Christmas dinner dangers for dogs

Christmas is a time of family, fun, and most importantly FOOD! However, as all the delicious treats are being handed around, it’s important to make sure your four-legged friend doesn’t indulge. While we might like to tuck into a box of Celebrations or Quality Street with a glass of mulled wine or Baileys, your dog will have to keep to the kibble (or another dog-friendly option), as certain human foods can make them extremely ill.

What not to give to your dog this Christmas

Dogs are more sensitive to alcohol than us humans. So, drinking even a small amount can have an adverse effect. Just like humans, dogs may be more drawn to certain types of alcohol, for example, cream-based drinks like Baileys.

If your dog does have an accidental tipple this festive season, they will develop ‘drunk’ symptoms like humans. This might include becoming drowsy or unsteady on their feet. In more serious cases dogs might experience seizures or coma.


Do you love onion gravy or sage and onion stuffing?

Onions, leeks, shallots, and chives all belong to the allium family and are harmful to dogs whether cooked or uncooked. Common in a lot of festive delights, especially stuffing, the allium family contains a substance that can cause life-threatening anaemia as it damages a dog’s red blood cells.

Cooked bones

Never give dogs cooked bones to chew on after a meal as they can shatter and cause choking. If a bone is swallowed, it can cause blockages within the internal organs. If bone fragments continue to travel down a dog’s system, they can cause constipation. If the bone scrapes or perforates the dog’s internal lining this can lead to significant trauma.

Blue cheese

While some cheeses such as Cheddar can be given in moderation as a treat, keep your dog away from blue cheeses such as Stilton. The fungus used to create blue cheese produces a substance called roquefortine C, which dogs can be extremely sensitive to. The most common symptoms your dog might experience if they eat blue cheese are diarrhea and vomiting. However, in extreme cases, they could experience seizures.

Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and mince pies

Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and mince pies all contain a form of dried grapes. Whether the festive treat contains raisins, currants or sultanas, all forms of dried grapes or dried vine fruits, are known to be toxic to dogs and can cause severe kidney failure.


Unfortunately, December sees a spike in vet visits for poisoning cases and the festive season is usually to blame as most of us find we have more chocolate in our homes at this time of year, than any other.

Chocolate is so dangerous because it contains a substance called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. While humans can process this easily, pets cannot, which then allows these toxic compounds to build up in the system and can result in significant illness or death.

If your dog does consume chocolate this Christmas, they may experience stomach upset, pain, restlessness, fast breathing, or fever. In very severe cases of chocolate toxicity, pets can experience heart failure, coma or it can be fatal.

Read our dangers of chocolate blog for more information.

What should you do if your dog eats something they shouldn’t?

Call your vet immediately, don’t wait to see if they become ill.  If they are already showing symptoms of poisoning, you will need to go in immediately.

If they aren’t, your vet may try to find out if they’ve consumed a toxic amount and if they need to be seen.

Tip: While we know this can be extremely frighting, try to stay calm and have the packaging of the food your dog has eaten ready to show your vet.

How to give your dog the ulti-mutt Christmas dinner?

Are you looking to give your pup an ulti-mutt festive feast this Christmas? Why not play it safe and give them some of our delicious, naturally hypoallergenic duck, salmon, or turkey kibble, wet food and/or treats.