Christmas Food Warning for Pets

Christmas Food Warning for Pets. At Christmas, our houses are full of rich food and drink to celebrate but many can be highly toxic to our pets and it’s worth bearing this in mind. 

There’s a few everyone knows about but there are a few festive surprises in too.  Read on and save yourself a costly, and unnecessary, trip to the vets over Christmas.

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We all know that chocolate is bad for dogs but there are other dangerous foods it’s worth being aware of.  Here are a few of the worst offenders – but please note that the tolerance to toxic foods can vary between pets.


Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine. Even small amounts can cause stomach upset, agitation, tremors, convulsions and heart problems.

Dried fruit such as raisins, currants and sultanas are found in Christmas cake, mince pies, Christmas pudding and stollen. These can cause serious illness and even kidney failure!

Gravy and stuffing can contain onions, garlic, leeks, shallots or chives which can cause damage to red blood cells resulting in anaemia. Symptoms occur within 24 hours or up to 5 days later and include paleness, lethargy, weakness, vomiting, diarrhoea and blood in the urine.

Alcohol can cause a lack of coordination, drowsiness and there is the risk of low body temperature, low blood sugar and coma.

The majority of nuts can also cause stomach upsets. The worst are macadamia and walnuts that have the potential to cause neurological damage and seizures.

Mouldy leftovers are also a risk to pets and may cause tremors and seizures due to the presence of tremorgenic mycotoxins.

Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener often found in sweets, chewing gum and toothpaste. It is poisonous to dogs and can lead to low blood sugar and liver damage. Symptoms can appear immediately or be delayed and include poisoning, lethargy, vomiting, convulsions and in extreme cases coma.

Chewing bones can splinter and create blockages which cause serious gastrointestinal damage. Everyone wants to show how much they care but overindulging your pets with treats can also cause stomach upsets, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Please be aware and make sure to keep dangerous foods out of your pets reach so you can avoid an unwanted emergency trip to the vets. If you have any worries about something your pet may have ingested contact your vet for advice as soon as possible.

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