Staff from the Ipswich AWL Vet Clinic has warned against Christmas indulgences for pets.
Staff from the Ipswich AWL Vet Clinic has warned against Christmas indulgences for pets. David Nielsen

Vets warn of festive pet treats

THEY may seem like harmless indulgences, but festive treats like turkey and stuffing can be potentially deadly for pets.

Dr Mark Perissinotto, head vet at online retailer VetShopAustralia.com.au, said this time of year could bring increased risks.

“Owners need to keep an eye on the festive fare their pets are tucking into,” Dr Perissinotto said.

“A few foods commonly found on our tables at this time of the year can be harmful to our pets.

“For example cooked turkey and ham bones can be almost irresistible to pets.

“But they should be kept out of reach and off the menu as they can splinter and lodge in the animal’s throat or intestine and also can cause severe constipation.”

Dr Perissinotto said nuts, particularly macadamias, contained a toxin which could cause muscle weakness and even paralysis.

“Dogs are much smaller than people and are far more susceptible to the toxins in certain foods,” he said.

“What might seem like a treat can actually lead to a lot of pain and heartache.

“So I would urge pet owners to mindful of what they are feeding their animals.

“Take temptation away by removing leftovers from the table and don’t leave garbage where animals can get to it.”

He said inquisitive dogs could also get into trouble by chewing on Christmas wrapping, decorations, ribbon and string – so it was a good idea to keep these potential choking and intestinal hazards out of harms way.

Animal Welfare League (AWL) Ipswich vet Dean Tait said fatty foods, such as trimmings from the Christmas ham, could also pose a danger due to their association with the sometimes fatal disease of pancreatitis.

“Chocolate can also be toxic,” Dr Tait said.

It contains a substance called theobromine which can cause tremors, hyperactivity and seizures.

Festive dangers

Cooked turkey and ham bones can splinter, posing throat and intestinal dangers.

Ham skin and fat can cause pancreatitis.

Stuffing with garlic and onion contains thiosulphate, which can cause red blood cells to weaken and rupture.

Nuts can cause muscle weakness and a type of paralysis.

Alcohol, even small amounts, can poison pets.

Electrical cords – no bright spark should leave these where a dog can chew them.



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