RSPCA warning as a quarter of owners dish up Christmas dinner for pets

Posted on - 22nd December, 2013 - 12:06pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Christmas, Ribbleton



Preston RSPCA would like to remind animal lovers they are still open for donations over Christmas. They would also like to pass on helpful but surprising advice about your pet and your Christmas dinner.

RSPCA research* shows that at Christmas over 25% of us will make our pets a Christmas dinner. The shocking facts are that some traditional Christmas trimmings are toxic for dogs and cats. They have a little advice on how to give them a little treat and keep them safe.

The RSPCA have provided a list of dangerous festive foods for you to keep in mind

    • Splinters of poultry bones are dangerous to dogs and cats, as they can become stuck in their throats or even pierce their intestinal tract.
    • Grapes, raisins and sultanas contain a toxin which can cause kidney failure.
    • Chocolate, the darker the more dangerous as it contains theobromine which can cause seizures, coma and heart failure.
    • Stuffing contains onions and garlic which can destroy red blood cells causing life-threatening anaemia.
    • Seeds and stones from apples, apricots, cherries, peaches and plums contain a cyanide compound which can be poisonous.
    • Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and peppers – contains toxins which could be deadly for horses.
    • Nutmeg, high levels can result in seizures, tremors, central nervous system problems and even death.
    • Gravy containing high levels of salt can cause kidney problems if give in excess.
    • Alcohol can cause deadly poisoning. Cats can be particularly attracted to cocktails containing cream such as White Russians and eggnog
    • Macadamia nuts, can cause lethargy, increased body temperature, tremor, lameness and stiffness in dogs.
    • Mouldy leftovers, including yoghurt, bread and cheese can contain toxins produced by the mould that cause rapid onset convulsions in dogs.


The RSPCA survey revealed that most owners said their pets had got into Christmas scrapes the most common (31%) being opening or destroying Christmas presents.

A quarter of owners (26%) said their pet had pulled down the Christmas tree, and 17% had eaten Christmas decorations and 17% had helped themselves to Christmas dinner.

Other Christmas scrapes included dogs cocking their legs on the tree, a dog which chewed up a mini computer when it was delivered and a cat chewing through Christmas lights wire.

Last year more than a dozen dogs were admitted to RSPCA hospitals after being ‘treated’ to Christmas dinner by their owners.

Angela Grigg, manager at Putney Animal Hospital in London said: “We had 15 cases on Boxing day as a result of people giving their dogs their own Christmas dinner with turkey and stuffing.

“Turkey is very rich and stuffing contains onions which is not good for dogs. It caused them to have vomiting and diarrhoea and they became dehydrated. One or two of them were so severe they had to go on drips.

“The owners told us they were giving their dogs Christmas dinner as a treat but some human food can be toxic for dogs and in extreme cases could cause death.

“All of these cases were completely avoidable. If you want to give your dog a nice treat at Christmas take them for a lovely walk or if you want to give them something to eat buy them a special treat especially designed for dogs.”

If your pet falls ill over the Christmas period contact your vet in the first instant.

While families are enjoying a relaxed Christmas day hundreds of RSPCA staff will be working – including about 40 hospital staff, 70 emergency call handlers.

*RSPCA survey November 2013 – 867 pet owners responded unless stated otherwise.

When buying your last minute presents or festive food why not buy a little extra and drop off at the centre. Or better still, make a donation online. Remember, the RSPCA Preston & District Branch is a self funding independent charity costing £20,000 per month to run. They get some funding from the National RSPCA but they rely heavily on the generosity of the community to keep the doors of the animal centre open.

Donations for RSPCA Preston & District Branch can be in the form of a cheque payable to RSPCA Preston and District Animal Centre or cash at the centre. Or you can donate online here.

RSPCA Preston & District Branch
Slack Cottage
Longridge Road
Tel: 01772 792553

Will you be making your pet Christmas dinner? Has your pet pulled down your Christmas tree or decoration? Let us know in the comments below

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