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With our pets patiently looking up at us with their puppy dog eyes, it’s very tempting to share our Christmas dinner with our faithful companions. After all, we just want to make them feel included in the festive fun too!
But while giving your pet a nibble of some turkey is perfectly okay, there are some festive treats that we feast upon over the Christmas period that really aren’t a good idea to dish up for our pets.
Pets at Home have shared a list of Christmas foods that are definitely NOT okay to give your pets:
All kinds of chocolate should be kept away from pets as it contains a stimulant called theobromine. Dr Maeve Moorcroft who is the Head of Pets at Pets At Home, states: “Theobromine is toxic to dogs and cats” and warns that it can cause a racing heartbeat, dehydration, digestive upsets, seizures and in severe cases death. The darker the chocolate, the more harmful it is.
Raisins, currants, and sultanas can all be fatal to dogs. They are highly toxic even when cooked. “Dried fruit poisoning can cause diarrhoea and vomiting and, in very serious cases, could lead to kidney failure,” says Dr Moorcroft.
Gravy is too fatty and salty while stuffing is best avoided as onions can be very poisonous. Symptoms of onion toxicity can cause breathlessness, lethargy, diarrhoea and vomiting. Your pet also could lose interest in food as a result of this type of poisoning. It may take up to two to four days after your pet eats the onion for symptoms to appear.
Some people think dogs chewing on bones is perfectly normal however turkey bones can easily splinter, making them a choking hazard for your pet. Turkey skin is also quite fatty and should be avoided.
Some nuts are toxic for pets, so it’s best to avoid them all together and Macadamia nuts are one of the worst kinds. They can cause sickness, a high temperature, tremors and heart palpitations. The effects of macadamia nut poisoning can happen very quickly so it's best to keep these snacks for adults only.
Often cats and dogs struggle to digest lactose and too much cheese can cause an upset tummy therefore it is wise to keep cheese boards away from hungry pets and keep them on a table where they can't spring to action for a bite!
Adults will know some of the above dangers however it’s an adults’ responsibly to make sure kids know this too.
It is also worth noting to keep wrapping paper and sweet wrappers away from pets, as we all know some dogs will eat anything and they can be at risk of tearing their oesophagus or intestines. Clean up as best and frequently as you can when presents are being unwrapped.
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