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The Naughty List: Christmas Foods Your Dog Needs To Avoid



Is there anything better than a festive feast of your Christmas Favourites?


An Australian Christmas Spread is never short of seafood, salads, baked hams, trifles, and a Christmas Pudding and with so much on the menu, there will be enough left over to take you into January. This is where it can be tempting to share the love with your family pet, however certain foods that come across a Christmas table can put your pet at significant risk and should be avoided.


We break down the most common Christmas Foods that can be harmful to your dog;


1. Chocolate


For those that may have not yet received the memo, Chocolate is exceptionally dangerous when ingested by your dog. While it may be common knowledge, it is important to also educate your children on the potential risk of sharing their chocolate or leaving chocolate gifts unattended this Christmas. Most chocolate related visits to the vet are often accidental, with chocolate having been left in an easily accessible place.


Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can cause agitation, hyperexcitability, tremors, convulsions and problems with the heart. The darker the chocolate, the more potent levels of theobromine. If your dog has ingested chocolate, treatment may be required and should be sought for any dog ingesting more than 20 mg of theobromine.


2. Grapes and Raisins


That’s right, grapes (and their aged friends, raisins and sultanas) can be toxic to our pets. While it is not yet determined just how many grapes it would take to cause illness or harm by reaching a level of toxicity in the body, it still poses a risk and should be avoided.


Keep note that while you may not be physically giving your dogs grapes from the package, there are plenty of Christmas favourites that contact grapes and raisins including mince pies, Christmas cake and pudding.


3. Onion



Many menu items that grace your Christmas table may contain onion or garlic. Stuffing and roasts may be cooked with a quantity of garlic and onion and can possess a toxin which can cause damage to your dog's red blood cells.


4. Alcohol



An obvious but important substance to note is alcohol. Be mindful of where you leave bottles, cans and glasses this Christmas. Just like children, alcohol content can be especially dangerous.

If your dog gets access to alcohol, it can very quickly become poisoned and will need treatment.


5. Fatty Meats


Fatty meats such as ham, or offcuts containing fat from meats may seem like a great addition to your dog’s bowl, but fatty meats can be particularly unhealthy for dogs. While some dogs may be able to stomach it, dogs with sensitive stomach or a history with pancreatitis may become extremely unwell.


Fatty foods are the number one culprit of pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis can cause vomiting, nausea, dehydration, and if severe, it can be fatal. Once your dog has had pancreatitis, lifelong food sensitivity can be prevalent meaning that your dog may then need to eat a specialty low fat diet which can be costly. Avoid the issue this Christmas and don’t share fatty meats. It can even leave your dog with a lifelong sensitivity to fat


6. Cooked Bones


If cooked chicken, lamb and other delicious meats are available this Christmas, make sure the cooked bones go straight to the bin when done and are out of reach from your pets. Dogs love bones, there’s no question about it however cooked bones can pose a risk to choking.

Cooked bones can also splinter causing intestinal damage, injury or discomfort. Hardy chews, raw bones make a far safer alternative and will keep your dog entertained for hours.


7. Leftovers


The fridge is full and can’t possibly eat another ham sandwich. It’s time to part ways with your Christmas leftovers. While much of what you’re throwing out could typically be okay to give your dog, food that has been sitting for days can build harmful bacteria that may cause illness and upset sensitive stomachs.


8. Avocados


Often dips such as guacamole and salads can often have avocado added. Be mindful not to share this with your dogs. Avocados can begin to cause liver failure in dogs.


9. Milk


After weaning from Mum dog many dogs become very sensitive to dairy products. Many dogs will experience stomach upsets, vomiting and diarrhoea if given too many dairy products.


10. Nuts


Dogs have a lot of trouble digesting many different types of nuts. You are always best to avoid nuts being given to dogs. Macadamia nuts and walnuts are toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs. Other nuts such as peanuts, cashews and almonds to name a few, dogs have difficulty digesting and can result in vomiting, diarrhoea and in extreme cases obstruction.

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