Christmas is just around the corner. We’re already putting the decorations up, buying presents and even getting in all the festive food and drink. Christmas is a busy and fun time spent with family, and as our pets, dogs shouldn’t miss out on the action either. However, there are many different foods and drinks that are often around at Christmas that could make our dogs feel unwell if they manage to eat or drink them.

Make sure you take time this Christmas to be fully aware of which food and drinks are harmful, and even can be deadly to dogs. Keep an eye on what your dog can potentially reach and digest.


Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. Even digesting a small amount of chocolate can make your dog ill, including vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even heart problems. Dark chocolate contains the most theobromine, but all chocolate should be avoided at all costs. Keep chocolate way out of the reach of dogs.

Grapes, Raisins and Sultanas

Not many pet owners know this, but grapes are toxic for dogs. As well as grapes, their dried varieties such as raisins, sultanas and currants are also toxic. These are around a lot at Christmas – whether you put grapes on your cheeseboard, or enjoy dried fruit in your Christmas cake, pudding or mince pies. This food can cause kidney failure in dogs, even when only eaten in small quantities.

The Onion Family

Onions, as well as leeks, garlic, shallots and chives can make your dog extremely unwell. Whether they are raw or cooked, if a dog digests these, they will initially experience vomiting and diarrhoea. However, this can lead to damaged red blood cells which can result in them developing anaemia.


Don’t leave any alcoholic drinks unattended this Christmas – dogs seem to be attracted to finishing of your tipple. Alcohol has a similar effect on dogs as it does on humans (when they drink to excess). Dogs can become wobbly and drowsy and in severe cases, there is a risk of low body temperature, low blood sugar and even coma.

Which Christmas food can your dogs enjoy safely?

  • Turkey meat (without skin or bones)
  • Salmon (fillets or cooked in spring water – not smoked salmon)
  • Lamb meat (without bones)
  • Scrambled egg
  • Green beans
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Parsnips
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Swede
  • Mashed potato (without butter)
  • New potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yogurt (check ingredients and don’t feed if xylitol is listed)


Rachel Smith
Rachel Smith is a huge animal lover and has always been passionate about the wellbeing of pets. She currently has a rescue dog, Stewie and a corn snake, Samson, but has experience of looking after various different pets over the years.

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