Royal Canin warns pet owners to be aware of the hidden dangers this Christmas

With the Christmas season upon us, Royal Canin is reminding veterinary professionals to make pet owners aware of the lesser known dangers this time of year can present.

Most pet owners know the dangers of chocolate, but many don’t know that the artificial sweetener Xylitol, commonly used in cakes, sweets and biscuits, is also toxic to animals. Festive treats such as Christmas cake and mince pies can also pose a huge problem. Grapes and sultanas are highly toxic to dogs and cats, including dried versions. Reports have shown as little as four to five grapes can be fatal in dogs, causing kidney failure.

John O’Connor, Veterinary Marketing Manager at Royal Canin, said: “Christmas is often the season pet owners choose to indulge the whole family, and this includes their animals. Recent research* showed that half of 19-38 year olds said they would rather cut back on spending on themselves than their pets and two out of five spending as much on their pets as they would for a friend this Christmas.

With so many animal lovers in the UK, it is important to remind pet owners the dangers of overindulging their pets with human treats and also too much food.

John continues: “Giving pets human treats is often more harmful than many owners think, with many shocked by the calorie conversion for animals. For example, a tin of tuna is the equivalent of three doughnuts for a dog, and feeding a cat a piece of cheese is the equivalent in calories as a shocking six doughnuts!”

ROYAL CANIN® runs an Approved Weight Management Centre programme to acknowledge a number of veterinary practices across the UK for managing overweight or obese cats and dogs, educating clients on prevention.  For more information about the Approved Weight Management Centre initiative, please contact the ROYAL CANIN® Weight Management Team on