RSPCA NSW Blog
Festive Foods Can Be Fatal For Pets
It may be hard to resist a pleading face, but it could save your pet’s life. Christmas food is among some of the most dangerous for animals to consume. So before you drop a titbit under the table, think about what it could do to your pet’s health.
Christmas is almost upon us, and with all that delicious food around, animals can be just as tempted to indulge as us humans. But while we might be left with a stomach ache and packing an extra couple of kilos, the results can be much more severe for our pets. Many common Christmas foods contain ingredients that can do serious internal damage or even be fatal to animals. Grapes, chocolate and onion are just a few of the things that can cause your poor pooch intense pain, or make your beloved cat vomit.
“Pet owners could find themselves spending Christmas at a veterinary emergency hospital if their animal overindulges in festive foods,” said RSPCA NSW Chief Veterinarian Christina Zhu. “Don’t share human food and drinks with your pets at Christmas, as what does not affect you may be toxic to your pet.”
Festive foods to keep away from your pets:
Can cause intoxication, lack of coordination, poor breathing, and even coma and/or death
Can cause diarrhoea, heart congestion and vomiting in dogs
For dogs, can cause diarrhoea, an elevated heart rate, seizures and vomiting
Can be fatal to dogs, and cause seizures, heart problems and vomiting
Currants, grapes and raisins – all common ingredients in a fruit cake – are toxic to a dog’s kidneys. Eating these can make your four-legged friend lethargic, and cause increased thirst and vomiting. Fruit cake also often contains alcohol, which can also be toxic.
Can cause severe abdominal pain, the inability to walk and an increased heart rate
Can cause your pet’s red blood cells to burst, leading to anaemia
Pork or ham
Can cause intense pain, pancreatitis and shock
All the visitors over the festive period also mean a lot of handbags lying around. These can be a serious danger for persistent pets, as many contain sugarless chewing gum and pain medication. Chewing gum commonly contains xylitol. This is poisonous to dogs, causing lethargy, liver failure, seizures, vomiting and weakness. Paracetamol may be your lifesaver if you have overindulged over the festive period. However, for pets, it can be fatal, particularly for cats. Warning signs that your feline friend has managed to help himself are grey-blue gums and salivation.
Some pets are known to do anything to get their paws on treats. If your pet eats anything he shouldn’t have done, or displays any of the side effects listed above, RSPCA NSW advises taking him to one of our vet hospitals across New South Wales or to your local veterinarian as quickly as possible.Last modified on