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Help! My Pet Ate My Christmas Pudding!

The festive season is a time of joy and celebration yet it also hides potential dangers for our furry friends. especially when it comes to a seemingly harmless indulgence like chocolate or raisins.

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned call the Animal Poison Line on 01202 509000 or contact your vet immediately.

Recognising Poisoning Signs

Chocolate is the most frequently reported form of dog poisoning to the VPIS. Chocolate contains the stimulant theobromine, with high levels present in dark chocolate, cocoa mulch, and cocoa.

Common symptoms include:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Dehydration

  • Hyperactivity

  • Elevated temperature and blood pressure

  • Irregular heart rhythm and tremors

Raisins can be toxic in any amount. Even cooking or baking doesn't diminish the risk of poisoning.

Initially, poisoning might cause vomiting and diarrhea, potentially progressing to kidney failure, which could manifest a few days after the initial symptoms appear.

Immediate Action and Seeking Help

If you suspect your pet has ingested the above, swift action is crucial. Contacting veterinary professionals can make all the difference. The Animal Poison Line, reachable at 01202 509000, is a vital resource available to concerned pet owners. For a nominal fee of £35-£45 per call, pet owners can connect directly with specialists who will conduct a case assessment and provide guidance on whether a visit to the vet is necessary.

Preventing Accidents

Prevention is always better than cure. Keeping all chocolate products, including puddings, candies, and baked goods, safely out of reach from pets is crucial. Educating family members and guests about the dangers of feeding table scraps to pets can also help avoid accidental ingestions.

Other seasonal risks


Ingesting even a small amount of antifreeze can lead to fatal kidney failure, particularly in cats. Sadly, accidental poisonings from antifreeze spills and leaking car coolant result in numerous pet deaths yearly, yet most of these tragedies are preventable. Routinely inspect cars for coolant leaks and handle antifreeze with care. If you suspect your pet has ingested any amount of antifreeze contact a vet immediately.

Toys and ornaments

During the holidays, vets often see increased cases of pets ingesting objects like gifts, toys, or decorations. If you suspect your dog swallowed something non-edible, contact your vet for advice.

Rock salt

Rock salt, a mix of sodium chloride and grit, is used to de-ice roads in winter but can endanger pets like dogs and cats if licked off their paws or fur. If any animal is suspected of ingesting rock salt, immediate assessment by a vet is crucial. Signs might not be specific, and a blood test to check sodium levels is necessary. Inducing vomiting should never be attempted by owners.

A Final Word

While Christmas is a time for celebration, it's essential to keep a watchful eye on our furry companions. Knowing the dangers of chocolate poisoning and being prepared to act swiftly in case of an emergency can ensure that our pets stay safe and healthy throughout the festive season.

Wishing you and your pets a safe and joyful Christmas!

Pawvet Clinic Team

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