7 Dangerous Christmas Foods For Your Dog

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7 Dangerous Christmas Foods For Your Dog

Christmas is a wonderful and joyful time for families and their pets.

Though, due to current events and constant entertainments, some potential threats to dogs can easily be unnoticed.

The following food items are toxic to dogs, so guarantee your dog’s greedy nose does not reach them during Christmas time.

dog christmas

1. Grapes and Raisins

Why and how grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs is not completely understood, but they are associated with damage to the kidneys. There is no accurate method to predict which dogs may be affected, because one dog can eat lots of raisins without having a problem, while another dog eats only a few and develop kidney failure.

Vomiting is described in almost all cases and this regularly happens within 5 hours of ingestion, you can observe the fruit in the vomit. Other signs include loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhea and stomach pain.

2. Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding contains raisins and sultanas which are poison for dogs. They are also full of fat. High fat meals are an important risk factor for the development of pancreatitis.

3. Chocolate Decorations and Cookies

Sometimes, people forget about the danger of chocolate decorations and chocolate cookies and leave them in a tempting place.

My advice is:

Remember to hang chocolate decorations high up on your Christmas tree!

Clinical signs of chocolate poison include vomit, diarrhea, hyperactivity, arrhythmias, tremors and seizures.

Almonds, non-moldy walnuts and pistachios are present in numerous cookies and candies. They can induce an upset stomach or intestinal or throat obstructions. Macadamia nuts can also be poisoning. The ingestion of this kind of nuts can cause seizures or neurological signs. Read this article: Can dogs eat nuts?

4. Bones and Table Scraps

Don’t feed your dog bones. This is one of the commonest reasons for the need of veterinary assistance at the holidays. Turkey and chicken bones may splinter and cause lacerations in the gastrointestinal organs or intestinal blockage.

Regarding table scraps, feeding food that your dog isn’t habitually given can result in stomach upset (vomiting and diarrhea). Additionally, onions and garlic have an element that destroys red blood cells and fat trimmed from meat may cause pancreatitis.

5. Christmas Plants

If your dog decides to chew on Christmas tree pine needles, he can present oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, lethargy and trembling.

Holiday poinsettia and Mistletoe, common Christmas plants, can cause intense vomiting, diarrhea, depression and ultimately difficulty breathing, collapse, delusions and death when ingested.

6. Xylitol

Xylitol can be used as a sweetener in low carbohydrate products, such as, cakes and biscuits eaten at Christmas. Poisoning happens when the dog eats xylitol containing products and results in hypoglycemia and liver failure.

Clinical signs of hypoglycemia include fatigue, weakness and depression. Signs related with liver failure develop along the days after the ingestion of xylitol. They include evidence of bleeding (feces, gums) and jaundice (skin or whites of the eyes with a yellow appearance), for example.

7. Overeating

Table scraps, garbage “attack”, and counter surfing can upset your dog’s stomach. Even worse, these activities can lead to grave inflammation of the pancreas. Be sure your dog is behaving well during Christmas time, and he’s not eating foods he’s not supposed to.

Things to remember:

  • Put Christmas pudding, chocolate decorations and cookies in a place out of your dog reach, rather than leaving them out on a countertop or table.
  • Leave dogs in a ‘safe room’ while the family eats Christmas dinner.
  • Be cautious where you put your dessert plate down.

Being conscious of these food dangers could save you a visit to the veterinary emergency room at Christmas Eve.


About the Author:

Hi! I'm Dora Mancha, DVM. I am graduated for the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Lisbon (2009). My degree is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). I completed my degree in Veterinary Medicine in July, 2009. Over the first years as a veterinarian my work was closely related to the animal health field. I have gained some average experience having worked in Barcelona University (UAB) Equine Hospital and by working with veterinarians in Portugal. In addition, in 2009 - 2010 I was in Madrid at the University Alfonso X el Sábio doing an internship in the equine service. I am also very interested in small animal medicine and surgery. In fact I worked in several small animals clinics in Portugal improving my knowledge about small animal behavior and health. Dogs always have been present in my life, since I was a child. At the present moment I have four dogs a Labrador, a Epagnheul Breton, a Whippet and a mixed breed dog.

One Comment

  1. Joe Irwin February 23, 2016 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Antifreeze is poison for your dog and is Deadly!

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