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Christmas toxic food list



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Christmas has arrived!

While shopping for groceries this week for ingredients to make a dessert for Christmas Day’s BBQ, I came across a free Christmas food recipe booklet which I cheerfully flipped through. I put on my MasterChef hat and convinced myself that I had a shot at creating that delicious Cherry Wreath Cake, or Panettone Bombe or the Almond ricotta cheesecake (with fresh mango). Deep down inside, I probably would be lucky to get away with a fruit salad.

Now some of us may be in our holiday mood and decide to give our Christmas lunch leftovers as an annual treat to our dogs… but before you do so, I thought it prudent to come up with a list of some of the common Christmas foods/ ingredients that could lead to that unwanted visit to the Pet Emergency Centre.

What kind of Xmas food can my dog have, Teneriffe Vet?



Foods to definitely avoid!


  • Alcohol: Good for you and me, not so good for the four-leggeds. Wines and sweet alcoholic beverages during festive season are unavoidable but keep the beer to yourself and desserts containing hard liquor in your tummy.
  • Avocados: The science behind this is not exactly clear but it is claimed that all parts of an avocado are toxic to dogs, so resist the urge to give your furry creature any of this creamy delight found commonly in dips and salads.
  • Bones: After the meat has been carved, throw away the bone or reuse it as a soup stock. Cooked bones, especially chicken/turkey bones, can splinter and lodge in your dog’s digestive tract.
  • Chocolate: Death by chocolate can be a reality if you are not careful. It is very popular to gift dark chocolate truffles so make sure you leave Christmas presents that may contain these heavenly bites away from dogs. Pretty sure there will be many chocolate desserts tonight, best not to wear my belt. If you have any excess delicious chocolates, Dr Nic is more than happy to woof them down for you.
  • Fat trimmings/gravies: If I don’t eat it, my babies can’t have it. Too much fat over a short period of time can be dangerous. Pancreatitis is a very common disease that occurs after a treat high in fat.
  • Fruit pits: Cherries, peaches, apricots, nectarines and other juicy stone fruits are in season now. Cherries are particularly worrying as their pips are smaller and can be consumed in large amount. Dispose of pips carefully by not spitting them out as you cheerfully walk around in the garden.
  • Grapes/raisins: I cannot resist picking thirst quenching grapes and eating them off fresh from the vines that I grow in my backyard. However this also means that I have to fence up my garden to prevent my two babies from scavenging any grapes that have fallen on the ground.
  • Macadamia nuts: Honey glazed macadamias are the perfect snack while waiting for friends to turn up for the dinner. Not so perfect for dogs. These crunchy nuts can cause paralysis.
  • Onions: A must have in any barbeque party. Let’s face it, a sausage sizzle is not a sausage sizzle without caramelized onions. A disaster if your four-legged babies get into a tray full of them.


Accidents do happen and sometimes your guests may not know that the above food items can be poisonous or dangerous to dogs, so keep an eye out for these following signs:


  • Abdominal pain or your dog reacting negatively to your touch (shying away, snappy etc).
  • Convulsions
  • Diarrhoea
  • Drooling
  • Laboured breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting


If your furry baby is exhibiting any of the above symptoms or even if you just suspect he has ingested something toxic, seek veterinary attention immediately and bring the suspected poison and a sample of the vomit to your emergency vet if possible.

Prevention is still better than cure. Merry Christmas everyone and may you eat lots of delicious food tonight!

If you are looking for a Teneriffe Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.