Christmas Food Dangers For Dogs

Sharing Christmas foods with your dog can be dangerous and make them sickWith the silly season upon us, gatherings, barbeques and dinners are in full swing. Now is a good time to remind everyone about the foods that you should not be feeding your canine friend.

As much as we love to share with our dogs it really is best to avoid feeding them human foods that they do not typically eat. Changes in diet can make your dog sick. Some foods are not being able to be digested by dog’s like they are by humans.

Feeding certain foods may not cause severe life threatening issues, however it could result in gastric symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation or stomach pain. Although they may not be life threatening and may pass on their own it can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort to your dog.

There are some foods that will cause little to no harm if shared in moderation. Other foods can be extremely dangerous, causing severe illness, even being fatal. Foods that you should never share with your dog include;

  • Ham – is very high in fat and salt. It can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst and urination and can result in severe pancreatitis and even death.
  • Turkey or chicken skin – high in fat and can lead the vomiting, diarrhoea and pancreatitis.
  • Bones – cooked bones become brittle and splinter causing possible obstructions, irritation and perforations throughout the entire digestive tract.
  • Raisins, grapes, sultanas, currants – can be toxic, even in small quantities. They can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and sudden kidney failure.
  • Christmas pudding, fruit cake, mince pies – contain dried fruits (raisins, sultanas etc), alcohol and can be high in fat so they are a combination of a number of different dangerous foods.
  • Chocolate – contains theobromine and caffeine. These can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle twitches, seizures, heart problems and even death.
  • Macadamia nuts – poisonous to dogs causing them to become weak and wobbly (particularly in hind legs). Other symptoms include lethargic, muscle tremors, vomiting, hyperthermic and they are also a choking hazard.
  • Onion and garlic (often in stuffing) – are toxic causing damage to the red blood cells. This results in weakness, lethargy, excessive panting, pale gums and anaemia.
  • Gum, mints, sugar-free candy – contain xylitol resulting in vomiting and lethargy. Xylitol causes a release of insulin and then a drop in blood sugar. This can cause liver damage and even death.
  • Alcohol – dogs are more sensitive to the ethanol in alcohol than people. Similar symptoms to a drunk person, wobbly, lethargic, hypothermia, seizures and death.

If you see any signs or symptoms, your dog is unwell or you are concerned that they have ingested any of the dangerous foods please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for advice and/or treatment.

Another very important thing to keep in mind when feeding your dog or sharing foods with them is the amount you are giving them. Dog’s are generally a lot smaller than us humans and therefore their required food consumption is a lot less than a person and relevant to their size. For example, giving a 10kg dog one sausage is the equivalent of an 80kg human eating 8 sausages.

So this Christmas (and always) keep your dog safe by not sharing your food. If you just can’t resist those puppy dog eyes (like me) please avoid the dangerous foods mentioned and only share in moderation. I suggest buying some dog treats, maybe a few different varieties, and have them in a tin or container where you can grab one out as a healthy safe treat for your furry friend so they don’t feel like they are missing out.

Another thing to remember is make sure you secure any rubbish. Dogs are scavengers and will happily rip open bags to find that great smelling ham scraps, turkey bones or dessert and you often don’t know until it’s too late.

Wishing you all (two-legged and four legged) a very safe and happy Christmas.

Until next time,

vet-n-pet DIRECT have a wide range of dog treats available for your dog that are tasty and specially designed for them, Shop our range here.

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Author: Bec

From a very young age Bec has always had a great love and appreciation for all animals. Bec is a qualified Veterinary Nurse and also has a Bachelor in Applied Science Animal Studies with special interest in Wildlife and Recreational Animals. Her studies have been put to good use working in various animal industries including small and large animal veterinary clinics, horse studs and the family cattle property. Horses have played an important part in her life, living on a horse stud and caring for horses throughout breeding, foaling, spelling, racing and retirement. Bec is the proud mum of two gorgeous girls, a beautiful Cocker Spaniel, a cheeky cockatiel, chickens and many horses including a naughty little pony.

2 Replies to “Christmas Food Dangers For Dogs

  1. Great advice especially about the sausages,ratio to human weight.we are all guilty of giving our dogs a sausage.i only have rabbits now

    1. Thank you Margaret. it is a good tip to remember that dogs actually need a lot less food than us based on a weight ratio.
      Merry Christmas

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