Pet safety at Christmas, brought to you by Wicstun’s Andrew.
Christmas is almost upon us and here at Wicstun we would like to wish all our clients a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Pets may need a quiet place to escape to!
Whilst it may be a time of celebration for us, different people, noises and a change of routine can be a little upsetting for our pets. Do remember that they don’t understand what’s going on and that they may need a quiet place to escape to if it all becomes a bit too much!
Alongside behavioural upset, many of the treats we associate with the festive period can cause significant, even catastrophic, problems for our pets.
Read on as Wicstun’s Andrew takes you through an important list:
Cocoa contains a chemical called theobromine which is toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. As a rule, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it could be. The bodyweight of your dog in relation to the cocoa content of the chocolate will determine how high risk the ingestion is. Exposure to theobromine can cause a range of symptoms from vomiting and diarrhoea through to tremors, convulsions, heart complications and can even be fatal. Theobromine toxicity is serious and medical advice should be sought.
- Christmas puddings and mince pies
Grapes and dried products (currants, sultanas and raisins) are toxic to dogs and even small amounts can lead to kidney failure. Christmas pudding and mince pies are an absolute no-no and you should seek medical advice if your pet eats either.
- Onions, garlic, leeks
All of these belong to the allium species of plants and can cause toxicity. Initially vomiting and diarrhoea can occur but toxicity can progress to damaging red blood cells. Damaged cells can lead to anaemia, which is quite serious.
- Cooked bones
Cooked bones can splinter into shards causing damage to the mouth, throat, oesophagus (food pipe) and intestines. Depending which tissues are damaged, this could be potentially very serious. They are also a choking hazard. The symptoms of these types of problems can be subtle for a while, look out for things like; unwillingness to exercise, mild/ moderate drooling, quiet and withdrawn behaviour, hesitant when trying to eat or off food completely.
Just ensure that your tipple of choice is left out of the reach of your dog. As you’d expect, it’s not good for them and even the ‘giant’ dogs out there don’t have a body weight that would cope with alcohol. A ‘medium’ sized dog has a similar weight to a small child and the dangers are relative. Dogs can become wobbly and drowsy, alcohol can reduce body temperature and cause blood sugar levels to drop, which can lead to serious complications.
- Artificial sweeteners
Often the less obvious toxin! The sugar free sweetener Xylitol is often found in sweets we eat over Christmas as well as chewing gums, mouthwashes and toothpastes. It is potentially very toxic in small amounts, causing an insulin release which leads to low blood sugar levels and potentially liver damage.
Poinsettia, Holly and Mistletoe all cause an upset stomach if eaten by dogs.
Should you have any worries about your pet over the festive season, especially if you think that they may have eaten any of the above, then please call our 24 hour emergency number on 01430 873219, as prompt treatment is vital.