Christmas Food Warning for your pets

At Christmas our houses are full of rich food and drink to celebrate the festive period, many can be highly toxic to cats and dogs.

We all know that chocolate is bad for dogs but there are other dangerous foods it’s worth being aware of.  Here are a few of the worst offenders (please note that the tolerance to toxic foods can vary between pets).

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine. Even small amounts can cause stomach upset, agitation, tremors, convulsions and heart problems.

Dried fruit such as raisins, currants and sultanas are found in Christmas cake, mince pies, Christmas pudding and stollen. These can cause serious illness and even kidney failure!

Gravy and stuffing can contain onions or garlic, leeks, shallots and chives, which can cause damage to red blood cells resulting in anaemia. Symptoms occur within 24 hours or up to 5 days later and include paleness, lethargy, weakness, vomiting, diarrhoea and blood in the urine.

Alcohol can cause a lack of coordination, drowsiness and there is the risk of low body temperature, low blood sugar and coma.

The majority of nuts can also cause stomach upsets. The worst are macadamia and walnuts that have the potential to cause neurological damage and seizures.

Mouldy leftovers are also a risk to pets and may cause tremors and seizures due to the presence of tremorgenic mycotoxins.

Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener often found in sweets, chewing gum and toothpaste. It is poisonous to dogs and can lead to low blood sugar and liver damage. Symptoms can appear immediately or be delayed and include poisoning include lethargy, vomiting, convulsions and in extreme cases coma.

Chewing bones can splinter and create blockages causing serious gastrointestinal damage. Overindulging them with treats can also cause stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Please keep dangerous foods out of your pets reach so you can avoid an unwanted emergency trip to the vets this holiday. If you have any worries about something your pet may have ingested, call us for advice as soon as possible.

Follow us on Facebook at Vets4Pets Carlisle or call us on 01228 547956.

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