We all love our pets. They are part of our family and we share everything with them, especially when it comes to food. The upcoming festive season comes with an abundance of indulgent foods and ingredients, including chocolates, candy canes, stuffing and nuts. Christmas is a fun time for the whole family, but not if your dog gets their paws on any of these foods.
Resisting the temptation to share your food with your dogs may be hard—especially with that adorable stare—but some human foods can be toxic or even deadly to them.
How? Dogs are attracted to the smell and taste of chocolate, so it is unsurprising that they choose to rummage through and open boxes of chocolate wrapped up under the tree or ornamental chocolate hanging off the tree.
Why is it toxic? Dogs cannot process a component of chocolate called ‘theobromine’ as efficiently as in humans. How dangerous the chocolate is depends on the cocoa content—Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are the worst. If left untreated, your pet may show serious and potentially fatal signs such as seizures and heart problems.
Onions and garlic
How? Stuffing, onion soup, gravy mix, uncooked, cooked or powdered garlic and onions.
Why is it toxic? Eating onions trigger a destruction of the dog’s red blood cells, leading to a condition that causes serious abnormal signs such as weakness, depression, tiredness, pale gums and excessive panting.
Other harmful foods your pet may encounter during Christmas include xylitol (found in sugar-free candy, gums, mints), grapes and macadamia nuts.
Remember, try not to leave any of these foods lying around, but if you suspect your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have, take them to your vet immediately.
Uni Vets Pet Thriller (pictured), the lovable Newfoundland, wants to remind everyone this Christmas that there are certain things dogs just should not eat
By Wesley Cheung, Veterinary Graduate, Uni Vets Camden