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Sharing Christmas

Sharing Christmas With your Furbabies

Your furbaby is an important part of your family so it makes sense that you’d want them to participate in the Christmas celebrations. You can find videos online of pets opening presents in front of the tree with the rest of their families, and it’s such a joy to see them enjoying the attention and love from the whole family! There’s always someone in the family who sneaks your favourite pet a cheeky slice of glazed ham, it’s all a part of the holiday cheer.  

Dogs and cats should be allowed to enjoy a treat with their family on special occasions, but it’s important to be wary of what is the right treats to indulge your pet. Vets and pet experts reportedly warn against feeding our pets these common Christmas foods: 

Chocolate is a well-known danger to pets: it contains ‘theobromine’ which can cause a variety of symptoms to your dogs and cats, including (in extreme cases) seizures and heart arrhythmia. Theobromine is found in all kinds of chocolates including cocoa powder, dark chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate. Chocolate is a delicious treat for humans, but if you wanted to give your pet a sweet treat try blueberries or watermelon. 

 Grapes, raisins and sultanas  are a considerable mystery to pet experts, who cannot identify the toxic substance for your pet, but there have been many reported cases of kidney failure when pets have eaten grapes, raisins and sultanas, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. This means your pet must miss out on raisin scones or cookies, and Christmas fruit cake/minced pies (fruit pies). There are many pet-specific treat recipes online, so you can bake your pet their own cakey treat! 

Macadamias are one of the few nuts your pets can’t eat. In fact, macadamia nuts are considered one of the most toxic foods for pets. Ingesting even a small amount of macadamia can have negative effects on your pet, similar to chocolate. Apart from the toxin in macadamia nuts, there is also a risk of choking, especially if your pet doesn’t chew properly or eats too quickly. If you’re going to feed your pet peanuts, pistachios or cashews, make sure to peel them properly, keep an eye on your pet’s eating habits and only feed them in small quantities: for a satisfying crunch, you can feed your pets raw meat bones (be mindful to give your cats smaller bones like chicken wings or quail) which are not only a fun treat but contain much of the required nutrients for your pet. 

Cooked bones should not be fed to your pet UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. While dogs and cats can eat raw bones, cooked bones become brittle and are in danger of cracking and breaking into shards. If your pet attempts to eat cooked, weakened bones, they can cut themselves or rupture their throats and bellies on the sharp breaks. Make sure to not feed your pets drumsticks or wings with the bones still in, to keep them safe. 

Onions and garlic are a contended danger to dogs and cats. Though they may be okay in small amounts in foods like roast meats, or gravy, eating onion, garlic or chives raw can cause gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage. Cats are more susceptible to damage than dogs, but it’s best to avoid it altogether to be safe. Your dogs and cats would be happier eating their regular dog food than risking their health for a treat.

Avocado is a surprising addition to this list. While it’s not a very dangerous food, the pit of the avocado and other stone fruits can pose a risk if swallowed.  Avocado, also, is high in fats and could contribute to cardiovascular problems. There are many healthy fruits and vegetables to feed your pet as a fresh snack, such as cucumber, or celery.

Anything high in salt or sugar, including artificial sweeteners and flavours. Your cats and dogs come from a long line of wild animals, and though we’ve domesticated them and brought them into our loving families, they still share much of the biology as their ancestors. They aren’t like humans and our ability to process the additives we find in our favourite salty or sweet Christmas treats.  

 Sharing your Christmas indulgences with your pet is a lovely idea and, when executed properly, can bring your family and your pet a lot of joy. Passing your furbaby a bit of cheese like cheddar and swiss from your charcuterie board is a fun idea, but avoid giving them grapes. 

Don’t forget your pet also needs its usual meal, as consistency is vital for a pet. Raw food scraps from your meat dishes are a great way to save rubbish and indulge your pet, provided there’s no additives like extra salt or onion and garlic. Cooked chicken or ham is a great treat, as long as you ensure there are no bones.  If you want to be sure you’re feeding your pet a safe treat, you can check out the treats we have available on our website, as well as meat cut-offs on Sunshine Coast Organic Meats.

Most of all, have a Merry Christmas!

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