Christmas is a time when most of us over-indulge a little more than we probably should. But for the most part of it, we’ll tend to avoid foods we know will make us sick. There are foods that are bad for our dogs and can make them quite sick, so it’s important to keep an eye on them too. That includes making sure guests and our kids aren’t slipping them treats under the table!


We all know we shouldn’t feed our dogs cooked bones – but why?

The cooking process dries the bones so they become brittle and splinter easily. Dogs love to crunch on bones, and often the bones splinter into small fragments that can become lodged in their digestive system and even puncture their stomach. It is not uncommon for our vets to perform surgery to remove a piece of bone from a dog’s bowel.

Make sure you keep cooked carcasses out of your pets reach to avoid the potential danger of your fur-baby stealing it off the bench when no one is looking.

2. Meat and Poultry SKIN AND GRAVY

It is difficult for dogs to digest fatty foods like gravy and the skin from turkey. If they tuck into enough of it, your pet could end up with a case of pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis is very painful for our dogs, causing vomiting and diarrhoea. We see a several cases of pancreatitis around Christmas time every year. Many dogs that get pancreatitis end up having to go on a long-term low fat diet as a result. No matter how tasty a little treat of turkey skin might seem, it is not worth the risk.


We love to give our pets a special Christmas dinner of their own. If you do this too, check that there isn’t onion in it. The idea that onions can have a serious effect on your dog has been around for a while. Onions contain thiosulphate, which can lead to haemolytic anaemia. If a dog consumes enough onion they may experience shortness of breath, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Garlic contains a small amount of it too, although not enough to do anywhere near the kind of damage that onions can do. However, having both onions and garlic in a plate of food together could potentially cause problems.


Our dog are not used to eating herbs and spices. If they scoff even just a little bit of stuffing it is likely to upset their stomach.


Nuts are high in fat, and as with turkey skin and gravy (as outlined above), pets have trouble digesting fat – the primary cause of pancreatitis. Also, some nuts are so small that when your dog inhales, as they tend to do, they can cause an obstruction in their digestive system. Best to stay away from this food too.


It has been long known in the Vet community that grapes, raisens and currants can lead to acute renal failure in dogs.

Christmas pudding is often packed with raisins so it is best to avoid this treat too.


Chocolate contains theobromine – an extremely toxic substance to both dogs and cats. The more concentrated the chocolate the more harmful it is. The likes of cocoa powder and dark chocolate are more harmful than milk chocolate and white chocolate. Our dogs have an amazing sense of smell. Lets just accept that they can, and they will find your hiding spot, so make sure it is out of their reach… and definitely do not offer chocolate as a treat to your pets.


It is not all over for your pets Christmas dinner. Of course you can still include your pets in your Christmas dinner if you’d like to. Your best bet is just a small bowl with a little bit of turkey or chicken meat and some plain veggies like beans, sweet potato and mash.