Five things your puppy shouldn’t eat – and what to do when they eat them
Five visits to the vet later, Alexandra Fraser reflects on the dangers of a starving puppy and the benefits of pet insurance.
The old saying goes, “Sometimes you want to go where everyone knows your name.
The thing is, when this place is emergency vets, the novelty quite quickly turns from exciting to depressing.
Wilf is not a sick dog. He’s a spaniel through and through – easily excitable, remarkably opinionated, and noisy. He doesn’t curl up in a corner, he doesn’t limp in a room. He leaps, he gambols, he gallops. In short, he’s a puppy.
So it was with a lot of surprise and not a bit of mysticism that I found myself hurriedly putting aside my first glass of wine from the Wednesday evening of last week and quickly dialing the emergency number for taking Wilf on his fifth vet visit of the month.
The culprit: Christmas.
‘”Search for it on Google.” I cracked up on my partner while my fingers were still in Wilf’s mouth.
Having a spaniel gives you supernatural speed. If Wilf chews something I don’t recognize, it’s out of his mouth and into my hands within 1.5 seconds.
Unfortunately, the presence of guests during the holiday season meant danger. After all, who other than his owner, even forewarned, expects a little spaniel puppy to jump on top of him, hit his chair full speed, and walk over to the kitchen table to eat a full bite of Christmas pudding?
“Search it on Google.” I cracked on my partner while my fingers were still in Wilf’s mouth, having ripped him off our guest’s unsuspecting knees and reached his throat to remove the offending piece of cake. I was too slow – it was on.
I’ve never been afraid to admit what I don’t know and as a result the internet has been my friend for a long time – never more than during my first three months of dog ownership. A quick research will tell you that grapes, raisins and cooked fruits are very toxic to dogs and that immediate action should be taken.
In less than fifteen minutes Wilf was in the capable hands of Winchester’s excellent night vets, had been injected to orally dispel the offending fruit and an hour later when I retrieved him he was wagging his tail and was going to get his duck for the nurses.
“He’s the perfect patient. The night nurse said, while the regular nurses cooed over their most prolific patient and sent me friendly looks.
“I wish I had recovered sooner. I wish veterinary surgery would give loyalty miles. ‘
They recognized my voice on the phone when I called. I’m not a hypochondriac by nature – I once went to a Greek language college test to recover from Olbas oil poisoning. But when it comes to Wilf, I’m not willing to take a single risk.
My family dogs had insurance for ten years before my mom canceled it. “They never used it. She said when I had the debate (it shouldn’t have been a debate), and she was right.
But Labradors are tanks and Wilf is a little puppy. I had registered it at Healthy Animal Club before we even bring him home and weigh him and give him flea and worm medication with military precision, but he has no insurance.
I would have liked to recover sooner and accept that two illnesses would push me to exceed the insurance premiums for a year anyway. I wish vet surgery would give frequent flyer miles. He will soon be fully insured and until then every penny is worth knowing that my puppy is healthy.
Top 5 things not to let your dog eat
Grapes. Any type of consumption of grapes, raisins or dried fruits should be the subject of an immediate visit to the veterinarian. That makes fine Christmas pies and puddings and an absolute no-no.
Conkers. They are not fun toys. Be careful.
Box cover and other green objects. If your puppy likes to chew on the garden, it’s worth taking a whiplash and Google searching for every plant you have to make sure it can’t reach anything poisonous. This includes Buxtus (which crams your grandma in pretty shapes along her hedge), daffodils, tulips, foxgloves, rhododendrons and more.
Chocolate. This one is so great that I wrote his own article here.
Attorney. Onions. Garlic. Some nuts. But. Alcohol. Cooked bones. If in doubt, Google and call your vet.
Wilf is growing so fast! Find daily updates on his Instagram, @wilfthecocker.
Credit: Alamy Stock Photo
Chocolate is potentially fatal to dogs and other animals throughout the year, but other issues arise around Easter when
Alexandra Fraser and her partner haven’t decided to have a dog; they just decided to go see a dog.
Alexandra Fraser – who recently bought a cocker spaniel called Wilf – details the ins and outs of a new’s sleep training
Credit: Alexandra Fraser