The 8 festive foods that could kill your dog as experts issue warnings about overfeeding your pets this Christmas | The Sun

DO you tend to go crazy on the food front over the Christmas period not just for you, but also for your four-legged friend? 

Well, this needs to be a thing of the past, as pet experts have shared an urgent warning about letting your dog or cat overindulge this festive season.

According to brand new research by Burns Pet Nutrition, animal lovers are keen on treating their pets –particularly dogs – at Christmas time. 

They discovered a third of owners overfeed their furry friends, with 45% sharing cheese, and 30% of them feeding them leftover Christmas dinners and gravy. Meanwhile, 18% allow them to eat cooked turkey bones.

But while many think they’re being kind-hearted, Burns Pet Nutrition said they’re actually unaware they could be causing serious harm. 

For instance, they point out that “too much salt and fat from overfeeding of foods like bacon can cause pancreatitis.” 

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Opening up about the other risks, vet and founder of Burns Pet Nutrition, John Burns MBE, said that pet owners should be looking for alternative – and, more importantly, pet friendly – treats.

He explained: “Dogs don’t necessarily need tasty treats, it is just us owners that love to give them!

“As everyone tucks into their Christmas dinner, don’t let those big puppy dog eyes pressure you.

“What’s on our plates is not a great idea for your dog but if you want to give them a little Christmas lunch then plainly cooked vegetables are fine.”

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The company, who have also launched a limited edition “Festive Turkey with all the Trimmings” wet dog food that would go down a treat, also revealed other food items to cut out of your pet’s Christmas. 

The top eight toxic foods for pets range from chocolate to garlic and onions to leeks and chives.

Meanwhile grapes, raisins and sultanas can also do harm – and should be avoided at all costs, meaning no rogue grapes being dropped on the floor from your cheeseboard. 

Other popular items that can be potentially dangerous include sugar free items, avocados and macadamia nuts.

If the nuts are digested by dogs, symptoms include weakness, vomiting, tremors and even depression.

They usually come out within 12 hours, but are fortunately, in most cases, non-fatal, with side effects clearing within 24 hours.

Similarly, lots of ‘sugar-free’ foods are likely to contain an artificial sweetener called Xylitol.

Xylitol tricks their body into thinking they have eaten something high in sugar and results in them producing lots of insulin, which could see your dog’s blood sugar drop to a dangerously low level.

Symptoms usually transpire in 10-60 minutes and, if a lot of Xylitol has been ingested, it could even lead to liver failure or – tragically – premature death. 

Finally, even though they’re not considered ‘toxic’ both avocado and cooked bones can be a choking hazard for your pooch. 

Burns Pet Nutrition concluded that if you think your dog has eaten any of the toxic or problem foods listed, you should contact your vet immediately, taking care to reveal when and how much they took down.

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From there, the pet professionals will be able to advise what your next move should be, and what side effects to look out for.


  1. Chocolate
  2. Garlic
  3. Onions
  4. Leeks
  5. Chives
  6. Grapes
  7. Raisins
  8. Sultanas

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