As the festive season rolls around, we are all excited by the smells that waft out of our busy kitchens. The baked turkeys, roasted potatoes and many more delicious goodies churned out by the plates for the whole family to enjoy. This excitement is even more heightened in pets, especially dogs, whose ability to smell is hundreds, if not thousands of times better than ours. So what better way to celebrate the spirit of giving and sharing than to part with a little scrap for our dear pooches, the most dedicated taste testers in the world who will appreciate our cooking no matter how it turns out.
Of course, we all know that it is not the best idea or in their best interest to partake in human food, but who can resist those sweet, puppy dog eyes?!
There are plenty of food, especially in the festive season, that can cause much trouble and more often than not, a run to the vet. Common post-festive ailments include vomiting, convulsions, indigestion, pancreatitis, and in serious cases, kidney failure. While a small amount may not do much harm to large-sized dogs, a small bite of the tasty food for smaller sized dogs may be fatal for their health.
Here is a general guide on food that we should avoid pampering our beloved dogs with - Christmas Edition.
Toxic Festive Foods for Dogs
As with humans, alcohol can affect the livers and brains of dogs. But unlike humans, dogs do not have a tolerance against alcohol. While long term drinking could cause irreversible damage for humans, a small amount of alcohol could be fatal for dogs. A small, fun intake for dogs could cause serious damage and lead to respiratory distress, tremors, coma, or even death. It is best to reserve alcohol for the human merrymakers and let the furkids have fun in the festivities with their plain water.
Dog owners should steer clear of dog food that are high in sodium due to the harmful effects on a dog’s kidneys. Cured meat is one such toxic food to avoid. It is high in sodium and certain cured meats such as ham and bacon are high in fats can result in pancreatitis. Pork meat, which is often used in cured meat, is rich with a type of fat that is difficult for dogs to digest. Consumption of cured pork meat could lead to indigestion and inflammation of the pancreas.
Onions, chives and foods from the Allium family
Gravies and sauces are made with a generous amount of garlic and onions for their deep flavour and sweetness. These root vegetables are part of the Allium family, along side leeks, scallions, chives, and shallots. These vegetables from the allium family can damage the red blood cells found in our dogs, which may cause bloody urine, severe anaemia as well as gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach). Certain dog breeds, especially those from Japan, are more susceptible, but any common dog and cat breeds are prone to such reactions as well.
Flavourful cheese, creamy milk and rich cream can cause indigestion, digestive disturbances as well as allergic reactions in dogs as they are mostly lactose intolerant.
The danger in this prevalent festive treat is in the chemical theobromine and caffeine which can cause agitation, hyperactivity, gastrointestinal disorders (such as drooling and vomiting), seizures and even heart failure in severe cases. Clinical signs of chocolate poisoning can take several hours to develop and can last for days as theobromine can be reabsorbed back into the body through the bladder.
Xylitol, a common sweetener found in many candies, is extremely toxic to dogs and even a small amount may lead to hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure and death.
While not all nuts are harmful to dogs, there are certain types of nuts that dogs should always steer clear of. Macadamia nut is shunned by dog owners as a big no-no. Even in small amounts, macadamia nuts can make dogs extremely ill, causing vomits, tremors, paralysis, rapid heartbeats, and other health complications.
This festive spice is popular in sweet treats like gingerbread & eggnog. Large amounts of it can be toxic to dogs, causing hallucinations, stomach pain, and possibly even seizures.
Grapes, Raisins, Sultanas and Currants
While we love our mince pies and Christmas puddings, these desserts contain a generous amount of raisins, sultanas and currants which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and even acute kidney failure.
Salt and Sugar
We tend to forget the high levels of salt and sugar in our holiday food. If a dog ingests too much salt, it can cause excessive thirst, frequent urination, or even worse health problems. As pawrents, we need to be especially aware and alert if your furkid has underlying kidney or cardiovascular conditions. The sugar found in most holiday desserts, if eaten in large quantities, can lead to obesity, dental problems, and even diabetes. It is especially detrimental for dogs with arthritis.
If your dog ingests a significant amount of any of the food mentioned above or exhibits any signs of illnesses, kindly contact your vet right away.
While we take caution in the list of food to avoid, there are plenty of other choices for your furkids to enjoy. We can feed them some baked sweet potatoes, raw vegetables (such as cucumbers and carrots), steamed greens, and raw fruits like cranberries, bananas, and apples. But why limit the snacks to only vegetables and fruits? There are so many more healthy treats by bosch with loads of health features stemming from 50 years of scientific findings.
Gourmet bakery chew snacks
Single Protein fruitees snacks
Targeted health benefits for worrisome issues
Fresh & crunchy hearty dog snack
If you’re visiting friends and families with pets this Christmas, why not bring along one of our scrumptious and darling little hampers for the furkids. They are a wonderful introduction to the yummy taste of bosch, Sanabelle and American pet.
And remember - just like their human counterparts, pets need to maintain good dental care. After the Christmas feast, it is crucial to remove and clean up any dental debris. We have compressed pet dental care into 5 easy steps, so do hop over for a quick browse through our dental guide.