A Banbury vet is warning people to be careful not to accidentally poison their pets this Christmas.
Alice Watkins, of West Bar Vets is telling pet owners to watch what they feed their cat or dog while spending quality time with them over the festive season.
She said: “At this festive time of year all of us look forward to having some special treats and spending quality time with our family and furry friends.
“Unfortunately, when we think about how to spoil our pets at Christmas we don’t always consider the toxic implications. Sadly us vets see an increase in accidental poisonings at this time of year.
“Our pets are built differently to us, and some of the things we consider tasty can be fatal to our pets.
“A bit of Christmas pudding may seem harmless enough, but the raisins hidden inside could kill a small dog.
“Even a seemingly innocent mince pie could have disastrous results.
“Although some dogs will be fine with small amounts, some will have very severe reactions which could result in kidney failure. Unfortunately, there is no way of predicting how your pet will react, so it’s best to avoid altogether.”
She added if a pet owner realises their animal has eaten something risky the simplest remedy is to make them bring it back up or call their vet straight away.
Items to avoid feeding to pets include xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in mints and chewing gum), grapes, raisins, mushrooms, garlic, chocolate and macadamia nuts.
Chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs and cats while garlic, like onions and leeks, is an allium, which in pets can cause hemolytic anemia – bursting of red blood cells. Only one clove of garlic can poison a dog
As well as food, other items to look out for that could cause a pet to be poisoned are poinsettia plants, lillies with their pollen or Christmas tree decorations.