The Dangers Of Sharing Your Christmas Dinner With Your Dog
Adam Henson, TV presenter and keen dog lover, has launched a national health warning to combat festive food horrors.
It won’t be long before our beloved pet dog sits at the head of the festive table according to new research by natural pet food company Forthglade, who have investigated the extent that Brits share rich Christmas Dinners and all the trimmings with their dogs. Almost two thirds of UK dog owners plan to dish-up for their dogs on Christmas Day; even though the majority of them (56%) knew that human tit bits were harmful to their pets.
British TV presenter Adam Henson, well-known for his passion for animal welfare, has launched a health warning to UK dog owners, highlighting the dangers of sharing indulgent Christmas foods with their beloved pets, and raising awareness of the human foods that could result in trips to doggie A&E.
Unsurprisingly the most popular foods dished up to dogs on Christmas Day are turkey, gravy and stuffing, served up by almost 70% of Christmas Day ‘treaters’. Stuffing and gravy frequently contain onion which can be toxic to dogs if too much is consumed; resulting in vomiting and diarrhoea and in extreme cases leading to a dog requiring immediate veterinary assistance.
1 in 10 Christmas treaters surveyed admitted to sharing mince pies, unaware that the majority of Christmas puddings contain raisins or sultanas, which can lead to canine kidney failure. 20% also claimed that sharing meat from fry-ups was a household norm, even though too much fatty food can cause pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas. Signs include abdominal pains and sickness.
Adam Henson said of the research: “These findings are quite worrying. Pet owners need to be aware of the dangers of sharing human foods with their dogs. I have two dogs at home that I adore but I’m aware of the dangers of humanising and sharing too much with them, especially when it comes to food treats. I hope this health warning provides a wake-up call to dog owners, and will help them see that their misguided kindness to treat their dogs at Christmas with festive foods could actually prove fatal.”
The research, carried out by Forthglade, unveils that the most common reason for sharing our over indulgent Christmas food with our dogs was down to humanising our four-legged friends - with people positioning their pet as a ‘part of the family’. 1 in 5 feel their actions are totally acceptable as Christmas is a ‘special occasion’. However similar numbers of dog owners when questioned admitted needing veterinary assistance on Boxing Day due to a festive food fright.
“Keep your dog away from the Christmas pudding and brandy butter, however much they may appear to love it. Sharing foods from our plates with dogs is not only a hazard to their health, but causes many other problems such as behavioural issues, dominance, hyper-activity and also obesity” explains Adam.
“As a nation of dog lovers I’m saddened to hear that 63% of dog owners never even consider what their dog food actually contains and don’t glance at dog food labels. This Christmas, treat your dog to a nutritionally balanced dog food at the correct portion and don’t treat with human tit bits. It will be the best gift you can give your pet this Christmas” said Adam.
Festive foods that could prove a danger for dogs:
- Splinters from poultry bones can become stuck in throats or pierce intestinal tracts
- Stuffing contains onion which can destroy red blood cells causing life threatening anaemia if consumed in large quantities
- Gravy can contain more onion and high levels of salt which can lead to kidney problems and prove fatal
- Grapes, raisins and sultanas, found in most Christmas desserts contain a toxin which can cause kidney failure
- Chocolate, especially dark, contains theobromine, which dogs can’t metabolise well. It accumulates in dogs’ bodies and becomes toxic or even fatal
- Mouldy leftovers including yoghurt, bread and cheese can contain toxins produced by the mould, causing rapid onset convulsions in dogs