Christmas Food Dogs And Cats Must Not Eat!

Christmas is approaching, and what does that mean? FOOD – lots and lots of it. Tasty as it may be, many of us end up having leftovers, and when those puppy dog eyes beckon us, it’s difficult to resist throwing sneaky scraps under the table to our lovable animal companions. But, pet owners must bear in mind that not every food is okay for pets like it is for humans, and so we have composed a top twelve list of foods that may be harmful to your dogs and cats over Christmas.


  1. Chocolate

This is probably the most well-known of dangerous pet foods, and I’d be surprised if most pet owners haven’t heard of it. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is toxic and potentially lethal to cats and dogs. The darker the chocolate, the higher the theobromine. Too much can lead to stomach upset, seizures, fever, vomiting and in severe cases, death. Many supermarkets now sell dog chocolate – not so much cat chocolate – so if your furry companions have a sweet tooth, then there is a safe alternative!


  1. Milk

Cats are often big milk lovers, but what many people are unaware of is that cats are lactose intolerant. Although not harmful in small amounts, too much may end in an upset stomach and diarrhoea.


  1. Garlic and onions

Although I can’t say that I have ever witnessed my cats going mad over garlic and onions, dogs do often eat anything they can get paws on, so it’s safe knowing the unlikely foods too. Garlic and onions contain harmful chemicals that can damage cats and dog’s red blood cells. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen around the body, so consumption of such foods can have a bad impact on their entire bodies. Even cooking them will not make a difference to their toxicity levels!


  1. Macadamia nuts

As Christmas approaches, so do nibbles and an array of nuts. It has been reported that Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, vomiting, joint pain, fever, tremors, pale gums and even depression in pets. Symptoms tend to show within the first 12 hours after eating them. Just be safe and make sure any nibbles such as nuts are kept up on high surfaces and lock your cats away!


  1. Grapes and raisins

Although it’s difficult imagining your pet wanting to eat these, grapes and raisins can cause sudden kidney failure in both cats and dogs. Symptoms occur within 24 hours of consumption and include tiredness, diarrhoea, and vomiting. If your dog or cat consumes either of these, seek medical advice immediately!


  1. Avocados

Avocados are toxic to both cats and dogs, and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.


  1. Coffee and caffeine

Similar to chocolate, coffee and caffeine can be toxic to dogs and cats. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, rapid and/or irregular heart rate, restlessness and hyperactivity, muscle tremors, and seizures. Coffee and caffeine can cause death within 24 hours of ingestion, so fast action is required!


  1. Xylitol

Not a food as such, but an artificial sweetener found in products such as toothpaste, mint, sweets and chewing gum. This chemical is harmful to dogs, causing a sudden release of insulin which can lead to low blood sugar and/or liver damage. Dogs may experience vomiting, tiredness and a lack of coordination 30 minutes after consumption, but in some cases toxicity has been delayed for hours or even days. If untreated, Xylitol toxicity can be lethal to dogs, but the cause on cats is unknown.


  1. Alcohol

I’ve known dogs to enjoy the taste of beer, but alcohol can cause toxicity, just like it can in humans. Think of the last time you saw a person heavily drunk, and imagine the effects alcohol could have on a much smaller body with a different metabolism. Alcohol poisoning can cause your pets to have comas, seizures, or death in extreme cases, so be cautious if your dog wants to drink from your Christmas ales.


  1. Animal bones

Don’t feed the turkey carcass to your pets! Bones can be dangerous or deadly to chew on, as much as doggies do like their bones. Bone fragments can get stuck in your pet’s digestive system, potentially puncturing or tearing the stomach lining. This can turn into an emergency situation quickly, and internal injuries can cause a bacterial infection, and sometimes death.


  1. Stone fruits

The most obvious and dangerous part of your pet consuming stone fruits is of course the stone, otherwise known as the pit. Swallowing the middle of these fruits can cause a blockage, choking and suffocating. The stones can also cause cyanide poisoning.


  1. Antifreeze

Not a food, but a toxic pet chemical many people are unaware of. When it’s icy and snowing, using Antifreeze on cars is common, and surprisingly pets (especially cats) can be drawn to this. As little as a teaspoon can be fatal to cats, and is usually consumed by licking drips off the ground. Just pouring a bucket of water over the ground after defrosting your car may save your pets life.


Of course, these are not the only foods and chemicals that pet owners must be wary of, so if you are unsure about feeding your pets something, then please do a quick search online to save yourself and your pets pain and trouble! Bear these tips in mind, enjoy Christmas and inform house guests about potential food hazards if they want to treat your pet!