Festive Foods: Foes of Furry Friends

Always a time of year when fabulous food is “aplenty” but did you know that many festive foods are toxic to pets? Here are some foods that should be kept out of reach for furry friends, and that includes those food related “pressies” under the Christmas tree!

Onions They contain an ingredient called thiosulphate; ingesting onions can cause a condition called haemolytic anaemia which causes damage to red blood cells. Avoid table scraps like pizza and gravy. Garlic, leek, shallots and chives have the same effect as onions. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting , lethargy and breathlessness.

Chocolate All chocolate is dangerous and has a similar effect as caffeine. Chocolate contains theobromine which stimulates the central nervous system and cardiovascular system causing an increase in blood pressure, which is potentially fatal. Symptoms included diarrhea, vomiting, excessive panting, excessive urinating, hyperactivity and seizures. Seek veterinary assistance urgently.

Cooked bones Bird and animal bones that are cooked can splinter internally, causing internal damage to your pets throat and stomach. Symptoms include choking, struggling to breathe and a hunched body due to discomfort in the stomach.

Grapes, raisins, sultanas, currents Known to be toxic, but the cause is still unknown. Some dogs can eat grapes, others cannot, resulting in kidney failure. Symptoms include kidney failure, weakness, abdominal pain, dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea.

Dairy Dogs are lactose intolerant, and find it hard to consume and digest dairy products. Whilst not toxic, it can cause stomach issues. Goats milk or cheese is an alternative. Symptoms include stomach upsets, diarrhea vomiting and flatulence.

Alcohol Many festive foods contain alcohol, which is potentially fatal for dogs and cats. Liver damage may result from ingesting even the smallest amount and veterinary assistance should be obtained immediately. Symptoms include vomiting, drowsiness, slow heart rate, body temperature drop and cardiac arrest.

Rich foods Also in abundance during the festive season, rich foods like turkey skin, pork crackling and fatty meats can result in digestive issues and discomfort. Symptoms include flatulence, loose stools and irritated bowls.

Gravy Whilst pets may love this on their dinner, some gravies are high in salt and should be avoided. Special gravies from pet stores are more suitable. Symptoms for a diet including excessive sodium include high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and other cardiac issues.

Should you suspect that your pet has ingested something potentially toxic, do not hesitate to seek veterinary assistance, as time is of the essence.

Season’s greetings everyone!


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