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As a nation of pet lovers, we love nothing more than to include our pooches in the Christmas celebrations, and while feeding your dog some yummy Turkey would be most welcomed by your beloved pet, there are many festive foods that can actually be very harmful to animals.

Christmas Foods Harmful to Dogs

All the below foods are found in most homes around the UK during the festive season, so please be mindful of where you place them as we know how crafty dogs can be when it comes to sniffing out food. 

It’s also a good idea to make friends and family members aware, as some people think dogs can eat anything, and it’s simply not true. 


1 – Chocolate

Chocolate is dangerous for dogsWhy is Chocolate poisonous to dogs?

Chocolate and Cocoa Powder contains Theobromine which is highly poisonous to dogs and cats if ingested. In animals, it can have a fatal effect on the nervous systems, heart and kidneys. 


2 – Mince Pies & Christmas Cake

Mince Pies

Why are Mince Pies poisonous to dogs?

It’s unclear why grapes,  raisins, currants and sultanas cause such an effect on dogs but just one grape can make them very ill with sickness and diarrhoea which can lead to potentially fatal kidney failure.


3 – Blue Cheese

Blue cheese is harmful to dogsWhy is Blue Cheese poisonous to dogs?

Cheese boards are very common at Christmas, but the fungus used to make stilton and other blue cheeses produce roquefortine C, which is a substance that can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, high temperatures and even seizures in dogs.


4 – Mulled Wine (All Alcohol)

Mulled wine is poisonus to dogsWhy is Alcohol poisonous to dogs?

Dogs cannot metabolize alcohol, which can cause dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature.

Although most responsible dog owners wouldn’t dream of feeding their animals alcohol. at Christmas time there can be an abundance of guests over for gift exchanges and parties, and it’s easy to leave a drink unoccupied as we sometimes forget how quick and clever our dogs can be. 



5 – Cooked Bones

Cooked bones are Harmful to DogsWhy are Cooked bones poisonous to dogs?

Although cooked bones aren’t toxic to dogs, they get very brittle once cooked, meaning they splinter easily and represent a serious choking hazard for dogs. 

It can be tempting to give your dog cooked bones after your Christmas Dinner, particularly a large lamb bone, but it should be avoided. 


6 – Nuts

Christmas Chestnuts FactsWhy are Nuts poisonous to dogs?

Some nuts are OK for dogs, but Certain types of nuts, such as macadamia nuts and Black walnuts are very toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, depression and hyperthermia if ingested, so it’s best to steer clear of nuts altogether to be safe.


7 – Onion / Garlic / Chives

Onions and Garlic are toxic to dogsWhy are Onions & Garlic poisonous to dogs?

The primary ingredient in onions, garlic and chives is n-propyl disulfide which is toxic to dogs. This oxidant can damage the red blood cells of animals. 

It’s best to keep pets out of the way when preparing allium family foods are these peelings are often dropped and quickly gobbled up by dogs. 

Other Allium Family Foods to avoid
  • Chives
  • Leeks
  • Scallions
  • Shallots


8 – Sweeteners (xylitol)

sweeteners are poisonous to dogsWhy are sweeteners poisonous to dogs?

Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. Xylitol poisoning can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver failure and seizures.

Sweeteners are found in most sugar free drinks and treats, so be vigilant. 


9 – Fatty / Oily Foods

Fatty Foods are Harmful to dogsWhy are fatty foods poisonous to dogs?

The occasional fatty treat will pose no serious harm to dogs, other than a potentially upset stomach, but prolonged use of fatty foods can lead to obesity and pancreatitis.


10 – Sage & Onion Stuffing

Sage and Onion Stuffing is toxic to dogsWhy is Stuffing poisonous to dogs?

Stuffing is packed full of Allium Family ingredients, which can make dogs extremely ill, and should be avoided.


Here are some more Christmas Food Facts


Christmas Food harmful to Dogs

Hopefully, this has helped you keep your precious pets safe at Christmas, if you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below…

Claire is the UK's #1 'Crazy Christmas Lady', best known for helping people Save Money on all aspects of Christmas! Read More

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