Christmas foods dangerous to dogs: how to keep your pooch safe this festive season

These Christmas foods can make your dog very sick, so make sure you keep them well out of reach of your pet

Christmas dog
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

We all know what dogs at Christmas are like – they want everything that's on the Christmas dinner table. Anyone who owns a dog will know that our canine companions tend to suffer from serious FOMO – and that especially applies around Christmas, when they want to join in the festivities and get a few treats off the Christmas table. It can be fun to include your dog in the celebrations, but be careful – many of our favourite Christmas foods are actually quite dangerous to dogs and could make them very, very sick. Here are the worst offenders. 

Hosting a (dog-safe) Christmas dinner? Find Christmas dinner ideas at our hub page. 

1. Christmas pudding 

Christmas pudding is the perfect concoction of food stuffs that will make your dog very ill. Christmas pudding contains raisins and other dried fruits, and they're dangerous enough to be able to kill your dog. To say nothing of the high alcohol content. Keep this festive dessert well out of reach of your dog.

2. Gravy

There are two things about gravy that make it problematic for dogs: the high salt content and the fact that many gravies contain onion and/or garlic, which are toxic to most animals.

3. Chocolate

This is one of the most dangerous foods for dogs – even a little bit of dark chocolate can be fatal. If you think your dog has accidentally eaten chocolate, even if it was just licking chocolate sauce off a cake, take them to the vets immediately. 

4. Grapes

Like raisins, fresh grapes are extremely toxic to dogs, and even a small amount can lead to kidney failure. If grapes will be making an appearance in your festive fruit bowl, keep it well out of reach of your dog, and always put it away when you're not there to supervise.

5. Alcohol

Alcohol has much the same effect on dogs as it does on humans, but a much smaller amount is needed to intoxicate a dog than a human. Alcohol is bad for their livers, and can cause stomach upsets, so it's best to keep anything containing alcohol away from your dog. 

6. Stuffing

Sage and onion stuffing is a real treat with your Christmas dinner, but don't give any to your dog: the onion in the stuffing can make your dog very sick, especially if they eat a lot of it. Also avoid garlic and anything that was cooked with onion powder. If you think your dog has eaten some of your stuffing, it's best to call the vet, just to be on the safe side. 

P.S. Got a cat? All these foods should be kept away from them, too. 

Got given a live plant for Christmas? Check if it's on our list of plants poisonous to dogs

Anna is Content Editor at Real Homes. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. At Real Homes, she covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.