dog stealing food

Christmas food Dangers

Do you know the common Christmas food dangers for dogs

Christmas is a wonderful time of year and should be full of fun for all the family, dogs included.

As people are already aware there are a lot of the potential toxic foods for dogs around this time of year. The festive period is one where we often introduce all manner of lovely foods into our house that we don’t normally have. These are just a few of the common foods that could pose a danger to your dog.



The consumption of grapes and raisins presents a potential health threat to dogs. Their toxicity to dogs can cause the animal to develop acute renal failure (the sudden development of kidney failure) with anuria (a lack of urine production). It is not clear that the observed cases of renal failure following ingestion are due to grapes only. Clinical findings suggest raisin and grape ingestion can be fatal, but the “mechanism of toxicity” is still considered unknown.

Mince Pies, Christmas Pudding and the Christmas Cake

These common Christmas treats are seriously bad for dogs as they are jam-packed full of raisins and sultanas. These are variations on the ‘grape’ and as such have the same serious health risks. They are usually laced with large amounts of alcohol which can cause symptoms of intoxication seen in people. They are also full of fat and suet and these two ingredients can often give them severe stomach troubles like vomiting. But more worryingly high fat meals are one of the high risk factors leading to pancreatitis. This can be a serious illness and in some cases can kill.

Chocolate the Christmas favourite

Serious poisoning happens more frequently in domestic animals, which metabolize theobromine much more slowly than humans, and can easily consume enough chocolate to cause chocolate poisoning. If large numbers of filled chocolate candies are consumed, another serious danger is posed by the fat and sugar in the fillings, which can sometimes trigger life-threatening pancreatitis several days later. The most common victims of theobromine poisoning are dogs, for which it can be fatal. The toxic dose for cats is even lower than for dogs. However, cats are less prone to eating chocolate since they are unable to taste sweetness.


This time of year we cook far more meat joints than the rest of the year and as a result there are many more bones lying about. Cooked bones become brittle and splinter easily leading to larger fragments which if digested by you dog can get stuck and cause an obstruction. Also the smaller pieces can cause gut irritation and perforation or even just difficulty toileting. Make sure you dispose of the string from any meat joints as this can be a tempting toy for your dogs and could be harmful if ingested. The best thing is to take it straight outside into a sealed bin.

If your dog does get into trouble over Christmas and consumes any of these things then remember don’t panic. Contact your local vet for advice immediately as often the quicker you seek treatment the easier and more successful the treatment.