Unsuitable treats for pets is asking for trouble

By Michele Hunter

Bay pet owners are asked to ensure their pets have a safe and happy Christmas by protecting them from dangerous items such as tinsel, falling Christmas trees and fatty treats.
Nick Sygrove, one of the owners of VetCare Tauranga, said this time of year was busy for veterinary clinics, with the number of misadventure calls jumping 20 per cent.
Mr Sygrove said they could deal with anything from pets swallowing fishing hooks and sinkers, even golfballs, raiding the children's chocolate stash and developing stomach complaints after being fed fatty treats.
He urges caution when feeding pets any of the Christmas dinner leftovers as rich, fatty and spicy food - or anything a pet is not used to - can cause painful pancreatitis. And cooked bones can splinter and get stuck in a pet's throat or their gut. If owners wanted to feed their pet bones they should be large raw ones - but never poultry - and discarded after a couple of hours of chewing.
If a pet suddenly became lethargic, was off its food or its stomach became painful to touch, help should be sought immediately.
Mr Sygrove said chocolates, grapes and onions should definitely be off the menu as they were poisonous to dogs and could cause seizures, a coma or even death.
Christmas decorations could easily be chewed and swallowed, causing intestinal blockages. Tinsel could twist up intestines and trees could fall on adventurous kittens.
"Animals left on their own can also get into lots of mischief."
Plenty of shade and clean water replaced daily is another must.

Mr Sygrove said that if fireworks were let off on New Year's Eve, people should ensure their pets are safely inside with the curtains closed.
"Have fun with your pets this Christmas but make sure they are safe and happy so they don't have to visit the clinic for the wrong reasons."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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