Christmas is the time of celebration and having fun. As a part of the family, we want our dogs to be apart of the joy too. However, the festive season presents a world of hidden dangers to our companions.
This festive season we have included some of the dangerous foods and drinks that can be harmful to man’s best friend.
The chemical theobromine, which has similar characteristics to caffeine, is toxic to dogs and is found in chocolate. Even small amounts can cause problems with the heart. The darker the chocolate, the higher the levels of theobromine lie in the delicious treat. Chocolate should be avoided at all costs. Although it doesn’t contain enough theobromine to be toxic, white chocolate can be fatty and give a potential risk of pancreatitis. You must avoid placing any chocolate under the Christmas tree, as the temptation might be too large for our pets.
Christmas pudding and mince pies (grapes and dried vine fruits):
Grapes and their dried products such as; currants, sultanas and raisins, are toxic to dogs. If your dog eats even a small amount it can cause severe kidney failure. It's important that you don’t forget this includes foods such as Christmas pudding and mince pies. Be aware that chocolate-coated raisins run the additional risk of chocolate toxicity.
Onions (and garlic, leeks, shallots and chives)
Onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives all belong to the Allium species can cause toxicity much like chocolate, whether uncooked or cooked. Initially, it can cause the dog to vomit and have diarrhoea but the main damage it does is to red blood cells, resulting in anaemia. This may not be apparent for several days after ingestion.
Alcohol can have a similar effect in dogs as it does in their owners when drunk in excess. In severe cases, there is a risk of low body temperature, low blood sugar and coma. They can also become wobbly and drowsy. You must ensure it's always out of their reach as dogs may have the tendency to help themselves to any unattended alcohol left lying around over Christmas.