Celebrate a Panthers win at home rather than in an Emergency Vet hospital

By Kellie Tickner, Orchard Hills Veterinary Hospital Administrator

AS we prepare our get-togethers to celebrate the Panthers in the NRL grand final this weekend, it is important to remember your pets that may be hiding under the table waiting for the food and snacks to drop. 

While party food is appropriate for people, that doesn’t automatically mean that it’s also safe for your pets. In fact, when you have a BBQ or picnic, you need to keep a very close eye on what foods are within reach of your dog. Many foods are not only bad for your dog’s digestive system, but they can even be deadly for them to eat.

Here are a few common BBQ and party foods that are dangerous for dogs.

Ribs and other cooked meat bones: Whilst it’s tempting for many people to give cooked bones to dogs, it can have its problems. Cooked chicken bones and rib bones can splinter very easily, becoming lodged in a dog’s throat or digestive tract. Bone fragments can also become lodged in the small intestines, causing a complete intestinal blockage. If bone fragments travel down the gastrointestinal tract and reach the large bowel, they may collect and cause constipation. This is painful for dogs, as the bone fragments scrape the lining of the colon and rectum and lead to significant trauma.

Onions: Onions add flavour and can often be found in many party foods.  All members of the onion family including shallots and garlic are toxic to dogs. Although not as bad as grapes or xylitol, avoid giving onions to your dog regardless if they are raw or cooked. Cooking onions doesn’t have an impact on the safety of onions and cooked onions are still poisonous to dogs because of their toxic effect on a dog’s red blood cells. All forms of onion can be toxic to dogs — whether powdered, dried, fresh or cooked.

Potato Chips and Pretzels: These may seem like simple snack foods, but in reality, pretzels and chips are loaded with sodium, which isn’t good for dogs. Too much of either of these snack foods can upset a dog’s stomach, as well as cause excessive thirst and urination. In severe circumstances, it can result in vomiting, tremors, diarrhea, seizures and fever. Discourage your guests or other partygoers from the temptation of feeding these snacks to dogs.

Chocolate and desserts: Desserts are everyone’s favourite part of the BBQ, but they can be deadly for dogs especially if they involve chocolate. xylitol or alcohol. The compounds in both chocolate and xylitol can be fatal to dogs. The symptoms of chocolate poisoning include seizures, heart arrhythmias, and muscle tremors. Within thirty minutes of ingestion, xylitol will cause a fast, dangerous drop in blood sugar levels accompanied by disorientation and seizures. Some dogs can even develop liver failure, which may lead to death.

Fruit salad with grapes: Some fruits are perfectly fine for dogs to eat in moderation, but grapes are not one of them. If you include grapes in fruit salads or desserts, make sure your dog cannot eat them. Grapes cause kidney failure in dogs and can cause lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting about twelve hours after ingestion. The dog will become increasingly dehydrated, may refuse to eat, and will show either an increase in or decrease in urination. Long-term kidney disease or death follows.

Grand Final celebrations are associated with friends, food and fun. Keep your dog safely locked away this weekend and celebrate the Panthers win at home rather than in an Emergency Vet hospital. For more information, contact the team at Orchard Hills Veterinary Hospital on 4736 2027.