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Help Your Pet Avoid Common Christmas Poisons

Posted by Lyndon Basha in News | Article permalink on Dec 19 2016

Some human food can make animals ill and cases of poisoning are more common at Christmas time.


Chocolate (or more specifically the theobromine present in it) is one of the most common causes of animal poisoning at Christmas. The darker the chocolate, the worse the problem will be. Chocolate is not just toxic to dogs – other animals such as cats, rodents and rabbits are affected. Chocolates or chocolate drops specially made for animals are safe because they are not made from cacao beans and do not contain theobromine.

You should contact us if you think that your pet has eaten any chocolate and try to give us as much information as possible. For example how much has gone missing and what type it is.

Chocolate poisoning can be very serious and sometimes fatal but many patients do make a full recovery as long as they are treated quickly and supported through their recovery.

Other common food poisons

Remember to watch out for other food items that can be poisonous to pets:

  • Grapes, raisins, currants or sultanas can cause renal failure in dogs. Foods to watch out for at Christmas include Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, stollen and mince pies.
  • Peanuts & Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs and other small animals.
  • Onions, garlic, leeks etc. can cause toxicity even when cooked. Christmas foods to avoid are onion gravy and sage and onion stuffing.
  • Xylitol (a sweetener) – can cause hypoglycaemia and liver failure in dogs. You should contact us if you think your dog may have ingested some xylitol, regardless of the amount.
  • Mould ( e.g. nuts, bread and cheeses) can be toxic to your pet.

This advice is not a substitute for a proper consultation with a vet and is only intended as a guide. If in doubt, or if you are worried about your pet’s health then call us.

Meanwhile, we wish you and your little ones a very happy and healthy Christmas!