A vet has issued an urgent warning to pet owners this festive season about why they should avoid giving their animals leftovers.

Dr Naomi Lessels, from Brisbane, posted the warning to Facebook on boxing day after a dog died after he ate a slab of ham.

‘WARNING PLEASE DO NOT give DOGS HAM and other FATTY foods,’ Dr Lesels wrote.

She said that these foods high in fat can cause dogs to develop pancreatitis, which can be fatal.

Dr Lessels said she treated a dog on boxing day that had been given a slab of ham skin to eat which caused the dog to become critically ill and pass away.