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Festive treats can kill dogs, pet owners warned

Staffordshire bull terrier Marley ate a Christmas pudding and chocolate. Credit: Julian Brown/PDSA/PA

Pet owners have been warned over leaving Christmas puddings and mince pies unattended amid a rise in dogs needing emergency treatment after wolfing down the toxic treats.

Raisins, sultanas and currants can be potentially lethal to dogs, with even small amounts capable of causing organ failure.

Vets say there is typically a sharp jump in poisoning cases involving raisins and alcohol during the festive period.

Staffordshire bull terrier Marley at the vets Credit: Julian Brown/PDSA

It comes after Marley, a five-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier from Stoke, needed a fluid drip and emergency medication after scoffing Christmas pudding and chocolate brought into the house by his owners.

Polly Bloor, 41, said: “We had just been shopping and left the bag on the side while we went to pick my granddaughter up from school.

“I wasn’t gone that long but when I got back Marley was just sat there with the remains of the Christmas pudding and an empty box of chocolates.

“I panicked, this is our first Christmas with Marley and I thought we were going to lose him.”

Meanwhile, two-year-old Ozzie survived a similar scare after devouring a mulled wine-soaked Christmas pudding.

The Labrador, from Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, needed activated charcoal to absorb the toxic substances in his stomach.

Ozzie the Labrador after his Christmas pudding scare Credit: Vets Now/PA

Andrew Hunt, senior vet at Stoke PDSA Pet Hospital, said: “Traditional Christmas foods like mince pies, chocolate, onions, raisins, grapes, some nuts, sage-and-onion stuffing and Christmas cake or pudding can all be harmful and should be kept safely out of paws’ reach.”

Laura Playforth, professional standards director at Vets Now, said: “We see a big rise in poisoning cases involving raisins and alcohol at this time of year, largely due to dogs eating things like mince pies, Christmas puddings and fruitcake.

“The good news is the prognosis for grape and raisin toxicity is generally good if treated early and there’s been no kidney damage.

“Normally symptoms start showing between six and 24 hours after the dog has eaten grapes or raisins.

“But these may not take effect for several days and in the most serious cases, the fruits can also cause sudden kidney failure.”