All posts by Louth SPCA

Pets and Christmas Food

A lot of the lovely food you feast on over the Christmas period can be very harmful to our faithful companions. Watch out for the following favourites that are most definitely NOT for your furry friend!

Chocolate

All kinds of chocolate and cocoa-based products – including chocolate tree decorations and chocolate advent calendars – should be kept away from pets because chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine. Theobromine is toxic to dogs and cats: it can lead to a racing heartbeat, dehydration, digestive upsets, seizures and in severe cases DEATH. The darker the chocolate, the more harmful it is. Make sure any presents you leave under the tree do not contain chocolate if you have a dog.

If you feel you really want your pooch to join in the Christmas fun, there is such a thing as chocolate suitable for dogs, which contains zero theobromine. It’s this or nothing for Fido.

Christmas Cake

Never share fruit cake, mince pies or Christmas pudding with your pet, no matter how much they beg, because raisins and currants are highly toxic to cats and dogs, even when cooked. Dried fruit poisoning can cause diarrhoea and vomiting and, in very serious cases, could lead to kidney failure!

Fizzy Drinks

Apart from being full of sugar or artificial sweetener – both of which are very bad for your pet – many fizzy drinks also contain caffeine, which has a similar effect to the theobromine in chocolate. Rapid breathing, restlessness and a racing heartbeat are the potential symptoms of serious caffeine poisoning.

Nuts and Crisps

Salty snacks are a festive staple, but they’re bad for your pet in many ways. Peanuts and crisps contain too much salt and fat, and macadamia nuts are highly toxic: they can cause sickness, a high temperature, tremors and heart palpitations. The effects of macadamia nut poisoning can happen very quickly, so keep all nuts well out of reach.

Sugar-free sweets and Chewing Gum

These days, the sweetener xylitol is often used to replace sugar in sweets, cakes and chewing gum. Too much xylitol has a laxative effect on humans, but the consequences for your pet are much more serious. An excess of Xylitol can spark a sudden surge of the hormone insulin which, in turn, can cause seizures, vomiting, lack of co-ordination and potential liver damage.

Cheese

Keep festive cheeseboards away from hungry pets because dogs and cats can often struggle to digest the lactose in dairy products. Too much cheese can give your pet a tummy upset.


If you think your pet has eaten something potentially poisonous during the festive season, always contact your vet immediately.

So what CAN your pet eat at Christmas… aside from his own food, that is?

Christmas Turkey

The pièce de résistance of every Christmas dinner, your furry friend can enjoy small quantities of your turkey as long as all pieces are boneless, skinless and free from gravy or other marinades which can upset your pet’s stomach.

Potatoes

A super tasty side dish, again only feed your pet potatoes in small quantities – as they are starchy – and ensure they are plain with nothing else added, such as butter and salt.

Winter Vegetables

Carrots, parsnips, green beans, courgettes, brussels sprouts, broccoli, peas, spinach and cauliflower not only make yummy Christmas dinner trimmings but all great for your pet. Make sure you rinse off any excess butter or oil before giving to your furry friend and always feed in small quantities.

Why Puppies As Christmas Gifts Are A Bad Idea

Surprising your son, daughter, friend, or relative with a pet as a present may seem thoughtful, but it typically doesn’t end well for the cat, dog or other critter. Thousands of them are surrendered to animal shelters by March, some as soon as the first of the New Year simply because families or new owners weren’t prepared for the care and responsibility.

Here are a few reasons why giving pets as surprise Christmas gifts, or any kind of gift, is a bad idea.

Pets and Pet Owners need a Relationship

It’s pretty well known or accepted that the bond between pet and pet owner needs to be very strong and present right from the beginning. You can’t go out and pick just any dog or cat.

It is also tough to build that relationship during such a busy time of year. The surprise pet is already stressed at having been moved, of being introduced to a totally new environment from the pet store or family or shelter that he’s been used to, and really needs a quiet, calm environment. This quieter, calmer time is also necessary for pets and pet owners to establish a routine. With the chaos surrounding the whole holiday season, pets are often neglected.

Plus kids can be unreliable; kids change quickly. You know this! The puppy melts their hearts for a few days or weeks only. But then it needs to be walked every day (in the rain). It needs careful attention to its feeding and eliminating if it’s going to be housebroken effectively. It needs to be taught not to jump on people. The kids oohing and aahing under the tree will very soon move on to Facebook and texting their friends and ignoring the poor wee creature.

Pets Require Time, Money and Responsibility

Pets should not be surprise gifts because, particularly for new pet owners, some families are completely unprepared and overwhelmed by the care and expense that a new pet requires. Puppies and kittens especially, but adult dogs, too.

Typically, the larger the dog, the larger the expense for vet care and dog food and the bigger the clean-up both in-house and outside.

Everything that the animal needs to be properly cared for should be discussed and planned well in advance, including the kind and size of dog that best suits families’ individual home situations. Preparation includes realizing how decorations, foods and business at Christmas time can be frightening to animals.

Many parents don’t consider that 2 weeks later the kids are back to school and the puppy still needs walks and plenty of attention (or else it starts chewing things – all sorts of things!). Realistically, it will be YOU looking after this creature, if you think it will be looked after by the children once Christmas is over, you are fooling yourself.

Pet-friendly Alternatives

One alternative is to buy the pet supplies for Christmas and leave choosing the puppy or kitten or whatever, until after things have settled down. If they still want a puppy come the new year, and are willing to take responsibility for it, then maybe it is something that could happen for their birthday.

Izzy and Chase

These are two pups we had were homed but the people now are surrendering them. They are named Izzy & Chase, terrier crosses, now 4 months old approx.

They were homed together and are great wee pups. Very playful and are indoor pups really. If possible we would like to see them go together.

Apply For Homing

 

Verification

 

Pigmy Goats

Just a post to show how here at the Louth SPCA we never know what we are going to get next! These two Pigmy Goats were recently abandoned. They are wee devils that jump over EVERYTHING and bounce around a lot. Getting used to being handled… slowly.

They have had offers of homes already. We will be doing homechecks and making sure everything  is in order for them.

Tibs

This kitten, Tibs, was found in a carpark at the Marshes. It is so friendly and is currently in Avenue Road Vets, Dundalk. Needs a forever home.

We also have a kitten bit older, black, and was also found in town
with collar, again very friendly.

Apply For Homing

 

Verification

Alfie

This is Alfie. He is a Lab Collie Cross and is just 11 months old. Has been castrated and vaccinated. He is very friendly and is good around children and other dogs. He is just now lonely as he needs more company than he is getting at present.  So the decision was made to do something  now before he gets older.

would make an excellent family pet.

Apply For Homing

 

Verification

Christmas comes early at the kennels

Thanks to the Giving Team at PayPal we received a grant earlier
this year than before… and it was put to good use! We have at last gone from a rickety gate and messy yard like in the picture below, to a nice entrance and level surface you can actually walk across.

When it rained, it was embarrassing to say the least as people had to dodge the puddles to get to see the animals! Also for the volunteers welly boots were a must, even in the summer. Now we have a new driveway just in time for this year’s bad weather.

Christmas has come early for us at kennels!

Mischa

Mischa is a Terrier Chihuahua cross. She recently had puppies, they have all been homed. So now she needs her chance. She is only 15months old, still a baby herself really.

She is so friendly and loves walks – she needs a bit of training as her previous owners just let her do her own thing. But she just loves to sit and cuddle.

She would be great for an active family. She is neutered, vaccinated and chipped.

Apply For Homing

 

Verification