Christmas dinner, table scraps and bones
We do not recommend feeding bones to your pets, especially turkey and chicken bones. These bones will splinter when chewed, causing damage to the stomach and intestine. Any bone can also cause an intestinal blockage requiring surgical removal. The string from cooked meats that have basted in meaty flavour are tempting to both cats and dogs; often this results in exploratory surgery as it can cause bunching and blocking of the intestines.
Our pets are used to a more bland diet, so the indulgent offerings from a plate of food during the festive season can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. We see a huge volume of pets with gastrointestinal problems over the festive period; the more serious of these include the painful condition pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). This leads to leaking of digestive pancreatic enzymes and causes the pancreas to ‘self digest’, resulting in peritonitis (inflammation of the abdominal lining). To be successful, pancreatitis requires aggressive veterinary treatment.
If your festive fare contains onions or leeks, or is laden with garlic, be aware that the Allium species to which they belong will cause tummy upsets if ingested. More importantly, they contain organosulphoxides, which can cause anaemia by destroying red blood cells.