We all like to spoil our pets at Christmas. Unfortunately treats of food, however small, can cause all sorts of unintended problems for your animals. So at Anne Nelson Vets we would always recommend using toys and play time if you want to give your pets a special treat, rather than food.
We do know, however, that things can get a little out of hand at Christmas with visitors and children and naughty pets (almost always dogs!) getting into places where they shouldn’t go! So even with the best of intentions things don’t always go to plan.
So here is our ‘naughty’ and ‘nice’ list for treats over the festive period. The nice list is things that you can usually get away with without too many problems, but if your pet eats anything on the naughty list then you should contact us as soon as possible..
Chocolate and caffeine
Chocolate is dangerous for dogs. It’s important to contact us as soon as you are aware your dog has eaten chocolate. Make a note of the cocoa content and how much your dog has eaten. The effect of chocolate can be prevented if treated straight away. Don’t wait for clinical signs to appear!. Clinical signs include salivating, vomiting, diarrhoea, an increase in drinking and urinating, excitation, tremors, and muscle rigidity.
Sweets often contain artificial sweeteners which can affect insulin release resulting in low blood sugar and liver toxicity.
Some pets aren’t able to digest the sugars in dairy products causing vomiting and diarrhoea. Alcohol is also unsuitable for both dogs and cats with tiny doses being toxic.
Do not give your pet meat or fish on the bone, particularly if it has been cooked. Bones can splinter quite easily causing trauma to the mouth and intestinal tract.
Mince pies and Christmas cake
These contain currants, raisins, sultanas and grapes, all of which can make your pet unwell.
Onions, garlic and chives can be found in stuffing causing diarrhoea and vomiting and other problems. Pre-prepared foods also contain onion and garlic powders which can have the same effect.
Nuts, especially Macadamia nuts, can cause vomiting and other problems in dogs. Take care to ensure your dog avoids them.
Yeast dough can cause an accumulation of gas in your pets digestive system as a result of the yeast rising. Apart from causing pain and discomfort, it may cause their stomach or intestines to be bloated or blocked.
Your dog can enjoy small amounts of turkey. Just remember to ensure you’ve removed any bones!
Most green or mixed vegetables are fine for dogs. A mashed carrot and swede is surely going to be loved by your dog but don’t add the butter or seasoning to their portion. Avoid corn on the cob and bulb vegetables like onions, garlic and leeks as these can cause problems!
Their usual diet!
It’s best to keep your pet on their usual diet. This avoids tummy upsets and weight gain!
So take some time out over the Christmas celebrations to take your dog, and your family, out for a nice brisk and bracing walk in the countryside or some play in the park.