Loving your pets means not feeding them human food, no matter how much your four-legged friend begs for it.
Loving your pets means not feeding them human food, no matter how much your four-legged friend begs for it. Contributed

Don't give pets festive leftovers

VETERINARY experts are advising pet owners to be careful about the kinds of leftovers they feed their pets this festive season.

Last year veterinarians at BVSC animal hospital in Brisbane treated more than 50 pets during the Christmas period for human food related problems.

That was about 10% of the total yearly number for these incidents and a sharp increase.

BSVC founder Dr Rod Straw, said pet owners who treated animals to Christmas leftovers were putting their pet at serious risk.

"There are a number of common foods that can cause potentially fatal health complications for your pet, ranging from nausea and vomiting to potentially fatal organ complications."

Dr Straw also advised pet owners to be aware of the Christmas decorations.

"BVSC treats many cats and dogs each season who eat tinsel which causes serious gastrointestinal problems," he said.

Dr Straw's list of common foods dangerous to pets includes:

  • Avocados - They contain a dangerous toxin which can damage the heart, lungs and tissue of many different animals.
  • Macadamia Nuts - They can be toxic to dogs. Symptoms will likely occur within 12 hours and can include vomiting, hyperthermia and elevated heart rate.
  • Chocolate - May be toxic or lethal to dogs and other domestic animals, even in small quantities.
  • Turkey skin, pork crackling, sausages and other fatty meats - Can lead to pancreatitis due to the high fat content.
  • Onions and garlic - Can cause gastric irritation and anaemia if they consumed in large quantities.
  • Grapes and Raisins - Can cause severe acute kidney failure.

Dr Straw said pet owners should only feed their pets human foods if they are advised to do so by their vet.

"The best food you can feed your animal is quality pet food which contains the right nutrients required for their diet," he said.

"If you suspect your pet has eaten something toxic you should contact a veterinarian or a veterinary specialist immediately."


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