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Festive Food Safety

Christmas pup

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year! To our dogs it’s a time when lots of unusual things are brought into the house, these items can exciting but also dangerous to our dogs.

Below is a list of items that could make your dog poorly this Christmas.

Christmas foods: - 

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs, as well as other animals such as cats, rodents and rabbits. Normally the darker chocolate gets the more theobromine it contains which means the more poisonous it is. White chocolate contains very little theobromine but is very fatty and can still make your dog ill.

Raisins, grapes, currants and sultanas are all toxic to dogs. Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, fruit cake and mince pies all contain at least one of these foods.

Macadamia nuts are poisonous to dogs, some macadamia nuts are covered in chocolate and so pose a double risk to dogs.

Roquefort and other blue cheeses contain a substance called roquefortine C, which is produced by the fungus used to produce these cheeses. Dogs appear very sensitive to this substance and should not be fed any blue cheeses. 

Alcohol – dogs are more sensitive to ethanol than humans. Even a small amount can cause effects. Remember certain alcoholic drinks may be more appealing to dogs, such as cream or egg-based drinks. 

Cooked bones become brittle and can easily splinter. Eating chicken, turkey or goose carcases may cause larger pieces of bone to cause an obstruction, while smaller pieces may irritate the gut, or even penetrate the stomach or intestinal wall, which may require surgery. Keep your dog out of the kitchen when you are preparing your Christmas meal. Put any bones in the outside bin out of reach of your dog.

Allium species - onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives all belong to the Allium family and are all poisonous to dogs. Please don’t feed your dog any sage and onion stuffing, onion-based gravy, or any other allium based foods.

Plants: -

Dogs are very sensitive to Poinsettia plants, and they can make them very poorly.

Holly leaves are very spikey and may cause damage if eaten. Holly and Mistletoe berries can cause a dog to have a gastric upset.

Ivy vine may cause a tummy upset if eaten. Substantial or prolonged skin contact can cause irritation or an allergic reaction. 

Christmas trees: -

Most species of Christmas tree are of low toxicity, but oils from the needles may be irritating to the mouth and stomach. Needles from the tree are sharp and can cause physical injury.

Tinsel, ornaments and Christmas tree lights look magical to us, but dogs see them as wonderful toys! If chewed/eaten they can cause damage and you dog may be poorly.

Christmas tree lights may cause an electric shock if chewed.

Chocolate hung from your tree or chocolate presents left under the tree may be very tempting to your dog. Please keep these out of reach!

Consult your local veterinary practice immediately if you are concerned that your dog may have eaten something they shouldn’t have.

Prompt treatment is VERY important!
This list is not exhaustive
Please supervise your dogs this Christmas and help them stay happy and healthy!


Festive food safety