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The Dog's Christmas Dinner: What They Can and Can't Eat

Written by Adaptil, published on April 18, 2023

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The festive season is the time for indulging and your dog can enjoy some tasty treats too! However some Christmas foods are dangerous and can even be fatal to dogs so make sure you've checked the food is safe before you offer it to your furry friend.



Chocolate contains the chemical theobromine, this is very toxic to dogs, even in small quantities. Remove any temptations; don't use chocolate coins as Christmas tree decorations, keep advent calendars out of reach, put selection boxes up high and avoid leaving wrapped chocolate gifts under the tree. Dogs have an amazing sense of smell and could still sniff out the chocolate temptation even if it's wrapped.


These tasty treats all contain dried grapes (currents, raisins and sultanas) which can cause kidney failure in dogs.


Onion garlic, leeks, shallots and chives are hidden in many Christmas foods. They belong to the Allium species of plants and contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which can damage a dogs red blood cells if ingested. The symptoms are less noticeable but are equally as dangerous, the damage is continuing below the surface and can result in anaemia.


We don't know why these specific nuts are poisonous to dogs but they can cause muscle weakness, reluctance to walk and drowsiness. Remember that chocolate covered macadamia nuts are a double dose of danger.


In sugar free products, xylitol is often used as an artificial sweetener. This is poisonous for your dog so keep sweet treats well out of reach.



It's always better to be safe than sorry so even if it's only a small amount or you're not sure if they've actually eaten the food, it's still worth a vet check up. Speak to your vet straight away, they will need to know what poison you suspect has been ingested, how much, how long ago and any symptoms they're currently showing.


As long as your dog is not allergic to the following foods they are safe for dogs, and they'll find them very very tasty! But remember everything should be given in moderation, lots of new foods can cause tummy upsets.

  • Turkey and lamb (without the skin and bones)
  • Salmon (preferably not smoked salmon)
  • Scrambled egg
  • Green beans
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Parsnips
  • Carrot
  • Peas
  • Swede
  • New potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes


Following our expert tips will help to ensure your bond with your dog goes from strength to strength.

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