what not to feed your dog this christmas graphic

Christmas is a time to indulge. And it’s only natural to want to spoil our dogs with lots of extra treats over the festive season.

But the foods that we love to eat around December time, aren’t necessarily dog-friendly foods. And this time of year can bring extra dangers that we need to watch out for.

And it’s not just at dinner time either. Many of us love to graze and nibble over the holidays and it’s common to have buffets and treats left out around the house for everyone to enjoy. But open tins of chocolates left unguarded, could prove fatal for a dog.

So, whether you own a dog or are going to helping to take care of one in your home, read our list below to make sure you know what foods need to be safely hidden away – at Christmas – and throughout the rest of the year too!

And if your dog loves to gulp down their food – whatever the time of year – why not get them a slow feed dog bowl to help prevent any poorly tummies from eating too quickly.

Foods that dogs can’t eat

1) Chocolate

Chocolate is a Christmas staple for many of us over holiday season. And there are few homes without a tin tucked away here and there. Chocolate however is poisonous to dogs and can be fatal. Unfortunately, this won’t stop them from seeking it out. Even a chocolate bar in your bag could get snaffled out pretty easily.

Remember to keep all chocolate safely locked away where you dog can’t get to it. And if you’re enjoying a few truffles in front of the TV, make sure someone is always keeping an eye on them and they get put away again before your eyes start to close!

2) Onions

Onions contain a substance called thiosulphate which is toxic to dogs. If they eat onions, it can cause a condition called hemolytic anemia which destroys a dog’s red blood cells.

So, if you want to give your dog a meaty treat, make sure it hasn’t been cooked with onions or has onion gravy on it. Onions are also a primary ingredient of stuffing so another thing to watch out for.

3) Grapes

A classic companion to the Christmas cheese board, grapes are often eaten at Christmas time. It’s important to remember however that grapes are highly toxic to dogs and even one or two grapes could be fatal. If you want to enjoy grapes with your cheeseboard, remember to keep them well away from your dog and that none are left lying around in the fruit bowl and check none have accidentally rolled onto the floor either.

4) Raisins

Just like grapes, raisins are also highly toxic to dogs. And even though you might not be snacking on them while enjoying your favourite Christmas movie, they’re extremely prevalent at Christmas time. Mince pies, Christmas puddings and Christmas cake are all packed with raisins. And the sweet scent can be all too tempting for your dog so make sure you stay vigilant when the puddings are brought out!

5) Granulated sugar

Sugar is bad for dogs in general as it’s simply not healthy. By eating large amounts of sugar regularly, your dog is at risk of weight issues, teeth problems and diabetes.

It’s also important to remember that sweeteners such as xylitol are extremely toxic to dogs as they can cause seizures, liver failure and even death. So watch out for these as they are often hidden away in foods such as peanut butter – which you might normally give to your dog as a treat.

6) Raw potato

Raw and green potatoes are very dangerous for dogs and can cause poisoning. This is because they contain solanine which is also found in potato skins. Consuming this can cause heart problems, difficulty breathing and stomach upsets.

7) Garlic

Garlic is from the same family as onions, chives and leeks and is also toxic to dogs. Some dogs are also more sensitive to garlic than others so even a small amount can do them a lot of harm.

Many of us love to cook with garlic, especially at Christmas time. Whether it’s in the gravy, with the meat or wedged in with the roasted vegetables.

Make sure you also watch out for chives on top of the fish and potatoes as well as the leeks you might be having with your Christmas dinner.

8) Avocado

Cooking up a fancy breakfast for Christmas morning? Avocados are great for humans but not so great for dogs. They contain a toxin called persin which is poisonous to dogs and can cause stomach upsets. Also, if ingested, the pit could also cause an obstruction which could then cause a whole host of knock-on issues such as diarrhoea and vomiting.

9) Macadamia nuts

One of sweeter types of nut, macadamias make a lovely Christmas snack. They’re found in treats such as biscotti and brownies, but the most common occurrences are simply in bags of mixed nuts that are still in their shells. Many households follow the tradition of cracking nuts at Christmas time so it’s quite common to have them in bags or bowls around the house.

Ingestion of macadamias by dogs can cause them to vomit, make them weak, give them a fever and muscle tremors.

10) Caffeine

Coffee is the perfect digestif following a big dinner. And even though you might not be planning on topping your dog’s water bowl up with a cappuccino, leaving cups around with coffee or tea still in them is never a good idea. Dogs are very sensitive to caffeine and it can also be poisonous to them.

Equally, treats such as coca cola and other caffeinated fizzy drinks should also be kept well out of the way.

Lastly, alcohol should never be given to animals so when you’re making merry at Christmas time, make sure your pet joins in with a freshly topped up bowl of plain water.

And if there’s anything you’re not sure about, always consult your vet first to get their advice.

Not sure how much to feed your dog? Check out our blog for information on the correct quantities for a range of sizes and breeds.

Wishing you and your pets a very happy, healthy and safe Christmas, from all of us at Me & My Pets!

Disclaimer: This content in this article is intended for information or entertainment purposes only, it is not intended to replace the advice of a vet or animal health professional. Your use of the information is entirely at your own risk and Me & My Pets assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of the information found on this site. If you have any questions or concerns over your pet's wellbeing you should consult your vet immediately.