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Kennel Club warns of toxic Christmas food for dogs
34 per cent of all its claims of grape and raisin poisoning occurred last Christmas.
Food such as grapes and raisins can be harmful.

The Kennel Club has urged dog owners to practise caution at Christmas, when more dried fruit poisonings are claimed with its insurance partner.

The dog welfare organisation has released data from its insurance partner, Agria Pet Insurance, which reveals that 34 per cent of all claims relating to grape and raisin poisoning occurred during last year’s Christmas period (November 2022-January 2023).

Both fruits are ingredients in several Christmas foods, including Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and mince pies, which dogs may be able to reach during the festive season.

Some dogs may not show any symptoms of poisoning, while others may display vomiting, diarrhoea and a painful abdomen. Grape and raisin poisoning can result in kidney failure, and even death.

The insurance company reported that January was the highest month overall for grape and raisin poisoning, with almost double the monthly average.

One such case saw a 15-month-old cocker spaniel, Darcey, eat several mince pies that her owners believed had been placed out of reach. She was rushed to a veterinary practice for emergency treatment, where she stayed for two days before making a full recovery.

Grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas are some of many festive foods which can be harmful for dogs if ingested. Other Christmas delicacies such as chocolate, macadamia nuts, blue cheese and alcohol can be toxic for dogs.

The Kennel Club recommends that, with January showing a peak in claims, pet owners stay vigilant throughout and after the Christmas season.

Robin Hargreaves, senior veterinary advisor at Agria Pet Insurance, said: “Traditional Christmas foods, such as mince pies and Christmas pudding, are full of things that are toxic to our pets, including raisins and grapes, and there are often no symptoms until the dog becomes very ill, very suddenly. Owners who think their pets have ingested any of these should contact their vet for advice immediately.

“Of course, prevention is key and it is always far better to be extremely vigilant and prevent access to these foods, as well as other Christmas hazards, throughout the festive season.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

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 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

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