Most dog lovers know they should never give chocolate to a dog as it is toxic, however there are other foods that can also put your dogs health at risk. During the holiday season it is easy to forget that dogs are not able to consume the same food that we can, especially as they are such an important part of the family. Children may also be tempted to share their chocolate and bits of cake or other treats that they have and even guests can be tempted to sneak a friendly dog a treat.
If you think your dog has eaten any of the below food seek emergency veterinary advice immediately.
Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine which affects the guts, heart, central nervous system, and kidneys. You might not notice any symptoms of poisoning until up to 24 hours later.
The artificial sweetener xylitol, even in very small amounts, causes insulin release which may result in fatal hypoglycaemia (lowered sugar levels), fatal acute liver disease and blood-clotting disorders.
Grapes & raisins
Remember many cakes, biscuits and other foods contain raisins and the toxic substance in them and grapes, can cause kidney failure.
If you think your dog has eaten any nuts seek emergency veterinary advice immediately.
Onions, garlic, and chives
Onions and garlic in all forms can be extremely toxic. Your dog may not have any symptoms of poisoning until a few days after. Remember takeaways, pre prepared foods, sauces and gravies may all contain onion or garlic in powder form.
Blue cheeses may contain a substance called roquefortine C. Roquefortine C may cause vomiting and diarrhoea and may also cause twitching, tremors, seizures and a high temperature.
Monitor your dog closely if you think they have eaten any of the below food and seek emergency veterinary advice immediately if they have any concerning symptoms.
Alcohol even in very small amounts can be harmful to dogs
Caffeine can be toxic. Your dog may not have any symptoms of caffeine poisoning until one to two hours later.
Yeast dough can cause gas and it may also cause an intestinal blockage.
Bones may cause intestinal obstruction, damage to teeth chewing and even internal injuries.
Corn on the cob
Corn on the cob may cause an intestinal blockage.
As dogs do not have significant amounts of the enzyme lactase that breaks down lactose in milk, feeding your dog milk and other milk-based products can cause diarrhoea or vomiting.
Symptom check list
central nervous system depression
loss of appetite or reduced appetite
absence of faeces or diarrhoea
If you think your dog has consumed something harmful do not wait to see if there are any symptoms before seeking help from a vet
It is important that everyone is aware they should not feed the dog anything other than dog treats, maybe you could have a fun sign up in the hall and kitchen?
No matter what the dog does or how much he/she begs please do not feed him/her anything apart from the dog treats. We ask this for the dogs health not because we are mean!
Have a family meeting and discuss what food the dog should not be given and the reason why. Children are far more likely to comply if they understand how harmful these foods are for the dog.
As it's Christmas, if you know you, your guests or your children are going to find it hard to resist giving the dog treats, why not have some dog treats handy. That way when you get those big sad eyes staring up at you, the dog can have a treat that will not result in a veterinary visit.
I wish you and your pets a wonderful holiday.