Christmas is generally a fabulous time of year for your pets. They tend to see a bit more or you than usual and there are always a few extra treats on offer. Perhaps your animals even receive their own presents. But the festive season is also a hazardous time for animals. Your pet will be exposed to a variety of foods and decorations which absolutely should not end up in their stomachs!
Up to a third of pets run into trouble at Christmas in one way or another. There is always a huge increase in the number of pet owners who seek emergency assistance for their animals. The most common emergency won’t come as any surprise because it is dogs poisoned by chocolate.
There’s certainly plenty of chocolate around at Christmas but it isn’t the only harmful food that dogs and cats might be able to feast on.
So what should you keep well away from your pets this Christmas?
Chocolate contains theobromine which is poisonous to both cats and dogs. 750g of milk chocolate is enough to give a Labrador seizures. Smaller animals will have issues after consuming considerably less than that. Chocolate crops up everywhere so keep bowls of sweets, Christmas decorations, presents and advent calendars out of the reach of your pets.
Mince pies and Christmas Puddings
Most dogs will be attracted to sweet puds and buttery pastry but don’t let them tuck in. Mince pies and Christmas puddings contain grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas which are all toxic to dogs.
This cheese contains a substance called roquefortine C which dogs are extremely sensitive to. It won’t stop them eating the cheese though and it has a strong odour which makes it easy to find. Keep the blue stuff in the fridge.
A common ingredient in cookies and food ingredients as well as a tasty snack, these nuts cause severe illness in dogs. Check the ingredients on any human treats that you might be tempted to give your pooch.
Garlic, Chives and Onion
Found in many festive foods including gravy, stuffing and sausages, all Allium species are poisonous to dogs. If you are going to leave any of your Christmas dinner for your dog, make it the turkey and not the stuffing.
A definite no no! Alcohol can lead to severe liver and brain damage in both cats and dogs and it doesn’t have to be drunk from a glass. Puddings, pastries and sweets can all contain alcohol and as little as a tablespoon of it could cause an issue.
Always an appealing toy for dogs, tinsel can cause serious gastric blockages if eaten.
Imported globes may contain antifreeze and as little as one tablespoon can be fatal for a cat. Ensure that your pets don’t play with snow globes and don’t display them where they could be knocked to the floor and break.
Cats and dogs are curious creatures and will try to chew on anything, including fairy lights! Pets could be electrocuted if they chew through the wires.
Not the most obvious hazard but crackers can be dangerous. The small gifts inside are choke hazards and could feature chocolate. All that paper can turn to papier-mâché and then glue an animal’s mouth shut. Yes! This has actually happened!