Who would have thought that pets are unwittingly picking up their masters’ dirty habits of imbibing themselves with alcohol drinks which are left unfinished, especially at this time of the year when merriment takes over in unforeseen circumstances?

For pets are likely to succumb to alcohol poisoning during the festive period as a result of them sneaking a sip of any drink left lying around the house, with potentially fatal consequences. With more people drinking at home now than in pubs, the problem is worsening. Vets are becoming concerned about the problem and they have now warned the public that because pets, such as cats and dogs, are naturally inquisitive they are likely to sniff out any liquids left in glasses on the floor, and because of their size it takes very little to make them drunk.

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It is no laughing matter to see your pets inebriated, for last year vets treating pets who had suffered alcohol poisoning contacted the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) for advice on 26 occasions, up from just 5 in the year 2000. The service also feared that many such cases remain unreported.
Gudrun Ravetz, President of the British Veterinary Association, said: ‘If a pet has access to alcohol, it can lead to serious health issues. If owners suggest their pet has consumed alcohol they should contact their local vet immediately.’

It could be a worrying problem if the trend of alcohol poisoning were to continue to rise. As binge drinking, especially amongst the young, shows no sign of abatement, the dangers to pets will multiply.

Vigilance should therefore be high on the agenda to ensure that pets are given the necessary protection.

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