Don't Feed Your Dog These! 9 Toxic Foods to Avoid this Christmas

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

Did you know your dog is more likely to consume toxic foods at Christmas than most other times in the year.


Avoid feeding your dog these 9 foods that are safe for humans but toxic to our four legged best friends.


If your dog does consume anything on this list, seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. Even in small amounts these foods can be fatal to dogs.


1. Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many foods and commonly found in chewing gum, sweets and diet alternatives. Xylitol is extremely dangerous even in small amounts.


Early symptoms of Xylitol toxicity can include lethargy, vomiting and weakness. Symptoms progress to liver failure, seizures and can result in death.


2. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia Nuts are not safe for dogs and although not an everyday food they are particularly popular this time of year. Macadamia Nuts can also be found in many common foods such as cookies and cakes.


Symptoms of toxicity include weakness, high temperature, muscle shakes and vomiting.


Macadamia nuts are especially dangerous if consumed with chocolate.


3. Raisins

Raisins are highly toxic to dogs and rapid treatment is essential. Unlike some other toxic foods their is no known safe amount so if your dog ingests any amount you should contact your vet immediately.


Common symptoms include vomiting/ diarrhoea, increased thirst, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and lethargy. Severe symptoms can include acute kidney failure and even death.


4. Grapes

Grapes are similar to Raisins in terms of their toxicity also requiring rapid treatment.


Common symptoms also include lethargy, vomiting, breathing difficulties, acute kidney failure and even death.


5. Chocolate

Chocolate contains a chemical called Theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs. Darker, purer varieties of chocolate tend to contain more Theobromine so is more toxic however other varieties and milk chocolate also contain levels of Theobromine so are also considered toxic to dogs.


Dogs aren’t able to metabolise Theobromine like humans can and it mainly affects their guts, heart, central nervous system and kidneys. Common symptoms include increased heart rate, panting, seizures and even heart failure. Symptoms depend on the amount ingested and the type of chocolate.


6. Cooked Bones

Although bones aren't considered toxic to dogs they should never be given when cooked as they become brittle and can splinter.


This can cause serious issues including broken teeth, blockages, lesions and can get stuck. Rawhide alternatives are also considered dangerous and should be avoided.


Consider feeding bones raw or use toys such as a Kong instead.


7. Christmas Cake/ Pudding

Christmas Cake often contains ingredients such as raisins, Xylitol and alcohol that are also included on this list and can have the same symptoms.


Christmas Cake often sits around for a longer period of time too so increases the chances of any counter surfing dogs getting their paws on it.


8. Alcohol

Alcohol has the same effect on a dog’s liver and brain that it has on people. But it it is far more damaging to dogs. Just a little beer, wine, or food with alcohol in it can be bad.


Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing problems, coma, even death.





9. Onions

Onions contain compounds called Disulfides and Thiosulphates which can be toxic for dogs. The ingestion of onions causes conditions called Hemolytic Anemia, Heinz Body Anemia, and Methemoglobinemia which are all common as a result of damage to Red Blood Cells.


Common symptoms include reddish urine, vomiting, weakness, decreased appetite and weakness.


Poison Line

Poison Line is a premium rate phone service specialising in determining whether or not your dog needs veterinary attention following potential poisoning. Poison Line claim to save 7 out of 10 callers a trip to the Vets.


You can call them 24/7 on 01202 509 000 for £30.




Call us free 24/7 on 0800 471 4742

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