Pet safety tips for Christmas cheer 

Christmas is a great time to get together and celebrate with family and our pets being part of the family are of course included in the festivities. But Christmas time hides potential dangers for our pets that we might not have considered.

Potential dangers to watch out for:

Fatty foods: Sausages, left over ham and crackling are examples of foods that can cause vomiting, diarrhoea or even pancreatitis (a very painful and potentially serious condition).

XmasgrinchCooked bones and BBQ skewers: may cause bowel blockages or perforations if ingested. Give only raw bones to pets.

Onions, macadamias, grapes and sultanas are all toxic: these are commonly found in foods eaten at Christmas so beware feeding leftovers, especially the stuffing or Christmas pudding!

Chocolate: it’s highly poisonous for dogs and even a small amount of chocolate can be toxic. Chocolate is toxic to animals as it contains theobromine. Theobromine is a caffeine derivative that cannot be metabolised by our pets and dogs are particularly at risk.

Potentially fatal amounts of chocolate for a 10kg dog:

70g baker’s chocolate

200g semi sweet/dark chocolate

600g milk chocolate 

Symptoms from any amount of chocolate include hyperactivity, tremors, racing heartbeat, and seizures. In some cases it can lead to death. 

If your pet ingests chocolate you need to call a vet immediately as they may be able to reduce toxicity by inducing vomiting. 

Ribbon: Pets are attracted to new things in their environment such as wrappings which can cause gut blockages if swallowed.JaxsonXmas 

Christmas ornaments and lights: cats, kittens and inquisitive dogs, may chew or swallow these. 

Toxic flowers: the leaves and flowers from plants of the lily (Liliaceae) family including Asian, Day, Easter, Glory, Japanese Show, Peace, Red, Rubrum, Stargazer, Tiger and Wood lilies are highly toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure if ingested. 

Keep these pet safety tips in mind this festive season and have a very merry Christmas people and pets included. 

Dr Alison Banfield – Sanford Veterinary Clinic 


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