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Festive foods aren’t pet friendly RSPCA reminds pet owners of the dangers of common treats

With Christmas only days away, RSPCA ACT is reminding Canberran pet owners about the dangers of festive foods for animals, with some common Christmas treats being very harmful for pets to consume.

RSPCA ACT is hopeful that by putting out these messages for pet owners, that it would help avoid potential calamity and a trip to the emergency veterinary hospital.

RSPCA ACT CEO Michelle Robertson says that usually it is customary for a wonderful assortment of rich foods to be cooked and consumed during the Christmas holiday season and that owners should be informed about which human food or drinks are potentially harmful to pets.

“Certain foods can be toxic to your pets.  We want pet owners to know when ‘not sharing’ falls into the caring category this holiday season”

Festive foods your pet should avoid include:

  • Alcohol – Can cause intoxication, lack of coordination, poor breathing and even coma and/or death in pets
  • Avocado – can cause diarrhoea vomiting, and heart congestion in dogs
  • Chocolate – can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, elevated heart rate and seizures in dogs
  • Coffee – can be fatal to dogs, and cause seizures, heart problems and vomiting
  • Fruit cake – for dogs, currants, grapes and raisins are toxic to the kidneys and can make them lethargic, and cause increased thirst and vomiting. Fruit cake also often contains alcohol which can also be toxic.
  • Macadamia nuts – can cause severe abdominal pain, inability to walk and increased heart rate
  • Onion – can cause red blood cells to burst, leading to anaemia
  • Paracetamol – can be fatal to pets, especially cats. A warning sign is grey-blue hums and salivation
  • Fatty foods -fatty foods like barbeque scraps, turkey skin or pork crackling can lead to more serious pancreatitis. Major signs of pancreatitis are lethargy, poor appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting and fever.
  • Xylitol – this is a common ingredient in sugarless gum and is poisonous to dogs, causing lethargy, liver failure, seizures, vomiting and weakness

If you are concerned that your pet has eaten any of the above items, owners are advised to get them veterinary treatment as soon as possible.


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