Christmas left-overs

Christmas food!  It’s delicious, but there's usually a lot left over, and the scraps usually go to the family pet. 

  • Remove all toothpicks first!  If a dog swallows a toothpick, it will probably get a severe gut ache and it may die if the tooth pick sticks into the stomach or intestine wall. 
  • Don’t feed chicken bones or corn cobs.  Cooked bones can splinter and perforate the intestine, and corn cobs can cause obstructions. 
  • Too much rich food can cause vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Don’t feed chocolate

Dogs can be poisoned by chocolate

  • Don't give your dog too many chocolate treats, and don't leave chocolate where dogs could steal it. 
  • Two grams of dark chocolate may be all that is needed to poison a small dog.


If you are going on holiday, you should by now have made plans for someone responsible to take care of your dog and cat while you are away. 

  • A good boarding kennel or cattery is best, but they are often booked well ahead of time and will only accept fully vaccinated animals. 
  • There are professional pet minders who will call daily to feed, water and care for your pet.  This is another really good option.
  • If a neighbour or friend is going to be your pet minder, make sure the person knows exactly what to do. 
  • Make sure that all your nearest neighbours know what the arrangement is.  The SPCA gets many calls about animals that are apparently not being cared for.  Nine times out of ten someone is looking after them but not all the neighbours are aware of this, so a lot of SPCA time and resources are wasted when they could be better used.  

Pets as presents

Don't give an animal as a present to anyone unless you know the person wants it and has the time and money and knowledge to look after it properly. 

  • When cute puppies and kittens are given as Christmas presents they are usually welcomed.
  • But when they grow up, they’re not so cute, and they start costing money…..what then?  If they’re lucky a better home will be found for them, but too often they are abandoned or dumped in the countryside. 

Animal identification

  • Remember to leave a collar on your dog with the registration disc attached, so that if it should go missing during the excitement of Christmas it can easily be traced to you.
  • If you have a cat, you could get it a collar with an elastic insert, with your name and phone number written on the collar.