Holiday Entertaining & Your Pet

Grapes
Exactly why and how these are poisonous to dogs is unknown and the exact volume needed to cause symptoms is difficult to predict. Some dogs will eat one or two grapes and become seriously ill but others can eat many of them without apparent signs. The only way to be safe is to keep them out of reach of your dog.
 
Christmas Pudding, Christmas Cake and Mince Pies
These Christmas treats are bad for pets for a number of reasons:
- they are jam-packed full of current raisins and sultanas. These are all a variation on the ‘grape’ and as such have the same serious health risks. It is common for them to ingest far more ‘grapes’ in this form than they would fresh grapes because there are so many packed into these cakes and they are smaller.
- they are full of fat, suet etc. which can often give them severe stomach troubles, vomiting etc. but also, more worryingly high fat meals are one of the high risk factors leading to pancreatitis. This can be a very serious and costly disease to treat.
– they are often laced with alcohol which can cause many of the symptoms of intoxication seen in people. 
 
Chocolates
Most people are aware of the dangers eating chocolate poses for dogs and take steps to avoid leaving any were their pets could get it. However, it is not uncommon for people to forget about the chocolate coins or decorations and leave them in an irresistible location. As well as the dangers associated with chocolate the wrapping foil can be problematic as is tries to passes through the dog’s digestive system.

Bones
At this time of year we often cook much more meat than usual. Once cooked the bones in the meat become brittle and splinter easily. When your pet chews these, larger fragments can break off getting ‘stuck’ causing obstructions but also smaller pieces can cause gut irritation and perforation or can cause difficulty passing stool. Most people try to avoid their dog ‘borrowing the bones off the work surface’. Don’t forget if you put the deliciously tasty smelling carcass/bone into the garbage to keep it out of reach!  Birds (turkey/chicken/goose) are all hollow boned animals and these bones will splinter either raw or cooked. Never give these bones to your dog under any circumstances.

Macadamia nuts
Macadamia nuts can cause dogs to experience weakness, depression, tremors, vomiting and hyperthermia (increased body temperature). If you suspect your dog has consumed macadamia nuts note the possible quantity consumed and contact us as soon as possible.

Alcohol
We tend to use more alcohol in our cooking at this time of year and so even normal titbits can be potentially problematic over the Christmas period. As it is for people, alcohol is also intoxicating for dogs and can cause similar unpleasant side effects.

If your dog does get into mischief and consumes any of these things then the first thing to do is contact us for advice. Often the sooner treatment is sought the easier and more successful the treatment.