Feeding dogs human food at Christmas can seriously damage their health, leading canine charity the Dogs Trust has warned.
Speaking at the launch of the Doggy Christmas Menu, a veterinary-approved list of foods safe for consumption by the animals, Dogs Trust veterinary director Chris Laurence said feeding dogs with turkey bones, grapes, mince pies, Christmas puddings, cheese and alcohol could lead to poisoning or even death.
"As a vet I have seen some terrible examples of dog poisoning over the Christmas period," he said.
"In many cases the owner was totally unaware of the hidden dangers and was simply intending to be kind."
Aimee Best's dog Freda, a five-year-old Labrador and Staffi cross, learned her lesson the hard way and had to have her stomach pumped after eating a chocolate bar left under the Christmas tree.
"Christmas 2008 was a nightmare for us," Aimee explained.
"Freda devoured a whole bar of chocolate before being rushed to the vet for emergency treatment."
The Dog's Trust hope its new menu, which includes canine-friendly dishes like mutt nog, cranberry and turkey gobble gobble and doggy mince pies, can make such incidents a thing of the past.
The charity has enlisted the help of TV actor and dog lover Jeremy Edwards for the campaign, whose dog Molly loved the options on offer.
"Molly has certainly given her paw of approval to this risk-free Christmas treat," he said.
"Despite being a fussy eater, she particularly adored the doggy mince pies - she devoured them in 30 seconds flat."
A full list of dangerous foods and more information on the doggy menu can be found at http://www.dogstrust.co.uk.
Dogs Trust is the UK's largest dog welfare charity, with 18 rehoming centres across the UK and Ireland. It cares for more than 16,000 stray and abandoned dogs every year.
The charity is working towards the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.Reuse content