Mars Petcare advises owners to monitor pets’ diets over Christmas

When snacking on a mince pie this Christmas, it may seem a little cold-hearted to leave the dog out of the festive gluttony, but a leading pet food manufacturer is urging owners think before sneaking Fido a Christmas treat.

Mars Petcare has compiled a list of yuletide ‘dos and don’ts’ for dog owners, in an effort to avoid unwanted trips to the vets instead of watching Only Fools and Horses re-runs:

Chocolate is a danger for dogs – containing theobromine, the sweet treat is extremely poisonous and should be avoided; meanwhile, mince pies and Christmas puddings often contain raisins which can cause acute kidney failure.

Onions and garlic, which are often key ingredients in homemade gravy, can be harmful and cause anaemia. And, if a cheeseboard is ever brought out for an after-dinner snack, watch out for roaming grapes as they, like raisins, are poisonous for dogs.

Remembering which foods can and can’t be given to pets over Christmas is important, says Sherrie Rowlands, corporate affairs manager of Mars Petcare, who explained: “There’s nothing wrong with the odd treat here and there – especially at Christmas. It’s just important to remember that some foods are poisonous and also that overfeeding is just as bad for pets as it is for humans.

“Pets are part of the family, so it’s natural to include them in the festivities, but owners can treat dogs to pet-specific Christmas goodies or spend more time with them and take them for an extra-long walk, which would be good for both you and your dog over the festive season!” she added.

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