Summer is finally here! What a start we've had with the first few days of December hitting 30 degrees in Canterbury - we're in for a hot one! Make sure you take precautions to keep your furry family members nice and cool this holiday season. Ensure your animals always have access to fresh water and shade, and don't leave them in a hot car - even for a few minutes! While we're at it... there's a few other holiday related hazards to watch out for over December
With the holiday season comes a cornucopia of tasty treats that can be a health risk to your pets! Read our tips below about keeping your pet safe.
Dogs are amazing – they have around 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses (compared to our 6 million) and can smell about 40 times better than us! So when there is a box of chocolates hidden under the Christmas tree they don’t need to shake the box to find that out! Chocolate ingestion and toxicity is a very real problem around Christmas time, so we thought we would take this opportunity to remind you of the risks of Theobromine toxicity (fancy way of saying chocolate poisoning) in dogs.
Dogs metabolise, or break down, theobromine much more slowly than humans, which is why a small amount can be very bad for your dog. The amount and type of chocolate consumed are important factors in determining the severity of the toxicity, with different types of chocolate containing different levels of theobromine. White chocolate is the least severe with about 0.01mg of theobromine per 1 gram of chocolate, milk chocolate has about 2.4mg per 1 gram, dark chocolate about 5.5mg per gram and cooking chocolate a whopping 16mg per gram.
If you suspect that your dog may have eaten some chocolate, call us immediately with the following details: dog’s weight, type of chocolate consumed and amount of chocolate consumed – we can then figure out what symptoms your dog is likely to display and whether they require immediate veterinary attention.
Along with chocolate, keep sweet treats with xylitol well away from your dog as this artificial sweetener can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar. Fruity desserts are also best avoided by your dog as raisins, grapes and currants can cause kidney failure.
On the savoury side of things you should avoid feeding fatty leftovers such as roast to your dog as this can cause pancreatitis (a painful inflammation of the pancreas), and the bones can splinter and cause life threatening obstructions and perforations to your dog’s intestines.
Your best bet for food safety over the summer is to keep your dog on their regular diet, and keep them away from unattended plates on the table and keep your garbage can lids secure! If you want to give your dog a special treat for Christmas, check out the range of tasty dog appropriate treats we offer in our clinic!
If anything does go amiss with your pets over this holiday season - we're just a phonecall away, and open 7 days aside from our National Public Holidays which are:
- Christmas Day — Monday 25 December
- Boxing Day — Tuesday 26 December
- New Year's Day — Monday 1 January
- Day after New Year's Day — Tuesday 2 January
We hope you have a relaxing summer and enjoy spending some quality time with your pets.