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Kent vet reminds dog owners to be vigilant with festive foods this Christmas


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Christmas Day is finally here and even though we'll be enjoying lots of delicious treats later today, a vet is reminding dog owners about the dangers of festive foods for pets.

Since the start of December, Pennard Vets, which has seven practices in Kent, has been busy treating pups that have fallen ill after eating Christmas related food.

Pennard Vets are warning dog owners about the dangers of Christmas Food. Picture: Pennard Vets
Pennard Vets are warning dog owners about the dangers of Christmas Food. Picture: Pennard Vets

These included a springer spaniel that managed to steal a Christmas cake and a sprocker spaniel that gobbled a full chocolate advent calendar.

Pennard Vets has practices in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Maidstone, Allington, Borough Green, Langley Park and West Malling.

Dr Caroline Collins said: "Spaniels are top of the naughty list this year and we saw two in the first few days of December.

"However, the reality is that Christmas is full of hazards for pets, and we’ve already treated several cases this month where dogs have managed to eat potentially poisonous foods such as raisins, sultanas and alcohol in Christmas cake, mince pies and Christmas pudding.

“Chocolate is also a particular danger at this time of year, with both advent calendars and chocolate hanging on Christmas trees, which is often too tempting for dogs to resist!"

Dr Caroline Collins. Picture: Balint Hamvas
Dr Caroline Collins. Picture: Balint Hamvas

Unfortunately, chocolate is potentially poisonous due to it containing theobromine, which dogs can’t metabolise.

As a result, pet owners need to be particularly vigilant at this time of year and particularly where food and drink are concerned.

Caroline continued: “Other dangers at Christmas include nuts and onions, which are often found in gravy, and can be toxic to pets.

"Cooked bones are also a major hazard because they become brittle and shatter into sharp pieces after cooking."

Turkey bones are hollow and splinter easily regardless of whether they’ve been cooked or not, so they should never be fed to animals.

Caroline finished: “However, it’s not all bad news for pets and there’s no reason why they can’t enjoy a piece of cooked turkey and a few plain veggies such as carrots or broccoli and, in moderation, maybe even a sprout or two!”

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