A Leighton veterinary practice has issued guidelines to pet owners over the care of your animals over the Christmas period.
Kate Semple of Ark House warned that many of the foods we like to eat at this time of year can be dangerous for our pets.
Chocolate is poisonous for all pets - even a couple of small squares of chocolate is likely to make them ill. It causes vomiting and diarrhoea, and sometimes even fatal convulsions.
“Keep chocolate well out of reach, but if your pet still manages to get hold of some, contact us for advice straight away.
“Grapes, raisins, sultanas and currants are incredibly toxic to some dogs and cats, causing serious kidney failure, while others appear to be fine. “It’s not worth the risk to find out. Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and mince pies all contain lots of raisins, currants and sultanas.
“Nuts can cause stomach upsets, twitching and convulsions.
“Onions, raw or cooked, also garlic, leeks, shallots can cause an upset stomach and can trigger anaemia. Stuffing and gravy may contain onions.
“Xylitol is an artificial sweetener, which is often found in sugar free chewing gum, medicines and processed foods. It’s really dangerous for pets even in small amounts, causing fatal liver failure.
“Fatty foods of many kinds will give your pets an upset stomach. With a particularly large excess, they could get pancreatitis, which is a very painful inflammation of the pancreas.
“Bones, especially cooked poultry bones, can get stuck in the throat or intestines. This is very painful, and is likely to need an anaesthetic and operation for the bone fragments to be removed. Make sure that the bones from your turkey are disposed of safely, and that the bin is secure.”
For help and advice call your vets. All run emergency cover over the Christmas period.