Festive food dangers for your dog

Updated: Feb 26

Many people may not be aware of the dangers that some Christmas foods can pose to their dogs. While it's tempting to share our festive feast with our furry friends, there are some foods that we should avoid giving them altogether. While this is not an extensive list of foods that we shouldn't give our dogs, we have covered the most common foods we love to indulge in at Christmas time.


The last thing any of us want (or can afford) on Christmas day is a visit to the emergency vets, which can start from £100 but can end up running into the thousands according to this article in the Guardian


Here are eight of the most dangerous Christmas foods for dogs


Infographic, foods not safe for your dog this christmas

1. Turkey Bones - raw or cooked



Turkey meat itself is not normally dangerous but the bones can be. Cooked bones in particular can splinter and become a choking hazard or cause other damage if swallowed. Bones can also cause stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhoea. Turkey skin and meat, on the other hand, should be fine to eat in small quantities, but always avoid giving your dog large amounts of food they wouldn't normally have to avoid upset tummies.


2. Chocolate



Chocolate, in any form, is toxic to dogs and can cause seizures, heart problems and even death. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. If your dog gets into the chocolate box you should seek medical advice from a Vet immediately. If you want your dog to join in on the chocolate feast of Christmas day, then you can plan ahead and get some dog safe chocolates like these. But, if you're like us, and you don't want to start giving your dog the taste for chocolate and avoid them getting a taste for it, then why not stock up on some natural healthy dog treats like these.


3. Biscuits & Cookies



While most biscuits are not dangerous for dogs, there are a few exceptions. Christmas cookies and other festive biscuits often contain ingredients like raisins, sultanas and currents which are highly toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure. You should also keep an eye on the hidden ingredients. Xylitol is toxic to dogs and can be used in some biscuits and cookies as an alternative to sugar. Always read the ingredients before giving anything to your dog, just to be sure. You can read more about the dangers of Xylitol in this article by PetMd.


4. Christmas cake



Christmas cake is full of hidden dangers, it often contains alcohol which can be poisonous. Signs of alcohol poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, drowsiness, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression and even coma. They also often have raisins and sultanas which can lead to kidney failure if eaten in large quantities. The Kennel Club talks about the dangers of alcohol, raisins and many other foods you shouldn't give your dog here.


5. Mince Pies



Mince pies contain raisins and currents which, as we know, are very dangerous for dogs. Dogs should be kept away from any uneaten mince pies to avoid them gobbling them up before anyone has the chance to stop them!


6. Christmas Puddings



Many Christmas puddings contain dried fruit and alcohol which is highly dangerous to dogs. Dried fruit can cause kidney failure, intestinal blockages and even death if eaten by your dog. If you think your dog has consumed any dried fruit or the ingredients of Christmas puddings, call your Vet immediately!


7. Alcohol



We all know, (or at least I hope we do!) alcohol should never be given to dogs under any circumstances. However, this particular care should be taken around Christmas time, with a lot more drinks being poured than normal, and a party atmosphere, there's a high chance of guests leaving their half-full glasses within easy reach. Keep a vigilant eye out for little exploring doggies who may be getting their noses into glasses they shouldn't.


8. Garlic & Onions



Garlic is toxic to dogs and it can cause them some stomach problems if eaten in large quantities. If your dog has eaten a lot of garlic or onion, they may vomit, have diarrhoea or develop a fever. So if you're planning on cooking up a garlic-heavy Christmas meal, make sure your dog stays well clear!


So, as we can see, there are a few things to watch out for when it comes to feeding our dogs at Christmas. We all love to share little tidbits and bites of our human food with our furry best friends, but the most important thing is to keep any festive food items well out of reach and if in doubt, don't give it to them.


If you have any questions or concerns about what foods are safe for your dog to eat during the Christmas period, or if you think your dog may have eaten something they shouldn't, please consult with your Vet immediately.


Finally, wishing you, your families and your beautiful dogs a safe and happy Christmas from Ralph Woofington!


Which dog safe foods do your dogs love indulging in at Christmas time? let us know in the comments below.

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