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Christmas Poisons To Avoid

With Christmas just around the corner, your dogs will experience many different changes to the house. This can include many different foods, and decorations that include plants. There are some foods and plants that are toxic to dogs and should be kept out of reach of curious noses. If your presents are food related, it is best not to keep them under the tree.

Here I am going to share with you which foods and plants to keep out of reach of your dog.  




These beautiful red plants may look great as part of your Christmas decorations, but it may dampen the mood if your dog takes a bite from them. Only in extreme cases is there a threat of death if its ingested. The sap of these plants if ingested can cause nausea and vomiting.


Holly is actually more dangerous than the poinsettias to pets. All holly is toxic to dogs, especially the English and Christmas kind. They can cause severe gastrointestinal distress, which includes vomiting and diarrhoea. The spiny leaves irritate the mouth and throat, causing them to shake their heads dramatically. In addition to upsetting the dog’s stomach, it can cause drooling and lip smacking.


Luckily this plant is usually hung up high, so normally out of the dogs reach. This plant contains a nasty cocktail of toxins. If a dog was to ingest this plant, they may experience breathing problems, drop in blood pressure and hallucinations, which can be seen in unusual behaviour. In extreme cases it can cause seizures and even death.


This plant is often found as real Christmas trees. If your pet is prone to have a munch on the tree leaves, you might be better getting a fake one. This pine plant can irritate the dog’s mouth or tummy, can cause drooling or vomiting and sometimes obstruct or puncture the digestive tract.

Another part of the Christmas tree which may cause damage to the dog is the water bowl it sits in. The water bowl can contain fertilisers, bacteria and moulds which may make your dog sick.  

Christmas foods that are toxic to dogs



If a dog digests some onion, no matter the size it can cause damage to the dog. This is also the same for garlic, leek shallots, and leeks. It can cause lethargy, breathlessness, vomiting and diarrhea. However, these symptoms may not show straight away and can take 2 to 4 days to appear.

If you suspect that your dog has eaten anything in the onion family, please call your vet immediately for advice and treatment.


Chocolate is very dangerous to dogs, and this includes the Christmas chocolates that you hang on the tree. If you are going to hang chocolate on the tree, make sure it is up high out of your dog’s reach, or if you are worried, avoid them completely.

Chocolate has many horrible side effects, which can include, vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive panting, urinating a lot, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, dehydration, seizures and fast heart rate. The chemical in chocolate that effects the dog’s nervous system and cardiovascular system is theobromine.

If you want your dog to join in the festivities with chocolate, why not him his own doggy chocolate advent calendar. You can get these pets shops.

Cooked Bones

Now we all know dogs love a good bone to chew their way through, but these MUST NOT be cooked bones.

Cooked bones such as poultry bones can splinter and can cause internal damage to the dog’s throat or stomach. They can also cause choking, struggling to breath and hunching over due to uncomfortable tummy pains.

Grapes, Raisins, Sultanas and Currents

These are often found on their own, or in foods, such mince pies, Christmas pudding, and Christmas cakes. It is not known what the substance is that makes them toxic to our pets, so it is best to avoid these foods completely.

Nuts, Macadamia Nuts

These are normally found around the house as snacks on the dining table and sometimes the coffee table, so be sure that your dog cannot reach them. Nuts such as almonds, pecans and walnuts contain a high number of oils and fats. They can cause a vomiting, diarrhoea and potentially pancreatitis.

Macadamia nuts, can cause depression, vomiting, weakness, tremors and also hyperthermia. The signs normally appear within 12 hours of ingestion, and can last 24 to 48 hours.


We all like to have a drink around the festive period, but this needs to be kept out of reach from your dog. This also includes food that contains alcohol. If ingested too much, it can have the same effect on the dog as it does, just much worse. It affects the brain and the body and eventually damaging the liver.

These symptoms include, vomiting, drowsiness, heart rate slows down and body temperature drops, and even possibly causing a cardiac arrest.  

 I hope this information has helped to keep your dog safe this Christmas. If you suspect your dog has eaten any of the above food or plants, then please ring your vet immediately for advice and treatment.

Here’s to a safe Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!   

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