Vets are warning pet owners to keep their four-legged friends away from chocolate and high-fat foods this festive season.
Wendouree Veterinary Practice veterinarian Aaron Luttrell said chocolate was a big issue, because it contains the stimulant theobromine, which can cause vomiting, increased heart rates and seizures in dogs.
“There’s a lot chocolate floating around,” he said. “Dogs love to explore and eat everything they shouldn’t.”
“A lot of dogs that eat chocolate come in immediately afterwards, and we can treat them in time.”
Dr Luttrell said it wasn’t just chocolate that is an issue over Christmas and New Year’s. Even seemingly innocent food scraps fed to pets could cause serious issues.
“A lot of high fat foods can make some dogs very unwell with pancreatitis to the point where they require hospitalisation, so be careful with the scraps you fed them,” he said.
“If your dog is showing symptoms, give the vet a call as soon as you can.”
Dr Aaron’s top tips for keeping your pets healthy this Christmas
- Don’t let your dogs eat any chocolate, but in particular milk and dark varieties, which contain more theobromine.
- Make sure your pets have access to plenty of water and shade as it heats up in summer. Big plastic clam shells filled up with water are great for helping dogs cool down.
- If you’re off on holidays, make sure someone is checking your furry friend twice a day. Heatstroke happens quickly, so it’s important to be vigilant.
- Make sure dogs are up to date on their vaccinations, as there have been confirmed cases of the deadly canine parvovirus found in Ballarat.