Warning: Christmas treats can kill your pet

Pet owners are being warned that just 50g of chocolate can be toxic and kill a dog or cat.

RSPCA Qld’s Senior Veterinarian Dr Anne Chester said cats and dogs cannot tolerate theobromine, which is one of key ingredients of chocolate. ”Theobromine can cause a range of problems in domestic animals because it triggers the release of adrenaline, which can lead to a greatly accelerated heart rate and an irregular heartbeat. Pets can vomit, suffer diarrhoea and excessive urination and become hyperactive. This can be followed by depression, coma, seizures and death.”

Dr Chester said pet owners must also be wary of onions. “Onions can also be toxic -Even the small amounts contained on pizza slices. People often give their family pet the barbeque left overs and more often than not there are onions mixed in with the meat. For some dogs this can be a fatal oversight.”

Christmas of course has always been the season of good cheer and humans traditionally eat and drink, if not to excess, at least more than they would at other times of the year. With most pets considered part of the family, there’s a quite normal inclination to share the food with the family pet.

“The problem is that a sudden increase in fatty foods affects the animal’s pancreas and this can lead to pancreatitis,” Dr Chester continued. “Cooked bones can also cause major problems. They’re brittle and the sharp slivers can either lodge in the throat or pierce the stomach lining.”

Dr Chester emphasized that she was not trying to be melodramatic. “We want everyone to have a very merry Christmas. But please! Think carefully before you feed your pets food designed for humans.”

Zoo animals cool down with ice blocks in SA

South Australia is sweltering through a heatwave for the third consecutive day, so zoo keepers have a come up with a clever (and super cute) way to help the animals cool down at Adelaide Zoo.

In between enjoying sprinklers, water misters and wading pools, many of the animals are staying cool by licking ice blocks.

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It’s hoped the ice blocks (which are much larger than the ones us humans typically consume) will help prevent the animals from heat stress.

Shelter animals play Santa’s elves in cute video

These adorable dogs and cats dressed as Santa’s elves are sure to brighten your day!

Gourmet pet food company, Freshpet, have created a cute Christmas video featuring shelter dogs and cats dressed in elf costumes, but in a twist the animals have human hands.

The ‘elves’ can be seen making and wrapping toys, and even taste-testing the chew bones and treats before stuffing them into stockings

The video, while sweet to watch, is also helping animals in need, with Freshpet donating one meal to a shelter animal for every share on YouTube.

Watch the video below, and don’t forget to share!

A fitness club is helping overweight pets

Most of us love to spoil our pets with treats, but feeding them too much can lead to our furry friends packing on the the pounds.

Pet obesity is a growing epidemic and one that a UK charity have come up with a cute strategy to combat.

PDSA have developed a six-month diet and exercise program, called Pet Fit Club, to help overweight pets get back into shape.

PHOTO: PDSA – Help a vet help a pet / Facebook

PHOTO: PDSA – Help a vet help a pet / Facebook

The program also creates awareness of the serious issue and teaches owners what they should be feeding and how often they should be exercising their pets.

On Thursday, the first round of pets completed the program. Former bulging Bullmastiff Kayla, who used to enjoy a roast on Sundays and cornflakes for breakfast, was crowned the inaugural pet slimmer of the year after shedding nearly a third of her bodyweight.

 

AWLQ slashes pet adoption prices in lead up to Christmas

A pet for Christmas really is the greatest gift of all.

So AWLQ is encouraging families to adopt a shelter pet this festive season by slashing their adoption prices this weekend to $37 for dogs and $27 for cats.

In a bid to entirely empty their Rehoming Centres, AWLQ hope to find homes for over 200 animals in just two days.

AWLQ spokesperson Zoe Hermans says the annual event ‘Project Empty Shelter’ will find homes for over 200 animals in two days.

“Last year’s event was huge with 256 animals finding new homes during the sale. This year we hope to surpass that number and rehome 100% of the animals that are currently available for adoption,” says Ms Hermans.

Ms Hermans says that people should not be concerned about the promotion encouraging impulse adopters or people buying pets as Christmas gifts. In fact she claims that, contrary to popular belief, Christmas is the perfect time to adopt a pet.

“Getting a pet for Christmas is the greatest gift of all – for both the human and the animal,” says Ms Hermans.

“Traditionally we have been taught that purchasing a pet at Christmas time is bad thing, but research from both here and overseas has proven that the pets-as-presents ‘problem’ is actually a bit of a myth.”

“Yes, our shelters are at capacity right now and it is likely to get worse after Christmas, but the reasons for that are not as simple as an influx of ‘unwanted Christmas presents.,” says Ms Hermans.

“It is a combination of many different factors that occur this time of year, such as breeding season, thunder storms, fireworks and owners taking holidays, which lead to an increase in stray and abandoned animals – it has very little to do with actual Christmas.”

AWLQ has seen 20,000 animals through their doors this year – a record number for the grassroots animal charity, which relies on community donations to fund their Gold Coast shelter’s rehoming program.

“We are desperate to get all these animals into homes before the post-Christmas influx arrives,” says Ms Hermans.

“All our animals for adoption are desexed, microchipped, vaccinated and health checked, which means getting a dog for $37 or cat for $27 is a bargain!”

For more information, or to adopt a pet visit  www.awlqld.com.au/ or pop into the shelter at Shelter Road, Coombabah, Qld, 4216