Festive treat warning for pet owners

Festive treat warning for pet owners

Be firm to be kind this Christmas

We all know that resisting those ‘puppy dog eyes’ is hard enough at the best of times. But when we are sitting down to a delicious Christmas dinner of turkey, pigs in blankets and luxury roast potatoes, a simple bowl of pet food just doesn’t seem to cut it.

PDSA is warning pet owners who are likely to give in to pleading pooches, and include a turkey dinner in their pet’s festive menu on Christmas Day, to think again.

Katy Orton, PDSA Vet Nurse, advises: “If a medium-sized dog were to eat a full roast turkey dinner, it would be the equivalent of a human eating three Christmas dinners in one go! Not only can these unfamiliar, fatty foods cause upset tummies, but all those extra calories aren’t good for their waistlines either.

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“However, another important issue is that many festive foods are poisonous to pets. Raisins, sultanas and onions are just three of the potentially poisonous foods that can affect cats and dogs, causing severe illness. Foods containing these items, such as stuffing, gravy, mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding, should never be given to pets. The salt and fat levels of many festive foods are also unhealthy for them.”

Other Christmas foods that can be toxic to pets include macadamia nuts and chocolate. The effects of these foods vary, but can include tremors, heart and breathing problems as well as vomiting and diarrhoea.

Cooked bones shouldn’t be given to pets as they can be a choking hazard and they can splinter, causing internal damage. Bones can also get lodged in other parts of a pet’s digestive system, including the stomach and intestines – a potentially fatal problem that often requires life-saving surgery. Also, avoid going for a vigorous walk with your dogs just after feeding them a big meal – there is some evidence that this can lead to the potentially fatal condition called a ‘gastric dilation volvulus (or “GDV”)’ -where the stomach inflates with gas and twists on itself.

So in order to avoid a costly emergency trip to the vet this Christmas, PDSA is urging pet owners to resist the temptation to give our pets human food and give them a healthy pet treat, a winter walk or a cuddle instead.

PDSA is the UK’s leading pet wellbeing charity, and celebrated its centenary on 17 November 2017. The charity is on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps PDSA reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. www.pdsa.org.uk

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