The Good and Bad of Christmas

Monday, December 5, 2016  | The Pet Whisperer

Hi Coasties.

This is a fabulous time of year. And why wouldn't it be ... there are social events, Christmas around the corner, beautiful weather and we live in one of the best locations on earth!

To enjoy the most of this, there are some Do's & Don't's that we would Love you to be aware of:

The Biggest, Best thing you can do for your pet is to know what Normal is. What does this mean? You'd be surprised how many people react too late to a change of normal because they were not entirely aware of what "normal" is.

I implore you to watch and observe pets to understand what is normal. Ask yourself such observation questions as:

  • Does your pet always greet you when you arrive?
  • Does your pet sleep during the day, if so, how much? What is their sleep pattern like at night?
  • How much water do they normally drink?
  • Do they like play/walk activities - if so, what amount, what time of day etc? During the walk, do they normally lead or follow?
  • What are they like when eating their meal - fast/slow etc?
  • What colour is their skin usually (how pink is it)?

If you notice any change to this, then you need to REACT. This might mean calling your vet... Don't delay because time does matter. You should also check for bites or parasites that may have caused the change in normality. Check for Ticks - if you find one, remove it. Check for bites (spiders and snakes can cause issues for your pet).

To enjoy this time of year, and not become caught out, it is important to simply observe your pets for "normal" behaviour.


On top of the massive task of observing your pet (lol - tongue in cheek), please also remember that there is plenty of food around during the festivities that should be monitored in regards to being consumed by your DOG:


Bananas - Rich in potassium and vitamin C;

Blueberries/Blackberries - High in antioxidants;

Kiwis - Good source of Vitamin C and Potassium;

Pineapple - Cool treat when frozen, and can help reduce/stop Coprophagia;

Strawberries - High antioxidants and fibre.


YES, with Rules:

Apples - with No seeds;

Lemons - some don't like the bitter taste;

Oranges - very high in sugar so moderate the intake;

Watermelon - with no rind.



Chocolate - even in small doses, Dark Chocolate, can be very damaging due to the amount of Theobromine;

Ice Cream / Milk - most dogs are lactose intolerant, so please avoid these;

Nutmeg - this can cause issues with the nervous system or even death;

Alcohol - even small amounts can be very damaging;

Avocado - can cause vomiting;

Cherries - can cause poisoning;

Grapes and Raisins - can cause kidney failure;

Fatty Meats (turkey/chicken skin, pork crackling etc) - can cause pancreas issues;

Onions and Garlic - Can cause anaemia and irritations;

Corn on the Cob - Does not digest well and can cause blockages;

Coffee - can cause heart issues;

Macadamia Nuts - can cause a variety of issues;

Cooked Bones - can cause blockage, tears, liver/pancreas issues.


For CATS, it is less proplematic;

They are Carnivores and will not usually consume things from these lists as they are not programmed to accept them. However, you should be mindful that carnivores require quality meat in their diet - so it is Not advisable to give scraps or high fat meats or assume that the offcut your holding is anything close to resembling a balanced diet.


Obviously, this list and info is not exhaustive and you should play it safe - the highest risk time could also be the same time that your chosen vet is closed, leading to emergency care - at a very high price.

Please take care this festive season - everyone should enjoy it safely, but as pets don't always know what is best, you need to make those judgement decisions for them.


The Pet Whisperer.