How to avoid a sick dog at Christmas!

Dogs are 86% more likely to suffer poisoning in December from festive foods and vets have noted a considerable spike in pancreatitis over the Christmas period.

Acute pancreatitis can be deadly, so its important dog owners are aware of the signs and symptoms, as well as taking preventative measures to ensure your four-legged friend enjoys a Merry Christmas with the family.

Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas helps your dog to metabolise sugars and produce insulin while producing enzymes that are vital for healthy digestion. Pancreatitis is often the result of excessive rendered fats in your dog’s diet.  Over the festive season, many dogs and their owners spend additional time in the kitchen, preparing rich and delicious feasts for loved ones. Try to resist treating your dog to a little taste of everything while you’re preparing your families meal.  Those puppy dog eyes are hard to deny, but every little bit adds up and before you know it you may have a very sick dog.  

Protect your dog this Christmas

Foods to avoid

  • Fruit mince pies, Christmas cake or pudding. Currants, chocolate, raisins, sultanas, and figs, often used in Christmas dessert recipes are toxic for dogs, so it’s best to skip your doggo when it comes to dessert.
  • Gravy, stuffing and sausages - onion, garlic, leeks used in many recipes belong to the allium family. When ingested by dogs these foods can cause damage to red blood cells, even life threatening anaemia.
  • Cooked bones – if you’re feeding your dog leftover cooked meat, ensure you have removed any bones as they can splinter and become lodged in your dog’s oesophagus causing choking.
  • While dogs can eat peanuts, hazelnuts and cashews, you will need to ensure they avoid almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans and pistachios.
  • While a tiny bit of cheese is ok for your dog, don’t leave your dog unattended with the cheese platter, especially if there is blue cheese around. When blue cheese starts to ripen, it produces a substance called Roquefortine C, which most dogs can be sensitive to. 

Foods that are safe to feed

  • Turkey meat - no skin or bones
  • Salmon – try to avoid smoked
  • Scrambled egg
  • Fruits and veggies
  • Left over potatoes and sweet potatoes - without butter, dressing etc
  • Natural yoghurt

Dogs with acute pancreatitis can become sick within a matter of hours, so if you find your dog is suffering any of the following symptoms, a visit to your vet is a good idea.

  • Hunched posture
  • Painful abdomen 
  • Distended, enlarged abdomen 
  • Poor appetite
  • Lethargy 
  • Vomiting 
  • Dehydration 
  • Diarrhoea

Christmas can be a very overwhelming time for everyone including your dog. You’re likely welcoming visitors, cooking excessive amounts of food and entertaining kids who are very excitable during this busy time. 

To make this a healthy time for your dog, try to maintain your dog’s usual walks and keep feeding time routine.

It’s also a good idea to ensure your dog has their own bed in a quiet space to retreat to when they need some time out.

Have a wonderful festive season from all of us at Frontier Pets.

Don't forget about your doggo on Christmas Morning! The Frontier Christmas Stocking is packed full of healthy freeze dried treats and toys that won't require a trip to the vet. CLICK HERE to shop!  

REFERENCES

Christmas Poisons in PetsThe Veterinary Expert| Pet Health