Dogs are notorious for getting their noses into things they shouldn’t. This problem is particularly evident over the Christmas holidays when our homes are filled with food and drink that your pet definitely can’t eat. When you throw unattended buffet tables and children all too willing to share their treats into the mix, you have a recipe for a dog with an upset stomach, or worse.
Every pet owner knows that dogs can’t eat chocolate, but it’s worth reminding yourself just how dangerous chocolate is at this time of year. Non-dog owning visitors can often underestimate just how dangerous cocoa is to your four-legged friends, or children can accidentally feed your pet chocolate without knowing. Chocolate contains a component called theobromine which is easily processed by humans but can build up to toxic levels in dogs. In high quantities, chocolate can be fatal. Be careful of chocolate coins and decorations left on the tree.
This Christmastime staple is highly toxic to dogs because of the raisins and sultanas. These dried fruits are highly toxic and can lead to kidney damage and kidney failure if ingested. We haven’t yet established the reason that dogs cannot eat grapes, raisins or sultanas, but it appears to have something to do with the skin. Skip the mince pies and give your dog a nice antler or bone to sink his teeth into.
Like mince pies, Christmas pudding and cake is also toxic because of the dried fruit ingredients, but it can be extra dangerous because it can also contain alcohol. Dogs cannot process alcohol in the same way as humans and it can be fatal. They are also filled with sugar and fat, which can also lead to stomach problems and diarrhoea.
If you leave the leftover turkey, chicken or goose unattended after the Christmas dinner, make sure it is out of reach of your pets. Cooked poultry bones are very tempting to pets but they are very dangerous as they can splinter and puncture your pet’s oesophagus, stomach and intestines.
Onions and Garlic
Garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives and shallots are all part of the allium species of plants which are deadly to dogs. Ingesting these kinds of foods can damage your pet’s red blood cells, which can lead to anaemia, organ failure and death.