Christmas is often a time that many of us over indulge with the food and drink. Unfortunately, there are often also many toxic Christmas treats left in easy reach of our dogs that could turn our Christmas into one to remember for all the wrong reasons.

Here’s a list of what to keep well away from your pooch.

Cooked Bones
Whilst raw meaty turkey or chicken bones are great for your dog’s diet and teeth, the cooked version is a definite no-no for dogs. Once cooked, these bones easily splinter and can cause damage to your dog’s throat, stomach and bowel.

Inappropriately sized raw bones can also cause damage to your dog’s teeth so it is important to check with your Vet as to the ideal size for your individual dog, particularly with puppies.

Christmas Puddings & Fruit cakes
Dogs should not have any kind of access to the traditional Christmas Pudding or Fruit Cake as both are toxic minefields containing a cocktail of dangerous ingredients for dogs. From grapes, sultanas and raisins, to nuts – including the extremely toxic macadamia nuts, and in some cases alcohol.  Not even a tiny tidbit should cross their lips.

Chocolates
Dogs love to sniff out chocolate treats and I am still surprised at how many people leave chocolates within easy reach of dogs. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and depending on the type and amount of chocolate consumed and the weight of your dog, it could cause a serious medical emergency. The darker the chocolate the more toxic it is as it has higher levels of Coca Powder. Chocolate also contains both theobromine and caffeine which can speed the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system of dogs so keep sweet treats well out of reach of dogs.

Alcohol
No pet should be exposed to alcohol, even small amounts that might be found in brandy custard, puddings etc. When a dog or cat is exposed to alcohol it causes depression of their central nervous system, which can slow their breathing and heart rate and alter their blood chemistry. It can also have dangerous drops in their blood sugar levels causing seizures and even worse brain damage.

Other toxic foods to avoid giving your dog or cat include garlic and onions, avocado, lollies or gum and peanut butter containing xylitol, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins and sultanas, too much cheese and other dairy products.

Also be wary of small plastic toys, batteries or any other Christmas gift items that might look like good fun for your pet to chew.

Warning Signs to look out for:
• Vomiting
• Diarrhoea
• Excessive drooling or frothing
• Restlessness
• Increased urination
• Tremors or seizures
• Wobbling on their legs or collapse

To help you deal with any accidents and injuries that may occur check out our video here, including how to induce vomiting should you suspect your dog has eaten something it shouldn’t have.

And, always take them straight to the Vet or emergency pet hospital if you suspect they have snuck in a toxic treat or ingested a foreign object.


About the Author: Lara Shannon is co-Host of Pooches at Play and has completed a Certificate III in Dog Behaviour & Training with the National Dog Trainers Federation. Lara also runs her own dog walking, dog minding and dog training business in Melbourne’s Bayside area.