Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog This Christmas

Small white terrier on dinner table

Christmas is a time of joy, celebration, and often indulgent feasting. However, it's crucial to remember that some of our festive favorites can pose significant risks to our dogs. This blog post will highlight various foods commonly found in households during the holiday season that should be kept away from your furry family members.

1. Chocolate: A Well-Known Hazard

Chocolate is a major no-no for dogs. It contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are toxic to dogs. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are especially dangerous. Ensure all chocolate treats, including those in stockings and under the tree, are out of your dog’s reach.

2. Xylitol: The Hidden Danger in Sweets

Xylitol, a sweetener found in many sugar-free products like gum, candy, and baked goods, is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can cause hypoglycemia, seizures, liver failure, or even death. Check ingredients carefully and keep these sweets away from your pet.

3. Grapes and Raisins: Small but Deadly

Common in fruitcakes, puddings, and as snacks, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. The toxic substance within them is unknown, but the effects can be severe. Make sure your dog doesn't have access to these fruits.

4. Onions, Garlic, and Chives: Hidden in Savory Dishes

These common kitchen staples, found in stuffing and other savory dishes, are toxic to dogs. They can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Ensure your leftovers, especially those with these ingredients, are not accessible to your dog.

5. Fatty and Rich Foods: Pancreatitis Risks

Christmas feasts often include rich, fatty foods, which can be hard for dogs to digest. Consumption can lead to pancreatitis, a painful and potentially serious inflammation of the pancreas. Avoid giving your dog fatty meats, buttery dishes, and gravies.

6. Bones: A Choking Hazard

While it might seem natural to give a dog a bone, poultry bones from your Christmas dinner can be hazardous. They can splinter and cause choking or serious internal injuries. Always dispose of bones where your dog can't reach them.

7. Alcohol: Dangerous in Any Amount

Alcohol can be extremely harmful to dogs, causing vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, and even death. Be mindful of your drinks and any desserts containing alcohol, keeping them out of your dog’s reach.


This Christmas, while enjoying the festivities and food, remember to consider the safety of your pets. By being aware of these common holiday food hazards, you can help ensure a happy and healthy holiday season for your entire family, including your four-legged members.


Wishing you, your family, and your pets a safe and joyous holiday season!

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