Paws and Claus: Navigating Christmas Pet Food Hazards to Keep Your Furry Friends Safe

by | Dec 13, 2023

Hazardous Christmas pet foodsAs the festive season approaches, many households are buzzing with Christmas preparations, including special meals and treats. While indulging in the spirit of Christmas, it’s crucial for pet owners to be aware of potential hazards associated with festive foods. In this article, we’ll delve into common Christmas pet food hazards and provide tips on safeguarding your furry friends during the Christmas celebrations.

Rich and Fatty Foods:

The Christmas table often boasts a spread of rich and savory delights, from roast meats to decadent desserts. While these treats bring joy to our taste buds, they can spell trouble for our pets. Fatty foods like ham, turkey skin, and gravies can lead to pancreatitis in dogs and cats, causing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. Resist the temptation to share your holiday feast with your pets and stick to their regular diet to avoid digestive issues.


It’s a common tradition to indulge in a festive roast during Christmas, but the bones left behind can pose significant dangers to pets. Cooked bones, especially those that are small and brittle, can splinter easily, leading to choking hazards, digestive tract injuries, or obstructions. Dispose of bones in a secure manner and ensure they are out of reach for curious pets.

Chocolate and Sweets:

Chocolates and other sweets are ubiquitous during the holiday season, but they contain substances like theobromine and xylitol that are toxic to pets. Dark chocolate is particularly dangerous due to its high theobromine content. Ingestion can lead to symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhoea to more severe complications, including seizures and even death. Keep all chocolate and sweets well out of reach of pets and educate guests about the risks of sharing such treats.

Alcoholic Beverages:

Christmas celebrations often involve toasting with alcoholic beverages, but alcohol is highly toxic to pets. Even small amounts can cause intoxication, leading to symptoms such as disorientation, lethargy, and in severe cases, respiratory failure. Ensure that all alcoholic drinks are kept well away from pets and be cautious about spilled drinks that may be within their reach.

Onions and Garlic:

Many festive dishes incorporate onions and garlic for flavour, but these ingredients can be harmful to pets, causing damage to their red blood cells and leading to anaemia. Avoid feeding pets dishes that contain these ingredients and be cautious about leaving leftovers or food scraps unattended.

As we celebrate the joyous occasion of Christmas, let’s ensure that our pets are kept safe from the potential hazards lurking in holiday foods. By being mindful of what our furry friends consume and taking proactive measures to keep dangerous items out of their reach, we can create a festive atmosphere that is both enjoyable and secure for everyone in the family, including our cherished pets. Remember, a little precaution goes a long way in ensuring a happy and healthy holiday season for all.

If your pet does happen to ingest something they shouldn’t, seek immediate veterinary advice.

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