The festive season has begun and it’s a big time for our pets also with lots of new noises, smells and additional visitors than can disrupt your pets routine. Many pet emergencies occur around this time of year as a result of left over foods, cooked bones, extra treats and fatty foods given. Christmas decorations can also be a great source of delight to your pet – especially younger animals, and cats. Ensure all hanging decorations are large enough that they can’t be swallowed, and unlikely to smash and cut paws if knocked from position, avoid having decorations on the lower branches of a tree to avoid temptation. Tinsel is a great choking hazard of cats, as are the cords for the Christmas lights, so try to keep these out of paws reach. If you and your favorite pet are all spending Christmas together there are few toxic foods that should not be on their Christmas menu:
- Chocolate – As little as 240g of dark chocolate in a 20kg dog can be highly toxic.
- Macadamia nuts – as well as possibly causing an obstruction in small intestines, they can also cause hind leg paralysis and high fevers.
- Raisins and grapes – seemingly innocent, but can cause renal failure if eaten in great enough quantities
- Onions and garlic – can cause a severe hemolytic anemia which could be fatal to your pet.
- Fatty foods – especially sausages and the off cuts of meat. These fatty foods irritate the pancreas creating a pancreatitis which could see your pet in hospital for many days.
- Cooked bones – remember to ensure all chicken/turkey carcasses are discarded of properly. Cooked bones are far more likely to splinter and could end up causing an obstruction or even a perforation of the bowel.
- Alcohol – it goes without saying that alcohol should never be given to pets, so ensure all alcohol is kept out of reach.