Pets and the dangers of everyday foods

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It can be hard to say no to puppy dog eyes, especially when all they want is a tasty morsel to eat. Whether it’s Christmas, Easter, or a big night in, our pets love to join the fun. The festive period in particular is full of food, alcohol, and merriment, but this could quickly turn on its head if your pet gets in the store cupboard and eats something they shouldn't.

Keep tasty human treats away from furry friends

Novice pet owners entering their first festive season or Easter break with new furry family members need to be mindful of the dangers of chocolate, alcohol, nuts, and fruit. We all love to indulge ourselves throughout the year, so why not pass on the love to our fur-babies? Unfortunately, pets can't stomach all the same foods as humans, and many of the foods that put pets at risk are often in abundance at home, especially around Christmas.

Don't risk out of hours fees

Chocolate is considered a treat to us, which may mean that children inadvertently feed it to their family pet without realising the risk. In fact, here at Healthy Pets, we regularly receive insurance claims from pet owners who had no idea chocolate was so dangerous.

Chocolate and fruit poisoning can easily cost unsuspecting pet owners, not just for the initial emergency treatment, but also to cover longer-term medication for organ damage. Treatment could well cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds, and the damage to pets’ internal organs can be permanent - even if they recover from the initial poisoning.

Don’t let pets play with your food

Pets, particularly dogs, are at their most mischievous when they’re around six months old - when everything has to be taste-tested. Remember, chocolate and fruit can be fatal if eaten by most domestic cats and dogs. That, combined with the appealing packaging of sweet treats, makes them particularly dangerous because both cats and dogs love tearing up cardboard. They won’t think twice about eating the treats inside which become not just toys but prey, too.

Ironically, the monthly cost of pet insurance to cover vet bills (and other mishaps) is probably similar to what most families spend on treats each month; the cost of treatment, though, could potentially be almost as much as a family holiday.

Foods to avoid feeding your pet

Prevent trips to the out-of-hours vet (and a poorly pet to boot) by keeping these foods well out of the way of your furry companions:

Grapes and Raisins – the toxins in grapes and raisins can damage your pet’s kidneys and liver. Raisins are a key ingredient in many chocolates, fruit cakes, mince pies, and puddings, so keep these away from your pet, too.

Nuts - not only can nuts be a serious choking hazard for your pet (the shells can get stuck in their throat), but some nuts also contain toxins that can be dangerous, especially to dogs. Macadamia nuts contain a toxin that can affect your dog's digestive, muscle, and nervous systems, resulting in weakness, breathlessness, and swollen legs.

Turkey Bones - turkey bones are hollow, which means they break easily. Not only does this present a choking risk, but a splintered bone might also damage your pet's insides.

Alcohol - whilst it may be unlikely that your kitty will want a sip of wine, make sure that any alcoholic drinks and foods are kept well out of reach.

Chocolate - this one shouldn't be any surprise to dog owners, but cats are in just as much danger. If you really want to give your pet some chocolate, buy them their own specially formulated cat or dog chocolate.

Cat and Dog Insurance from Healthy Pets

Healthy Pets, an award-winning online insurer, focuses exclusively on Cat Insurance and Dog Insurance. Healthy Pets can cover a range of policies, from Accident Only and Maximum Benefit to Lifetime, to help customers find a policy to suit them and their pet. Existing conditions will not be covered. 

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