WHILE the holiday period should be fun for all family members, pet owners have been warned to watch what they give their pets over the festive season.
Petbarn Gladstone store manager Sarah Webster said pet owners should resist the temptation to slip their pets Christmas food scraps under the table, because rich foods could be detrimental to their pet's health and wellbeing.
"Feeding your four-legged friend Christmas leftovers including cooked bones, ham offcuts, trimmed steak and sausages can cause problems such as obstruction and pancreatitis, which in turn could be potentially fatal and require serious medical attention," she said.
"It's important to keep your pet's diet consistent all year round.
"Animals have very different digestive systems and metabolism rates compared to humans, so take care when choosing what treats to give your pet.
"Remember that pet specific treats are always the best."
Pet owners should be alert when cooking the summer barbecue, because onions and garlic are toxic to cats and dogs and can cause liver damage.
Feeding pets tomatoes can also be dangerous because they contain atropine, which causes vomiting, diarrhoea and can leave your pet feeling weak and lethargic.
Christmas sweets including candy canes and chocolates should be kept away from animals.
Sweet treats can cause vomiting and diarrhoea and can result in seizures and heart failure.
Other sweets to avoid include Christmas pudding, grapes and macadamia nuts.
Greencross Vets echoes the warning, with the festive season being a busy one.
"December and January are our busiest times for tummy upsets at our clinics," veterinary director Nick Taylor said.