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Christmas foods could be poisonous to pooches


Pet owners have been warned to keep their pooches away from ten types of toxic foods common in the festive season. 

Pet insurance comparison experts from Quotezone.co.uk are warning animal lovers of Christmas foods that could poison their furry friends.

Foodies should be aware that many festive favourites like mince pies, fancy cheese and Christmas pudding can be severely dangerous if consumed by dogs. 

If they get their paws on certain foods, it could cause a range of health conditions including vomiting, convulsions and kidney failure.

Dogs digest and metabolise food differently, meaning what is safe for human consumption can be potentially deadly for pooches. 

Quotezone.co.uk’s pet insurance comparison expert Helen Rolph said: “The Christmas season is full of extra snacks and festive treats – many we only eat at this time of year, so people might not be familiar with these human favourites that could do our pups some real harm. 

Also, the Christmas season is normally full of guests and parties, with the house full of people, it can make it tricky to keep track of what your dog is nibbling on and who is handing them treats.

“Unfortunately many ingredients in our favourite Christmas delights are extremely toxic to dogs, and people could be unknowingly harming pups if they feed them leftovers. 

“It’s important not to give in to the puppy dog eyes because some ingredients are fatal if consumed by animals. 

“Even a small quantity of festive luxuries like mince pies could lead to kidney failure, while a treat from the cheeseboard could cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea.

“Feeding pets human food can have serious health consequences, so it’s important to do some research before feeding a dog anything new and perhaps keep the pup somewhere separate from the party when the food is served, to help keep them safe.”

10 Festive foods toxic to dogs:

1.Christmas pudding and mince pies

Grapes and dried products like currants and raisins are toxic to dogs, and ingestion can cause kidney failure. This includes food items that contain these products, like Christmas puddings and mince pies.


Stuffing is high in salt and fat, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes if consumed in mass or over a long-term period. It also contains garlic and onions which could wreak havoc on a dog’s stomach. 


Gingerbread is high in oil and fats, and can also cause pancreatitis in pets. Nutmeg which is found in gingerbread also contains a toxin called myristicin that doesn’t agree with dogs’ stomachs.

4.Nuts and Marzipan

Due to the high-fat content in nuts and marzipan, many dogs suffer from an upset stomach and, for some, this can cause more serious gastrointestinal issues. 

5.Dairy products

Dogs find it hard to consume and digest dairy products. Like some humans, they’re intolerant to lactose products such as milk and cheese, which can cause stomach upsets, diarrhoea and vomiting.


Even small amounts of alcohol found in cooked food should not be given to your dog, and veterinary assistance should be sought straight away should your dog accidentally ingest some.

7.Artificial sweeteners

A sugar-free sweetener called xylitol is often found in sweets – even a couple could cause toxic effects in a small dog, resulting in liver damage, vomiting, lethargy, convulsions and comas.


As a staple on Christmas dinner, lots of people will give their dogs Christmas dinner leftovers which are smothered in gravy, but it’s normally high in salt so should be avoided.


The chemical theobromine, which is found in chocolate, is toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can cause agitation, hyperexcitability, tremors, convulsions and problems with the heart. 


Onions, garlic and chives all belong to the Allium species of plants and can cause toxicity. Initially, there can be vomiting and diarrhoea, but the main damage is to red blood cells, resulting in anaemia. 

If you suspect your dog has eaten something toxic you should contact your vet immediately, lots of pet insurance providers now come with a free 24/7 veterinarian helpline so best to make sure your policy has this additional safety feature and store the number in your phone.

This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.

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