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Festive Foods Pets Should Avoid

posted: 12/Dec/2017

Festive Foods Pets Should Avoid

While Christmas is a special occasion and a great time for sharing, many items on the Christmas lunch menu can cause health problems, behavioural issues, hyperactivity and obesity in animals.

Here are some foods your pets shouldn’t eat over the festive period:

Bones

Never feed your pet cooked bones, splinters of poultry bones as they are dangerous to dogs and cats and can become stuck in their throats or cause perforation or obstruction of the bowel, which can quickly become a life-threatening situation. 

Mince Pies and Christmas Cake

Cakes and puddings at this time of year are full of dried fruits including grapes, raisins and sultanas which all contain a toxin that is dangerous for pets. Even a small amount of Christmas sweets can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

Stuffing

Stuffing typically contains onions and garlic amongst a variety of foods that can be toxic to a pet.  Onion toxicity can impact the red blood cells causing anaemia. Other symptoms of toxicity include rapid breathing, pale gums, lethargy, salivation and vomiting.

Gravy 

It can be tempting to drizzle a small amount of gravy over your pets food but any gravy containing high levels of salt can cause kidney problems if given in excess. Similar to stuffing, often gravy contains onion, garlic and other herbs that pets should avoid.

Bones

Never feed your pet cooked bones, splinters of poultry bones as they are dangerous to dogs and cats and can become stuck in their throats or cause perforation or obstruction of the bowel, which can quickly become a life-threatening situation. 

Chocolate

The sweet chocolate that we love so much is dangerous for our pets as it contains an ingredient known as theobromine that is toxic. This ingredient is in all kinds of chocolate including white chocolate. The most dangerous kinds, however, are dark chocolate, chocolate mulch, and unsweetened baking chocolate.

Chocolate toxicity causes a wide range of problems; pets begin to vomit, suffer diarrhoea, urinate excessively and become hyperactive. This can be followed by depression, coma, seizures and the result can be fatal. 

Nutmeg

The rich fragrance of Nutmeg can attract the attention of some pets, but high levels of nutmeg can have a negative impact on your pet’s health. If ingested it can cause increased heart rate, seizures and tremors.

Avacado

A festive favourite for many, particularly for breakfast, but the stone of the avocado can be dangerous if ingested as they can cause obstructions. Avocado's are also very high in fat and may contribute to pancreatitis in dogs. 

Alcohol

Dogs and cats susceptible to adverse effects from even small amounts of alcohol, and in large amounts it can be fatal. Cats can be particularly attracted to cocktails containing cream such as White Russians and eggnog so keep your festive cocktails away from pets.

The main concern for pets who overindulge in food, treats and 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 and it can quickly become life-threatening.

If your pet eats something that they shouldn't over the Christmas period contact your Greencross Vets as soon as possible. Remember, sometimes spending extra time playing or going for walks can be a better treat for pets than giving them extra food.



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