Christmas can be a great time to relax, to spend time with family and friends and to socialise and entertain. Food and drinks are often an integral part of the time spent together and very often this leads to the family pets being given food items that are not a part of their daily diet during the rest of the year.
Over my time as a veterinarian, I have seen a lot of pets suffering from the consequences of dietary indiscretions in the Christmas / New Year break and at Easter time. There are a number of conditions, ranging in severity from mild and transient to severe and life threatening, that can come from feeding your pets foods and table scraps that they are not usually exposed to and you might be surprised by some of the foods that can cause injury or death. So in this article I would like to explore the “don’ts” at Christmas to make sure that your pets stay happy and well and enjoy the time that you spend with them.
Selenium and Vitamin E are essential in sheep diets on Kangaroo Island, and work together to prevent and repair cell damage in the body. Deficiencies of either or both Selenium and Vitamin E can cause weaner illthrift, reduced wool production, reduced ewe fertility, reduced immune response and white muscle disease. Kangaroo Island soils are naturally deficient in Selenium whilst Vitamin E deficiency occurs mostly in weaner sheep grazing dry pastures.
Selenium is not essential for pasture growth but is taken from the soil by plants. Sheep consume selenium with the plants they eat. Vitamin E is predominantly found in green feed. Both selenium and Vitamin E are stored for a short period in the body, mainly in the liver, so a continual dietary supply of these nutrients ensures the best possible production.
Is Giving Pets as a Gift a Good Idea?
We all love our pets and it stands to reason that anyone would be thrilled to receive a pet as a gift. But is it appropriate to give pets as gifts?
As much as you might long to see the way some one’s face lights up when they find a puppy or kitten under the tree on Christmas morning, giving a pet is more than a photo opportunity. Pets grow up and they represent a commitment to a new family member for many years. Before dreaming up ways to surprise someone with a pet, consider whether they are ready and able to take on that kind of responsibility.
You can find a lot of articles online warning against giving pets as gifts. However, studies conducted in recent years have shown that, contrary to what warnings suggest, pets received as gifts are actually less likely to be abandoned than pets either adopted or bought from other sources, including friends, pet shops, and shelters.