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Make sure you know what foods your dog can’t eat this Christmas

Christmas might be a time for giving, but that’s not to say you should change the usual rules for feeding your pets. When it comes to resisting those puppy dog eyes around the Christmas dinner table it’s worth remembering that you’ll probably do your dog more harm than good by giving them human foods.

You should also take care around Christmas to ensure that your festive snacks are out of your dog’s reach. If your furry friend likes the smell of what you’ve been eating then they’ll want some too. These tips from your Cheshire vets should help ensure you know what your dog can and can’t eat.

Dangerous foods for dogs

Grapes and raisins

It’s still not known why dogs find grapes poisonous but we do know that they cause renal failure. Many dogs will become seriously ill after just one of two grapes, whilst for others it might take a whole bunch. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhoea occurring as soon as two hours after ingestion. The best advice is to keep these out of reach of your dog.

Mince pies and other festive sweets

Although you should avoid feeding your dog cakes in general you should take extra care around Christmas. In a similar way to grapes, dogs find raisins highly poisonous and many Christmas puddings contain these in abundance. In addition, not only are they full of fat, but they are often full of alcohol – a big no-no for any animal.

Chocolates of all shapes and size

Christmas is the time of year we humans gorge our self on chocolate and other snacks (and much deserved it is too). However the presence of chocolate around the house is bad for dogs. Not only is it poisonous, but it’s common for dogs to ingest chocolate coins with their wrappers still intact whilst other plastic wrappers have also caused issues before in the past. The last thing you need is a trip to the Cheshire vets on Boxing Day.


Slow cooked ham is a Christmas favourite in many British households, but you shouldn’t be tempted to feed it to your dog. Foods which are high in both salt and fat can cause your dog stomach ache and diarrhoea.


There’s nothing wrong with your dog chewing on a big bone from the pet shop, however bones which have been cooked, splinter. This can lead to fragments of them being swallowed which can cause issues as serious as perforation or as mild as constipation. The tricky thing here is making sure you dispose of your bones properly. If you just leave them on the side or in an open bin then your dog will probably know how to get to them. Take them straight outside in a sealed bag to be safe.

The bones of small animals and birds should never be given to your dog as these can cause a serious choking hazard. If your dog swallows bone and begins choking at home then you can contact the emergency number for Knutsford Vets on tel:0156533799.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts can cause your dog to experience weakness, depression, tremors, vomiting and hyperthermia when ingested. Symptoms can last between 12 hours and two days and you should always contact your Cheshire vets if the amount eaten is significant.

This doesn’t mean your dog can’t enjoy a treat

Although these foods are a big no for your dog’s health there is still a range of treats they can enjoy at Christmas. Most pet food manufacturers produce dog sweets that your pooch will enjoy, whilst buying them a new toy might just make their day. However, if you simply can’t avoid serving your dog a little Christmas dinner then unsalted vegetables served alongside some turkey won’t harm them – just make sure you remove all of those bones.

What about my cat?

The general rules that apply to your dogs can normally be applied to your cat and you should always err on the side of caution when you try to feed your cat human foods. The following are all foods which you should avoid giving your cat at Christmas, but should you need any further advice don’t hesitate to contact your Cheshire vets in Knutsford.

  • Avocado
  • Apricot, cherry and peach pits and Apple seeds (potentially fatal)
  • Chocolate
  • Milk and Tuna – both are OK in small amounts if your cat is not allergic
  • Onion and Garlic
  • Citrus fruits
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb

How do I contact Knutsford Vets in an emergency?

If your dog, cat or other furry friend becomes ill over the festive period then you should contact our emergency number right away on 01565 337 999.

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