Festive foods that are toxic for your pet

I’m sure even the most strict of pet owners will give in to the “cute eyes” around Christmas by giving their pet a treat. Whether it be a bit of Christmas pudding or leftover ham.. you name it!

What you may not know is that there are a variety of foods that may seem harmless to your pet (especially when they love the taste so much!), but could actually be doing a lot more harm than you realise. It is important to keep any foods containing these ingredients away from where your pets can eat them, even accidentally.

Below I have created a list of foods that your pets should be avoiding this Christmas. If you think your dog may have eaten something it shouldn’t have, it is crucial to get advice from your veterinarian immediately. 

ALCOHOL
Unlike humans, animal’s kidneys cannot process alcohol. This can cause a range of medical problems.

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
Any artificial sweeteners can be harmful to your pet. In particular, Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is found in a variety of foods like peanut butter, chewing gum and candy.

AVOCADOS
Avocados contain a substance called persin which causes vomiting and diarrhoea in animals.

CHOCOLATE
Chocolate is highly toxic to dogs. This is due to a substance called theobromine which is a stimulant that interrupts your pet’s metabolic processes. Dark and baking chocolate contain particularly high amounts, making it that much more toxic. Toxicity effects an range from an upset stomach to heart problems, seizures to death.

FATTY FOODS
Foods high in fat like Christmas ham, fried potatoes etc can cause a very uncomfortable stomach upset. Moreover, fatty foods can contribute to Pancreatitis. Regular consumption of these types of foods can lead to obesity and a variety of associated health problems.

GARLIC + ONION
We all regularly cook with onion and garlic. Unfortunately for our pets, these stable ingredients are toxic. Whether cooked or raw, they can cause damage to your pet’s red blood cells, which can cause anaemia.

GRAPES, SULTANAS AND RAISINS
These fruits are particularly toxic to your pet. They can lead to acute and sudden renal (kidney) failure.

MILK, CREAM AND CHEESE 
As pets grow into adulthood, their ability to digest dairy products decreases as they lack the enzymes to do so. This means that they exhibit signs of lactose intolerance if they consume dairy products. 

NUTS
The size of nuts makes them particularly susceptible to becoming the perfect choking hazard. They are also high in fat which can trigger a stomach upset in your pet. In particular, macadamia nuts are toxic leading to an inability to walk, vomiting, lethargy and tremors.


Hollie-Ann Rachow
Cert II AS, Cert IV VN
RVN (Registered Veterinary Nurse).

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