It’s the most wonderful time to gather your family around, including your pets, and share presents, crackers and, of course, food. You may well be tempted to put a bit of Christmas dinner in your dog or cat’s food bowl but there are some foods that can be dangerous to your furry friends. To help you avoid a winter tale of woe, here are some eating hazards for your pets that you should be aware of over the festive period.
Like us, cats and dogs can become intoxicated if they drink alcohol. They can become wobbly and have decreased reactions. In a worst case scenario, it could even be fatal. At Christmas, there tends to be more alcohol in the house; whether it’s a glass of wine with dinner, a pint of beer in front of the television or added to food during preparation. Ensure you keep any bottles or glasses of alcohol out of reach of your cats and dogs, don’t let them eat any food that has alcohol in it and be sure to wipe up any alcohol spillages quickly.
Mince pies, Christmas pudding and Christmas cake tend to be full of dried fruit such as raisins, sultanas and currants. However, they can be poisonous to cats and dogs. The amount of dried fruit that your pet eats does not determine how badly they will be affected by these fruits. Some pets can get away with eating a lot of raisins and sultanas, while others could show symptoms of poisoning after just one or two. To avoid running the risk of your pet being poisoned, keep any food containing these fruits away from them.
Whether it’s in an advent calendar, in a selection box or hung from the Christmas tree in the shape of coins, chocolate tends to be all over the house at Christmas. However, chocolate is highly poisonous to both dogs and cats and can cause tremors, convulsions and heart problems. Avoid leaving any chocolate gifts under the Christmas tree, hang chocolate coins high enough that your pet can’t reach them and store any other food containing chocolate away from pets.
Onions, garlic and chives
You may like to have onion gravy on your Christmas dinner, as well as garlic and chive seasoning. If you’re of the opinion that these vegetables do go nicely with a Christmas roast then you will want to take care to keep them away from your pet. Onions, garlic and chives are of the Allium species of plant and, whether raw or cooked, they can be toxic to your cat or dog. These plants can break down your pet’s red blood cells and potentially cause them to become anaemic. Signs of this may not show up for several days, although they may end up with an upset stomach in the meantime.
With so much roasted meat around over the Christmas period, it’s important to be careful that your pet doesn’t end up eating any leftover bones. After cooking, bones can become brittle and splinter easily, which can cause an obstruction in your cat or dog’s digestive system. Small pieces could also potentially cause gut irritation or lacerations. Therefore, be sure to seal up and dispose of any meat carcasses quickly to ensure your pet doesn’t eat any bones from them.
We hope that your festive season is full of cheer and that your pet enjoys it too. However, if your cat or dog does eat any of the foods mentioned, you may want to consider seeking veterinary advice. If you have pet insurance with The Insurance Emporium, our lunar monthly Gold Lifetime policies can cover Vet’s Fees for required treatments for injuries, illnesses and conditions for up to £8,000. If you’re in need of insurance for your cat or dog, head to The Insurance Emporium today!
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