Beware the danger of Christmas treats for your pet pooch

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Christmas is always a time when there are those extra choccies about, whether they be the assorted tubs, advent calenders, bars or even the little ones you hang on your Christmas tree.

They all look nice and they all taste nice to us and dogs too – BUT did you know that human chocolate is one of the most poisonous things to animals?

Vet Savers staff treat a poorly dog after it has had one too many chocolate treats.

Vet Savers staff treat a poorly dog after it has had one too many chocolate treats.

For example: a standard bar of milk chocolate eaten by a dog can cause toxic shock to the point that they could need veterinary intervention to flush their system out.

This could mean an injection to help them be sick to bring back up the chocolate and, if severe, can result in them being hospitalised on fluids given directly into their system.

Some very severe cases can result in death, depending on the ratio between the size of dog and the quantity eaten.

Either way veterinary advice should always be sought.

Vetsavers team

Vetsavers team

But it’s not all doom and gloom because there are chocolate products on the market that are specifially made for dogs and cats, choc drops are a good example of these and, of course, you can get your pet their very own advent calender, too. Mine have them and they are great fun

From the response to our new column we know this is a topic many pet owners worry about. Thank you for your other questions too. Keep them coming in.

Question:

We have two small kittens that are six months old and they will not leave the Christmas tree baubles alone. We are worried that they may actually eat one. How can we avoid this?

Vet Savers team tip

There is no way that you will ever take the fun side out of a kitten, or indeed the kitten side out of a cat when it comes to shiny and bright balls on a tree.

Here are some pointers though that should help:

1. Oversize your Christmas baubles – by this we mean go a little bigger to avoid the cat getting them actually into their mouths.

2. Secure them safely – Don’t just hang them by the string to keep them fastened to the tree, they can easily be knocked off so we would always recommend that you actually tie them securely on.

3 Don’t leave the tree and the kitten/cat unattended – We had a kitten bought in last week with a fractured back leg as it had climbed up the tree and the tree had fallen over while the owners were out!

4. Lastly...keep your feline friend entertained at ground level as best you can – There are lots of toys available and try to train your cat out of the tree!

If you are worried that yor kitten/cat may have ingested something of the tree the signs to look out for are not wanting to eat, being sick after eating, not passing a poo over two to three days and generally not being themselves.

Obviously all the above symptons could be something else, so if in doubt at all call your vet without delay.

Dont forget that all vets will have an emergency service over the festive period so just call them for the details now....you never know when you may need us.