Christmas is a wonderful time for us humans, but sometimes we are so caught up in the festivities we forget about the possible dangers to our pets. There are lots of hazards that can cause major issues for our pets. Cats and dogs are being increasingly involved in the festivities, so we need to be more aware of the risks.
5.5 million dog owners unknowingly feed their pets harmful foods at Christmas, so to avoid any health emergencies, here are the top festive food hazards to be on the lookout for.
Chocolate – contains a stimulant called theobromine, a bit like caffeine, that’s severely poisonous to cats and dogs. Only 750g of milk chocolate may cause a Labrador to have a seizure. Carob is a dog-friendly alternative to chocolate and is available at all our stores.
Mince Pies & Christmas Puddings – All grapes, raisins, currants, and sultanas are toxic to dogs, as are foods that contain them. As a nation, we go through 25 million Christmas puddings every year and a jaw-dropping 300 million mince pies.
Blue Cheese – Seen by many as a festive treat, it contains a substance called roquefortine C which dogs are extremely sensitive to.
Onions – Can cause stomach irritation and lead to red blood cell damage and anaemia, even if just used as an ingredient in stuffing or gravy.
Alcohol – There is a 40% increase in alcohol consumption in December. Alcohol can cause severe liver and brain damage to your pets. As little as a tablespoon can lead to problems for your cat or dog.
Artificial Sweeteners – One sweetener, in particular, xylitol, is found in many foods, including some cakes. Ingestion can lead to potentially fatal hypoglycemia, acute liver disease, and blood clotting. Even small amounts can be extremely dangerous so keep away from pets at all costs.
Cooked Bones – Once cooked, all bones become brittle and splinter easily which can pierce your dog’s digestive tract or cause an obstruction. 61% of owners will let their dogs join them for Christmas dinner, so be conscious of what you are feeding them.
Did you know that we throw away 230,000 tonnes of Christmas food. That’s a vast amount of leftovers and scraps going in the bin. Make sure your food recycling bin is well sealed or kept outside as dogs are natural scavengers and although it may not look the most appetising to us, they will explore. To us it’s a bin, to them it’s a buffet.
All of this sounds very daunting, almost to the extent that we should skip this festive period altogether. However, this article is merely here to help inform you of potential dangers. Now you are aware of all these potential pitfalls, you can sit back and relax knowing Christmas ‘19 will be a safe and joyous time this year.
For any advice, pop into one of our stores and have a chat with one of the team.