The Dangers to Your Pet at Christmas

With Christmas approaching, and the joy that this time brings to many of us, it is also important to remember the dangers that some festive treats can pose to the furry members of our family!

Chocolate and nuts:

Even in very small amounts, chocolate can be toxic to dogs. The higher the cocoa content, the higher the risk of toxicity. We recommend calling your vet for advice should any chocolate be ingested. Also, nuts of all shapes and sizes can be hazardous, so are best avoided!

Grapes and Raisins:

These can cause kidney damage in some dogs and possibly cats. The damage can be permanent – for that reason, contact your vet immediately if your dog gets their paws on the mince pies, Christmas cake or Christmas pudding.


Alcohol is well known for its effects on our balance and coordination. These effects can be even more severe in our furry companions.

Onions, Shallots, Garlic and Leeks:

These can cause damage to red blood cells in our pets, resulting in anaemia. Keep leftovers out of reach and don’t be tempted to offer your pet any of the remaining stuffing or onion gravy!


Several seasonal plants have the potential to make our pets feel ill. Mistletoe, holly berries, ivy and poinsettia can all cause tummy upsets. Signs are usually mild but vomiting and diarrhoea may develop.

Decorations, wrapping paper and packaging:

Your animals may be tempted by less traditional foodstuffs. Other items to be mindful of include tinsel, glass baubles, ribbons and candles.

Just in case you should need us, we remain available 24 hours a day for any emergencies throughout the festivities. If you do think your pet has eaten something it shouldn’t have, contact us as soon as you can for advice. Please also ensure that you have plenty of your repeat medications in stock to see you through the festive period! Merry Christmas!

Clinical Director – The George Veterinary Hospital
01666 823165