In response to the Morrisons Christmas desserts TV commercial which shows a child feeding Christmas pudding to a dog, the BVA President Peter Jones made the following statement:
“It is vital that advertisers use animals responsibly and we are disappointed to see the Morrisons Christmas desserts TV commercial depicting a small boy feeding Christmas pudding to his dog. Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and mince pies – because they contain raisins or sultanas – are potentially harmful to pets and in some cases can lead to kidney failure.
“While we accept that many pet owners understand what is and what is not appropriate to feed their pets, children watch adverts and can be easily influenced by what they see. Veterinary organisations and animal welfare charities work really hard to promote messages about responsible pet ownership and TV adverts such as this one, with huge audiences, can undermine this work.
“Christmas is a time for families but we must remember the health and welfare of our animals too. There are a number of festive foods that can cause potentially fatal health complications for pets. Chocolate is one of the most common causes of poisoning, especially in dogs, but it is also toxic to other species, for example cats, rabbits and rodents. Other foods such as grapes, avocadoes, sweets and liquorice, onions and garlic, and certain nuts (especially peanuts and Macadamia nuts) can all be toxic; rich and fatty foods such as turkey skin or sausages can trigger sickness and diarrhoea – and, at worst, conditions from gastroenteritis to pancreatitis.
“It can be tempting to give pets special treats at Christmas but try to stick to your pet’s regular diet and don’t ruin your Christmas through carelessness.
“It you suspect your pet has eaten something potentially toxic, it is important to seek advice from your vet immediately. Don’t leave it!”
The BVA’s charity, the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF), in conjunction with the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS), has produced a ‘Pets and Poisons’ leaflet which could help reduce dangers in the home not only at Christmas but all year round.
BVA has written to Morrisons to ask them to withdraw the advert.