Christmas is a time when we love to treat ourselves, our loved ones and our pets! Sometimes we might be tempted to let our 4-le4Legs Jingle Balls Turkey and a Festive Coating Tray 900ggged friends indulge in some Christmas treats, but unfortunately Christmas food isn’t ideal for dogs.

This year, we suggest treating your dog to the delicious Christmas flavours of our very own Jingle Balls – a tasty 4Legs treat with the delicious flavours of turkey, apple, pumpkin and rosemary.

Here are some of Dr Felicity’s tips to keep your pets safe this Christmas.

At this time of year, my general word of warning is to avoid feeding your dog any food that they do not already eat regularly. Christmas food is notorious for making pets unwell.

Many of the food that we eat traditionally at Christmas are toxic to dogs. Here are foods that are off the menu for dogs this year:

  • Avocado
  • Large amounts of onions, chives and garlic
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Grapes
  • Sultanas, raisins and currants
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee and caffeine
  • Alcohol

It is important to consider these sorts of food as poisons and keep them well out of reach of your pets.

Sometimes potential poisonings can occur despite your best efforts. If your dog does manage to steal some contraband, don’t panic but do call your vet immediately. If action is required and taken quickly (within the hour), vomiting can be induced by your vet and most of the toxic food can be removed to minimise the potential for poisoning.

Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is another common food-related illness that we see more often over the silly season. Foods that cause pancreatitis are those that are very high in fat, like meat off-cuts and nuts and should therefore be avoided. Fatty off-cuts from the Christmas ham or pork are off the menu. And also take care feeding large amounts of rich meats like lamb or pork, especially in older or overweight dogs that can be predisposed to pancreatitis. Smallgoods should be fed with caution or avoided all together as they are usually high in fat and contain gut-irritating preservatives.

Bones
Never ever feed cooked bones of any type. This includes a smoked ham bone and any other bone that has been in the oven or on the barbecue – these can splinter easily and cause bowel preforations.

Barbecue
Some dogs will steal food straight from the barbecue without any thought for the heat! Very hot food, especially straight from the barbecue or accidentally dropped by the chef, can cause severe burning of the mouth, throat and oesophagus and these burns are often life-threatening.