerous to pets.

Even the smallest amount of Christmas sweets can cause vomiting and diarrhoea and in extreme cases could lead to kidney disease.

Turkey or chicken stuffing. We are all guilty of leaving a bit of stuffing on our plates at the end of the meal. Scrapping that into the dog bowl can be quite an issue.

Traditionally stuffing contains onions and garlic which are toxic to our pets. Onion toxicity can impact the red blood cells causing anamia. Other symptoms of toxicity can include rapid breathing, pale gums, lethargy, salivation, and vomiting.

Gravy is high in fats and could contribute to pancreatitis. Similar to stuffing, gravy often contains onion and garlic that pets should avoid.

Cooked bones, be it chicken bones or turkey are brittle and can easily splinter, lodging in your pets throat or mouth. If swallowed they can lodge inside the bowel and cause a blockage or even perforation.

Theobromine is an ingredient of chocolate and is toxic to pets. This ingredient is found in all styles of chocolate with higher levels in dark chocolates, cooking chocolate and cocoa.

Chocolate toxicity causes pets to vomit, suffer diarrhoea, urinate excessively or become hyperactive.

Other   foods to be wary of include avocado, high in fats and can cause pancreatitis in dogs, nutmeg which can cause elevated heart rate, seizures and tremors as well as alcohol. Alcohol even in small amounts can have a devastating effect upon your pet.

The main concern for pets that overindulge in Christmas goodies is that they are high in fat.

A common condition that can result from pets eating table scraps and human foods is pancreatitis. This is a condition where the pancreas becomes severely inflamed and causes pain and discomfort. It can quickly become life-threatening.

If your pet eats something that they shouldn’t over the Christmas period, contact your local vet or emergency vet as soon as possible. A quick response can make all the difference.

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