Hazardous Foods

Five foods not to feed your four-legged friend

During the festive season, we all love a treat. Mulled wine, mince pies, chocolate selection boxes you name it. It’s natural to want to share the joy with our furry friends. We’d just like to flag a few things to be mindful of, so that they can enjoy the festivities as much as you.         

Chocolate is well known to be poisonous for canines, but you may not know it’s toxic for cats too. The caffeine and theobromine contained in chocolate can cause seizures and, in some cases, death, so it really is a big no no for dogs and cats. Dark and cooking chocolate are especially harmful so take extra care to keep them out of reach of prying paws.

What do dogs, cats and vampires have in common? They should all steer well clear of garlic. Both onions and garlic can cause gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage. Cats are most at risk, but dogs will have similar issues if they consume enough. Play it safe and don’t share any leftovers that contain these ingredients.   

This one may come as a surprise, but milk and dairy products aren’t ideal for your pets either. Cats and dogs don’t possess enough of the enzyme that breaks down lactose, so too much of anything milk-based can cause upset stomachs and diarrhoea. While kitties may take any opportunity to lap up a saucer of milk, it’s not really the best thing for them. And, it doesn’t give them anything nutritionally they won’t get from a well-balanced cat food.

Beer, wine and spirits are festive staples for people, but even tiny amounts can be dangerous for dogs and cats. Their relative sizes and kidney functions mean they’re far less resilient to the intoxicating effects of alcohol. Dizziness, nausea and alcohol poisoning can be caused by even a tiny sip, so be sure to keep your glass close and bottle tops on.    

Nuts are also a no no. Almonds, pecans, walnuts and the like are all packed with oils and fats that don’t sit well with dogs or cats. If your pet gets hold of any, vomiting and diarrhoea is likely to follow. And, in serious cases, their consumption could result in pancreatitis. Protect your pets and keep all nuts away from nosey noses.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, so be sure to check before you share any human food with your four-pawed pal. Or, better still, stick to food that’s specially designed for dogs and cats.