Christmas food and pets is a dangerous combination! The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is advising pet owners to be careful about the kind of leftovers they feed their animals during the Christmas period.
“Pets are an important part of the family but sharing the Christmas love by treating them to a slap-up human lunch is the sort of love that can hurt your furry friend,” said Dr David Neck from the AVA.
“Vets treat many pets with digestive problems during the summer break. Pet owners need to be aware that there are some foods that we indulge in over the Christmas period that are just not good for our cats and dogs,” he said.
“And of course pets have a way of finding unattended party food without any help from us, so keep an eye on what food you leave within muzzle reach!”
Christmas food and pets, what to avoid
- Chocolate – toxic to dogs and cats, even in small quantities
- Avocados – contains a dangerous toxin which can damage the heart, lungs and tissue of many different animals
- Fatty meats – turkey skin, pork crackling, sausages and other fatty meats – can lead to inflammation of the pancreas due to the high-fat content
- Onions and garlic – can cause gastric irritation and anaemia if they are consumed in large quantities
- Grapes and raisins – can cause acute kidney failure
- Macadamia nuts – can be toxic to dogs. Signs will likely occur within 12 hours and can include vomiting, hyperthermia and elevated heart rate
- Nutmeg – one of the lesser known poisonous foods. Dogs can suffer from tremors, seizures, issues with the nervous system and even death
- Xylitol – a sweetener now widely used in sugar-free food such as cakes, muffins and bread.
“The best treat you can give your pet over Christmas is quality pet treats from your vet clinic, pet store or supermarket that contain the right nutrients for their diet. Your pets, and their waistlines will thank you,” he said.
If you suspect your pet has eaten something toxic you should contact a veterinarian immediately.
Instead of treating your pet with leftovers, give him a new toy or game.