“The Holidays are coming……..”

As the festive season approaches we thought we would remind all our pet owners that everything you indulge in over Christmas may not be so suitable for your pets! It is only natural to want to spoil your pets at Christmas but this can be done in ways other than through food. There are a number of very common foods which are toxic to your pets.

Which foods are toxic?

Chocolate – this contains an ingredient called theobromine which causes excitement, changes to heart rhythms and worse case scenario seizures and death. Dark chocolate has a higher level of theobromine than milk or white chocolate. If your dog or cat does eat chocolate please phone your vet immediately. We will want to know how heavy your pet is, what type of chocolate was eaten  and ideally how many grams. This is so we can make the decision whether we need to see your pet to make it be sick with a specific drug.

Dried fruit – raisins, sultanas and currants are all dried grapes which are very toxic to dogs. Some animals can be very sensitive to the effects of ingestion, but in all cases there is a risk of acute kidney failure. Remember raisins, sultanas and currants are in mince pies, christmas puddings and often in nut mixes. If you see your pet consume them please call the vet immediately. We would want to see the pet as soon as possible. Often we need to admit the animals and place them on fluids to ensure we support their kidneys.

Nuts – Remember to keep any mixed nuts out of the way of sniffing noses. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, stomach pain, vomiting and recumbency. Please call the vet immediately.

Onions including garlic, leeks and shallots – these can cause vomiting and diarrhoea but can damage red blood cells, please seek advice from your vet. Remember to think what ingredients make up any human food.

Alcohol – many of us enjoy a drink or two at christmas but ensure it is stored away safely and no glasses are left lying around. The signs of alcohol toxicity includes wobbliness, a drop in temperature and low blood sugar. Please call the vet if you notice your pet has ingested alcohol so they can advise further.

Poinsettia – if your pets eat this it can cause excessive salivation and vomiting, remove the plant away from your pet but if clinical signs persist please contact your vet.

Over the Christmas period stay vigilant when there are lots of temptations for your pets from ribbons, christmas paper, christmas trees, new toys and plenty of human food! If you see your pet eat something it shouldn’t and you have any concerns please call your vet, even if it is for peace of mind.

From all at Swayne & partners we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!