Take extra care with pets this holiday season

Take extra care with pets this holiday season

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The AVA has warned pet owners about some foods which maybe toxic and harmful to their pets. Photograph – Hamish Hastie.

The Australian Veterinary Association was advising pet owners to be careful about the kind of leftovers they fed their animals during the Christmas period.

Doctor David Neck said pets were an important part of the family but sharing the Christmas love by treating them to a human lunch could hurt them.

“Vets treat many pets with digestive problems during the summer break,” he said.

“Pet owners need to be aware there are some foods that we indulge in over the Christmas period that are just not good for our cats and dogs.”

Dr Neck said pets had a way of finding unattended party food without any help from their owners.

“Keep an eye on what food you leave within muzzle reach,” he said.

“The best treat you can give to your pet over Christmas is quality pet treats from your vet clinic, pet store or supermarket that contain the right nutrients for their diet.

“Your pets and their waistlines will thank you.”

The foods to avoid feeding your pets include:

Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats even in small quantities.

Avocadoes contain a dangerous toxin, which can damage the heart, lungs and tissue of many different animals.

Turkey skin, pork crackling, sausages and other fatty meats can lead to inflammation of the pancreas due to high fat content.

Onions and garlic can cause gastric irritation and anaemia if they are consumed in large quantities.

Grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney failure.

Macadamia nuts can be toxic to dogs with signs likely to occur within 12-hours and can include vomiting, hyperthermia and elevated heart rate.

Nutmeg is one of the lesser-known poisonous foods that can cause dogs to suffer from tremors, seizures, issues with the nervous system and even death.

Xyitol is a sweetener now widely used in sugar free food such as cakes, muffins and bread.