LONDON, December 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
At Christmas, the chocolate in your advent calendar can prove disastrous for your waistline, but fatal to your pets. But other foods can be equally dangerous, especially nuts and booze, and several ingredients that go to make up your Christmas Dinner and all the trimmings.
John Cousins BVSc, MRCVS, Director of VioVet, the online pet medications and pet food retailer, says the dangers are multiplied at Christmas when it becomes more difficult to monitor what your pets are eating: "Ingredients such as onions or garlic that go into turkey stuffing or raisins in the Christmas pudding and mince pies can make your pets seriously ill and must be avoided," he says.
So this Wintertide, make sure your pets avoid the following Christmas treats:
- Grapes and raisins contain a potent toxin that can damage the liver and kidneys of dogs and cats. Raisins are a key ingredient in mince pies and fruitcake, so make sure these are kept well away from your dog or cat.
- Nuts and especially a toxin present in macadamia nuts can impede the function of a dog's digestive, muscle and nervous systems, resulting in weakness and breathlessness, tremors and swollen legs.
- Nutmeg is also a danger - a favourite ingredient of egg nog, if eaten by a dog its nervous system will begin to suffer with potentially severe consequences.
- Alcohol has a far stronger effect on dogs than humans, and even a drop of it or any other stimulant-type drink can cause disorientation, laboured breathing, and even death.
- Peaches, plums and persimmons have been known to cause digestive complaints in dogs. The pips of these fruits are far more dangerous and pose a choking hazard, but also because of the toxins they contain.
John says that there are many other products and ingredients that can do harm, especially those that contain Xylitol, a sweetener found in sugared sweets and candy, some dietary foods and baked goods. If a dog consumes even a small amount it could be in serious trouble. His advice is therefore simple:
"Tempting though it is to give your dog or cat a treat from the table, my advice is don't," John concludes. "You could, quite literally, be killing with kindness."
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