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What Not to Feed your Dog this Festive Season

The seemingly never-ending year of 2020 is almost over and the Festive Season is finally upon us.

With certain lockdown rules and restrictions still in place, many of us are choosing “Staycations” this Holiday Season. It is just safer to celebrate at home with close family and our beloved pooches.

Holidays at home mean that the likelihood is high that we will be exposed to “Puppy-Dog Eyes” every time we dig into our favourite holiday treats. We must resist these hopeful glances and fight the urge to give our dogs certain “Human Foods” from the Christmas Table. Rather treat your Best Friend to some delicious approved snacks and treats from Hackett Hounds & Cats.

Let’s take a look at the list of foods that made it on to Santa-Paw’s Naughty and Nice List this year.


Naughty List


1. Xylitol – As we all attempt to get our summer bodies in time for the holidays, we might be cutting out sugar and using sugar substitutes wherever possible. Xylitol, found in certain diet foods such as gum, baked goods, chocolates, some peanut butters and even toothpaste, is fine for human consumption but can cause liver failure in dogs. Early symptoms of Xylitol ingestion include vomiting, lethargy and coordination problems. It can even lead to seizures.


2. Avocado – Super-Food Avocado has all the good fats for us humans but can be toxic to dogs. We will all have delicious summer salads on the table this Christmas but make sure that Avocado does not appear on your dog’s menu this Festive Season. Avocado contains Persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs. The Avocado seed can also become stuck in the intestines and cause an obstruction that could be fatal.


3. Onions and Garlic – It is likely that parts of our scrumptious Christmas Dinners will contain onions and garlic in some form. Whether cooked, raw, powdered or dehydrated both garlic and onions can kill your dog’s red blood cells and cause anaemia. If consumed in large amounts, they can even cause poisoning. Look out for signs of vomiting, weakness and breathing problems.


4. Alcohol – It’s not called the Festive Season for nothing. Many of us will attend and host Socially-Distanced Christmas Parties this year. Many Festive Parties include alcohol, which in moderation is fine for humans but not for dogs! Alcohol has the same effect on dogs as it does on humans, but it takes a lot less to hurt your dog. Alcohol consumption can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing problems, coma and even death. The smaller the dog, the worse it can be.


5. Chocolate – Christmas and Quality Streets go hand-in-hand. These delicious pieces of chocolate heaven should never be shared with your dog. Chocolate contains theobromine which can cause a dog to vomit. It can also cause heart problems, tremors, seizures and death. Best not to share your chocolates with anyone. Just to be safe.


6. Fat Trimmings and Bones – The clean-up process of all Christmas Dinners involves left over fat trimmings and bones being scraped into the bin. Make sure that your guests know not to feed your pooch any fat or bones no matter how hard he begs. Fat trimmings both cooked and raw can cause pancreatitis in dogs and even though it seems natural to give a dog a bone, they are choking hazards. Bones can also splinter and cut or block the digestive system.


7. Grapes and Raisins – Grapes are great summertime snack for humans but just a small amount of Grapes or Raisins can make your dog very sick. Grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs. Excessive vomiting is an early sign of grape ingestion. Within a day your dog will get very sluggish and depressed.


8. Your Medicine – After too much Christmas Cheer, many of us may need to reach for a pain killer or two. Make sure not to leave medication in places where your dog may be able to find them. Never give your dog over-the-counter medicines unless under advisement from your vet. Ingredients such as Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be deadly to your pet.


Other foods on the naughty list include: Salt, Sugar, Peaches and Plums, Raw Eggs, Caffeine and Macadamia Nuts.


Fear not Pooches! There are still some incredible treats that you can enjoy these holidays. Let’s take a look at the Santa Paw’s all-important Nice List!

Remember that your Dog should always be supervised while enjoying chews and treats. Choose the correct size treats to suit your dog breed so as to avoid choking. If you need any help, ask one of the shop assistants at Hackett Hounds and Cats for advice.


Nice List


1. Pets Elite Gourmet Hooves – Tasty beef hooves filled with a dried mincemeat filling will provide you pooch with hours of chewing pleasure giving you time to roast the turkey in peace.

Hooves are also high in protein and promote good dental health. Remember to supervise your pet and take the hoof away if it becomes too small.


2. Pets Elite Liver Biltong - The Holidays can be stressful. Chewing can provide your dog with stimulation and also reduce anxiety. These long lasting thick strips of raw, dried liver are a perfect stress-reliever for your dog. They are high in protein and contain no artificial flavours or colours.


3. Pets Elite Boredom Buster – Make sure Fido is kept busy while you are doing the entertaining this year. The Pets Elite Boredom Buster is a hollow marrow bone filled with liver infused peanut butter – delicious for dogs but probably not for your guests! Produced locally, the boredom buster is high in protein, beneficial for dental health and also exercises all muscles from jaw to tail. A workout that is also delicious.


4. Dog Droewors and Biltong – What is a South African Christmas without some Biltong on the snacks table. Make sure that your dog has their own tasty biltong snack so that they don’t feel left out. High in protein and nutritious for your dog too.


5. Dog Biscuits -


Hackett Hounds and Cats want you and your pets have a happy and healthy holiday. Stock up on the above approved snacks and much more to fill your pup’s Christmas Stocking. Hackett Hounds and Cats have a wide selection of chewies and treats to suit everyone's pocket ranging from R5.00 and up. And if you buy 3 or more of their selected treats, you will receive a 20% discount and a small gift (while stocks last).

There is a large variety of Dog Food, Toys and other treats available in the Hackett Hounds and Cats Vet Shop.

Remember, no matter how careful you are, your dog might find and swallow something that he / she shouldn’t. Keep the number of your local vet and closest emergency clinic handy.





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Hackett Hounds & Cats, 252 Main Road, Kirstenhof,

Cape Town, South Africa, 7945

Tel: +27 762 00 4115

Tel: +27 21 715 13 09

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