Bring hope to unwanted and unloved animals this Christmas
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Dear Kathryn,

We hope you're enjoying this festive season. At the SPCA we're very busy with kitten season, but we're making sure we give all our animals an extra special Christmas cuddle.

Together with our friends at Nestlé Purina, we wanted to remind all pet owners to be extra vigilant about what your animals eat over Christmas.

Many people don't realise that common treats we enjoy as part of holiday celebrations can be very harmful for our beloved pets - and in very serious cases lead to death. 

Please make note of the list below - and share it with your friends and family.
Ten festive foods that are unsafe for pets:
  1. Fruit cake or Christmas pudding as the raisins (and grapes) are deadly to cats and dogs. They are toxic to their kidneys and can cause lethargy, excessive thirst, vomiting and in serious cases can be fatal.
  2. Alcohol and coffee are both toxic for dogs.
  3. Avocados contain persin causing vomiting, diarrhoea and heart congestion in dogs.
  4. For cats and dogs, chocolate can cause elevated heart rate, seizures, vomiting and diarrhoea.
  5. Macadamia nuts contain a toxin that can inhibit movement and cause panting, weakness and swollen limbs.
  6. Onions and chives contain disulphides and sulfoxides, which can cause anaemia and damage red blood cells.
  7. Peaches, plums and persimmons and apple pips contain a substance that degrades to cyanide.
  8. Xylitol - a common ingredient in sugarless foods and sugarless gum is dangerous.
  9. Sweet-corn cobs can cause blockages in the small intestine that may need to be removed surgically. Don't let your dog chew on the corn cobs.
  10. Turkey skin, pork crackling, sausages and fatty meats not only add extra calories but can lead to intense pain due to pancreatitis.  
So if you're sharing your Christmas celebrations with your pets, be extra vigilant about leaving 'people food' in places they might find.

Handbags, gifts under the tree, food left on tables and in rubbish bags are common places where pets will often steal foods that can make them sick. Remember, if you think your pet has eaten something dangerous, call your local vet immediately for advice. 
There are plenty of other ways to spoil your pets. At SPCA Auckland we take Purina One pet food and freeze it or put it into toys so they can gradually extract the food. A walk or games in the garden after a big meal are also a great way to make sure your pet gets the attention they need and to fight your own after-meal lethargy.
From our SPCA Auckland family to yours, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Copyright © 2016 SPCA Auckland, All rights reserved.

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