A vet from the charity PDSA has issued a warning to pet owners after a dog was poisoned by a popular festive treat.

The animal charity has urged owners to be aware of the festive favourites that could be poisonous or even potentially fatal to our furry friends.

The warning comes after a Border Collie was poisoned when she got her paws on some Christmas cake.  

PDSA Vet Nurse Shana Walsh explains: “With the festive season here, many of us will have lots of treats, sweets and chocolates in the house.

“But while Christmas can be a time for indulgence for us, it’s important to remember that some foods can be very harmful to our pets”.

What Christmas foods can my dog not eat?

“Onion and garlic, leeks, chocolate, alcohol, as well as currants, raisins and sultanas are all very dangerous,” the vet nurse continued.

“So owners should be careful of traditional Christmas foods like mince pies, stuffing and Christmas cake or pudding, which can all be harmful and should be kept safely out of paws’ reach.”

December sees a peak in poisoning cases reported to the Veterinary Poisons Information Service with over a fifth (20.3%) of alcohol, 16% of grape and dried fruit and nearly 10% of onion, garlic and leek cases all happening this month.

What happens if my dog eats Christmas cake?

Christmas cakes can be fatal to dogs since they contain raisins and sultanas which can make even healthy dogs very poorly.

This is what happened to 10-year-old Border Collie Skye, from Alfreton, who suffered a festive fright after wolfing down a Christmas cake filled with raisins and brandy.

The Northern Echo: Christmas cakes can be fatal to dogs since they contain raisins and sultanas which can make even healthy dogs very poorly. ( PDSA)Christmas cakes can be fatal to dogs since they contain raisins and sultanas which can make even healthy dogs very poorly. ( PDSA) (Image: PDSA)

Her owner, Thelma Lee (70), got up to answer the door, leaving her cup of coffee and Christmas cake on the table – but when she returned it was gone.

The pensioner knew the raisins, sultanas, currants and alcohol typically found in a Christmas cake can all be fatal for dogs so called the Derby PDSA Pet Hospital.

Despite it being 10pm at night, the out of hours team advised to bring Skye straight in, to provide emergency treatment.

Thelma said: “As soon as I saw the Christmas cake missing, I knew she’d had it, she’s always eyeing up my food! I knew the cake and what’s in it could be very bad for her, so I rang PDSA straightaway.”

At Derby PDSA Pet Hospital, Skye was put on a fluid drip to help dilute the toxins in her system and given medication to prevent her body absorbing any more. She was kept in hospital and monitored closely for the next two days.

Thankfully, Skye has now made a full recovery but Thelma is joining PDSA in warning fellow owners about the dangers of toxic treats this Christmas.

Thelma, who has three children and four grandchildren, wants to ensure other owners don’t have to go through the panic and worry she experienced.

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“Skye has been by my side for 11 years, and she means the world to me,” she added. “She’s such a loving dog who is a huge part of our family.”

Thelma, who hasn’t been able to work since undergoing treatment for cancer which damaged her back and bowel, says PDSA is a ‘lifeline’ for help with Skye.

“I don’t know what I’d do without PDSA,” she added. “I always give a good donation when I visit the Pet Hospital but I know I couldn’t afford a private vet, especially for life-saving treatment that Skye needed that night. Thank you to everyone who supports PDSA, without you, I might not have my best friend Skye with me this Christmas.”

Shauna added: “Owners should speak to their vet for advice as soon as possible if they think their pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have. Sadly, poor Skye is just one of many pets PDSA will help over the upcoming festive season.”