Christmas Foods to Avoid for our Canine and Feline Friends!

Hey, fellow pet lovers!!

Today’s post is all about foods to avoid for our canine and feline friends over the festive season. Christmas for me is all about spending time with the family and eating nice food, however, there are plenty of festive foods that shouldn’t be shared with your four-legged friend!!

So let’s jump straight in and learn all about what foods are a no-go this Christmas. 


Christmas Foods to Avoid for our Canine and Feline Friends

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Christmas is almost here so I hope your all prepared and have the turkey, stuffing and snacks at hand. For me, the festive food during the Christmas period is one of the best parts and I love to stuff my face with delicious dips, pates and cheese selections.

The same can be said for our furry friends, although not everything we indulge in is good for them too and some festive foods are a big no-no!! Thankfully, in today’s informative post you will find out what you can and cannot give your pet this Christmas.

Unsafe Festive Foods for our Four Legged Friends

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So Christmas is here, presents are open, the turkey is cooking, sprouts are boiling, stuffing is all sorted and your Christmas dinner is almost ready, but what can your pet have during this special day?

Not all of the foods listed below will apply to both our canine and feline friends but most do, so to be extra cautious just don’t give your pet anything in the list. Below is a list of festive foods that you shouldn’t give your pet as they can give them an upset stomach or even worse make them seriously ill and some can result in death.

  • Chocolate

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Who doesn’t love chocolate??

Certainly not me, I’m a pure chocoholic and during Christmas, I eat so much chocolate!! However, it’s a much-loved food that should be avoided for our pets at all times. Chocolate has a chemical called theobromine in it, that acts a bit like caffeine and the darker the chocolate the higher the levels of theobromine.

So how much chocolate is going to seriously harm your pet?

At all costs, you should stay away from giving your pet chocolate as even small portions are enough to cause an upset stomach for your pet. Veterinary treatment should be sought if your dog ingests more than 20 mg/kg of theobromine, that’s equivalent to 3.5 g/kg of plain or dark chocolate and 14 g/kg milk chocolate.

For your feline friend, 80 to 100 grams of chocolate per kilo of a cat’s body weight, is enough to potentially kill your kitty.

If your pet does ingest chocolate then symptoms are

  • An accelerated heart rate.

  • Diarrhoea.

  • Vomiting.

  • Coma.

  • Death.

Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about your kitty plotting to steal your chocolate as much as your canine friend, since they are straight up carnivores but always keep chocolate locked away from your pets as it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Lastly, you don’t have to worry as much about white chocolate as it does not contain enough theobromine to cause toxicity like milk or dark. However, still don’t give your pet any because it is full of sugar and can pose a potential risk of diabetes.

  • Macadamia Nuts

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Next to talk about is macadamia nuts and personally, I love them!!

Macadamia nuts are a big no go for our canine friends and if ingested will result in non-fatal symptoms. There is no evidence to suggest that macadamia nuts will affect cats in the same way they affect dogs but it’s better to be safe than sorry, and cats really don’t have any need to eat them so refrain from feeding your kitty these delicious nuts.

Apparently, a dog must ingest more than 2 grams of macadamia nuts per kilogram of body weight before signs are shown.

The non-fatal symptoms to watch out for are

  • Vomiting.

  • Ataxia or weakness.

  • Fever.

  • Muscle tremors.

  • Depression.

If your pet has ingested macadamia nuts and has any of the above symptoms please contact your vet immediately to get them the help they need. There is no specific treatment for macadamia nut posing but thankfully most pooches will be fine once given intravenous fluids, pain relief and anti-fever medications.

  • Alcohol

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Now I’m sure a lot of you guys have a drink or two over the Christmas season but be extra careful to ensure that your pet doesn’t have a cheeky drink too. Depending on how much alcohol your pet ingests depends on how serious the outcome is, however, just like for ourselves our pets can die from alcohol poisoning very easily.

If your pet drinks alcohol it causes depression of their central nervous system, just like when we consume it. They will slow down and become very drowsy depending on how much they have consumed, their body temperature will also decrease and their blood chemistry is altered which could lead to a dangerous condition called metabolic acidosis where the blood becomes too acidic.

If you do not get your pet to a veterinarian to get the adequate treatment they require, then death is the likely outcome and will normally occur from cardiac arrest.

  • Grapes

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Next to talk about is grapes and I have a love-hate relationship with grapes, the only ones I really like are sable grapes as they are delicious and sweet but many of you will be indulging in sweet mince pies over the festive periods which are full of raisins and sultanas. Grapes are a no go for our canine friends and researchers actually don’t know the exact substance that causes toxicity in our pets when they eat grapes or raisins.

There again is no evidence to suggest our cats will suffer the same as our dogs when they ingest grapes but it is certainly better to be safe than sorry and not let them eat any. However, cats are not likely to want to consume grapes in the first place.

If your pet has ingested grapes or raisins then symptoms may include

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea – often within a few hours of ingestion.

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Lethargy, weakness, unusual quietness.

  • Abdominal pain.

  • Dehydration.

  • Oliguria (passing only a small amount of urine).

  • Anuria (complete cessation of urine).

  • Foul breath.

  • Oral ulcers.

  • Tremors.

  • Seizures.

  • Coma.

So this Christmas remember to keep an eye on your pet at all times and place the grapes out of reach!!

  • Onions, Leeks, Shallots and Chives

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Next to talk about is onions, leeks and anything from the Allium species of plants. I really love spring onions, as well as roasted onions with thyme, roasted veg and garlic.

But these are certainly on the list of no goes for our pets, unfortunately, when ingested whether cooked or raw they are toxic. If your pet has managed to eat any of the above such as onions, leeks or chives this can result in vomiting and diarrhoea. However, the main effect is damage to your pets red blood cells, resulting in anaemia.

  • Christmas Pudding and Mince Pies

I’m really not a fan of Christmas pudding or mince pies so these are a no go in my household, but if you’re a lover of these sweet treats then make sure you keep them away from your four-legged friends.

Mince pies and Christmas puddings are filled with raisins, dried fruit and plenty of boozy alcohol such as brandy or port, which makes them extremely dangerous for our pets if ingested.

  • Artificial sweeteners, especially Xylitol!!

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Xylitol is a much-loved sweetener in the food retail industry but unfortunately, it is deadly to our canine and feline friends and should be avoided at all times. Xylitol is a naturally occurring substance and chemically, it is a sugar alcohol that can be found naturally in various fruit such as berries, plums, as well as other foods such as corn, oats, mushrooms, lettuce and various trees.

Xylitol is widely used as a sugar substitute for a variety of reasons such as due to its low glycemic index and apparent dental plaque fighting properties. The xylitol that is manufactured for various food products is turned into a white powder that looks and tastes similar to sugar.

There are so many different foods, household products and oral care products with Xylitol in so make sure you keep the items listed below away for your pets.

  • Sugar-free gum.

  • Breath Mints.

  • Baked goods.

  • Pudding snacks.

  • Cough syrup.

  • Children’s chewable or gummy vitamins and supplements.

  • Mouthwash and toothpaste.

  • Candies.

As you can see these are just a few of the many products that have Xylitol in so keep them away from your pet. I plan on doing a whole separate post that talks about Xylitol and its harmfulness to our four-legged friends, so I don’t want to go into too much detail right now but below I will briefly mention the symptoms of Xylitol poisoning.

  • Vomiting.

  • Weakness.

  • Lack of coordination or difficulty walking or standing.

  • Depression or lethargy.

  • Tremors.

  • Seizures.

  • Coma.

  • Death.

As you can see Xylitol is a serious threat to our pets so make sure if you purchase anything with it in, which you most likely do anyway, to keep them out of reach from your pet at all times.

If you want to learn more about Xylitol and why it is toxic to our pets, and cannot wait till I write a blog post all about it then follow the link below.

Brutlag, A. (2018). Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs. [online] vca_corporate. Available at: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/xylitol-toxicity-in-dogs [Accessed 19 Dec. 2018].

  • Cooked Bones!!!

As most pet parents already know they cannot give their pets any cooked bones for a variety of reasons and being a raw feeder this is embedded in my brain. Some bones are a no go such as weight-bearing bones but cooked bones can cause serious problems for our pets if eaten.

If you feed cooked bones to your pet the likely hood is that they will splinter and could damage their gums, mouth or even worse cause an intestinal blockage and result in serious damage.

So no matter what, do not give your pet any cooked bones!!!

This list could go on and on but just remember if you’re unsure about anything, have a quick Google search before feeding your pet, as it’s always better to be safe than sorry and a lot of human foods are not ok for our lovely pets.


So what can our furry friends have this Christmas??

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Thankfully, there are some festive foods listed below that our canine and feline friends can share with us this Christmas.

  • Brussel sprouts.

  • Sweet potatoes.

  • Carrots.

  • Peas.

  • Swede.

  • Green beans.

  • Cabbage.

  • A small amount of turkey or lamb meat (No cooked Bones!!)

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My girl Lily love sprouts but Nia and the Pooss not so much!!


If you enjoyed today’s post then let me know by hitting that like button and giving it a share so other pet owners can learn all about what not to give our furry friends this Christmas.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas eve and look out for epoch.pet’s Christmas post heading your way on Tuesday, until then, have a lovely lead up to the big day!!

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