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Christmas Foods That Are Toxic To Dogs

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Christmas is a happy time of year, filled with lots of treats and delicious food that is tempting to your dog, but did you know there is quite an extensive list of Christmas foods that are toxic to dogs? It is important all family and friends are aware of the damage feeding your dog these foods can cause. Make sure food related presents aren’t kept under the tree for your dog to come and indulge in. You should also avoid over feeding your dog on treats this Christmas, as they can easily put on a lot of weight in a short space of time. Here is a list of foods to keep out of reach of your furry friends during the festive season.


They contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which is toxic to dogs. Ingesting onions causes a condition called hemolytic anaemia which causes damage to the red blood cells.Both small amounts over time and big amounts all in one go can cause damage to your dog. It is advised by vets not to give table scraps as food like pizza to gravy that could have traces of onions in. Also garlic, leek, shallots and chives will have the same effect as onions.

Symptoms - Diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and breathlessness. These symptoms may not show straight away and could take between 2 to 4 days. As soon as you suspect poisoning call your vet immediately it's better to get treatment early on ,if left long period of time in extreme cases your dog will need a blood transfusion.


All chocolate is highly dangerous for dogs and has a similar effect as caffeine. Chocolate contains something called theobromine which stimulates the central nervous system and cardiovascular system, causing an increase in blood pressure which can be fatal to your dog.

Symptoms - Diarrhoea, vomiting, excessive panting, urinating alot, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, dehydration, seizures and quick heart rate. All these symptoms are very serious and your dog should be seen by a vet immediately after consuming the chocolate.

Cooked bones

Bird bones that are cooked can splinter and cause internal damage to your dog's throat or stomach, and may cause your dog to choke.

Symptoms - Choking, struggling to breathe, their body may be hunched over due to uncomfortable stomach pains.

Grapes (raisins, sultanas, current)

These foods are known for being toxic to dogs but the cause of it is still unknown. It is advised not to give these fruits at all. Some dogs can eat grapes and raisins and be absolutely fine, but others can’t and eating them can lead to kidney failure. Seek veterinary care if symptoms are showing.

Symptoms - Kidney failure, weakness, abdominal pain, dehydration, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Dairy products

Dogs find it hard to consume and digest dairy products. Like some of us humans they are intolerant to lactose products such as milk and cheese. Take caution when giving your dog food and check whether it contains a lot of dairy.

Symptoms - Stomach upsets, diarrhoea, vomiting and passing gas. Dairy isn’t highly toxic to your dog but it can definitely cause stomach issues for some dogs.


There is a lot of alcohol around at Christmas, so make sure it's kept well away from your dog. Intoxicating your dog with alcohol is very dangerous to their body. It causes some of the same effects we have when we consume alcohol affecting our brain and body doing lots of damage to the liver, however for dogs it can be much worse. Even small amounts found in cooked food should not be given to your dog. Veterinary assistance should be given straight away should your dog ingest alcohol.

Symptoms - Vomiting, drowsiness ,heart rate slows down, body temperature drops, cardiac arrest possibly resulting in death.

Rich food

We eat a lot of extremely rich food around Christmas time. It’s fine for humans but for dogs who aren’t used to it it’s not a good idea.  Very rich food can be too much for them and result in digestion issues and discomfort.

Symptoms - Passing gas, loose stools, irritated bowels.

Gravy (high in salt)

Everyone loves gravy on their roast dinner and lots of people give their dogs scraps without  thinking it’s bad for them. Although  gravy is very tasty to our dogs, it is high in salt so should be avoided. Special gravy from pet stores are available low in salt.

Symptoms - There are many symptoms if your dog has a diet high in salt leading to high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and many other health problems.


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