Christmas is almost upon us and as we all get carried away with the festivities we must remember our furry best friends. If food and drink looks attractive to us then you can pretty much be sure it will look great to your Dog. With lots of different smells and an abundance of food your Dog is likely to feel like a kid in a candy store. However, this can be very dangerous for your loved one and the potential to poison and injure your Dog is massive.
I do not want to take away the joy of Christmas, but want to make sure everyone is aware of the foods that dogs should avoid over Christmas.
We all see pictures of Dogs chewing happily away on bones and it is a common belief that all bones are good for Dogs. Yes, a lot are and there is nothing wrong with a nice leg of lamb bane or a knuckle from a pork joint. Unfortunately Turkey and Chicken bones, once cooked, become brittle and easily splinter. The larger bones can become a choking hazard and the smaller ones and splinters can irritate the gut or in worse situations get stuck in the gut.
Stuffing and Bread Sauce
A Christmas Dinner would not be complete without your sage and onion stuffing and bread sauce. Unfortunately as lovely as it is for us it can be deadly for Dogs. The stuffing contains onions, garlic, shallots, leeks and scallions, bread sauce contains onions. These all belong to the Allium family and are all toxic to your Dog. If digested the compounds damage the oxygen-carrying substances found in red blood cells called hemoglobin. The damage can cause anemia and in severe cases can lead to organ damage, organ failure or even death.
If dogs drink alcohol they react very similarly to humans. They will become unsteady on their feet and seem drowsy, but at a much faster rate than us humans. The ethanol in the alcohol hits animals at a far quicker rate than us. A Dog’s kidneys and liver are not designed to filter or process alcohol. Drinking alcohol can be so severe in Dogs that it could lead to seizures and heart failure.
Top tip, don’t leave your Christmas drinks on the floor, as your best friend may want to join in the festivities, drink your beer, and become very sick.
Stilton, Roquefort and other blue cheeses contain a substance called roquefortine C. This is produced by the fungus that is used to make blue cheese. It seems that Dogs are very sensitive to this and it can cause muscle tremors, vomiting, diarrhoea, high temperatures and in extreme cases seizures.
Dogs can have some nuts like peanuts, cashews and almonds. However, never give them chocolate covered nuts as they chocolate is poisonous. Nuts to stay well clear of are high fat nuts like macadamia nuts and black walnuts. These can cause weakness, lethargy, tremors, vomiting and an increased blood temperature. Also, peanut butter should be avoided as it contains artificial sweetener than can cause liver failure.
Minced Pies, Christmas Cake and Puddings
All of these contain raisins, sultanas and currants. Although it is a well-known fact they cause a toxic reaction it is not known why they cause this. It is important to note that even a small amount of grapes and raisins can prove to be fatal for your Dog. The symptoms for grape or raisin poisoning include vomiting or diarrhoea, loss of appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain, dehydration, foul breath, ulcers, tremors, seizures and finally coma.
Keep your Christmas fruit bowls and cheese and grapes well out of reach from your loved ones.
This is one of the most plentiful foodstuffs around at Christmas and also one of the most deadly. From tins lying around the house, for people to help themselves, to decorations on a Christmas tee, you must make sure they are all out of reach of your Dogs. Remember chocolates under the Christmas tree, just because they are wrapped it doesn’t mean your Dog can’t smell them. If your dog decides to eat your chocolate presents, other fatal conditions could occur, like wrappers lodged or stuck in his gut.
Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is poisonous to dogs, cats, rabbits and other rodents. The general rule of thumb is that the darker the chocolate the more theobromine it contains. White chocolate contains very little thoebromine so is unlikely to cause poisoning. However, it is very fatty, and can still make your Dog ill.
Chocolate can initially cause vomiting and diarrhoea which can then develop into muscle twitching, tremors and then fits and life threatening heart conditions.
Rich Fatty Foods
There are many rich or fatty foods that are abundant over Christmas. Too much for us can cause us to become bloated and for us to become uncomfortable. We should know when to stop eating these foods but we often don’t. Just think how your Dog will feel if he is given a free rein to eat what he likes. He will over indulge and make himself very poorly.
Well I hope everyone is looking forward to their festive time and you all have a fantastic Christmas and New Year. Please bear in mind our furry friends and do not let them come to harm. Whether it be the food we are eating or the drinks we are drinking make sure our loved ones do not have access to anything that could make them ill. A visit to the vet over Christmas is not a planned or pleasant part of the Christmas festivities.
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All the Best over the Christmas