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Don't Feed your Pets these Foods at Christmas

These are some of the most commonly acknowledged foods that can be harmful to your pets but you should always refer to your vet if you are uncertain about any food.

At Christmas children and merry guests may be tempted to sometimes offer a greedy labrador leftover mince pies or a bit of chocolate but house rules should be please don't feed without asking. Better to be safe than sorry - even though those big eyes make you feel very tempted to slip a little something while no ones looking!

We've lots of Christmas stockings, treats and toys to keep your best friends happy and healthy this Christmas so have a browse next time you shop and get them their own special present.

                                           christmas dog


Most pet owners are well-aware of this already, but it’s an easy one to forget at Christmas. That tasty advent calendar, chocolate brazils and bars of Toblerone wrapped nicely under the tree, can be highly toxic to your pet even in small quantities.


Bad for dogs but something a lot of dog owners don’t realise is that raisins and sultanas are dried grapes. So no fresh grapes or dried ones and thanks to the traditional Christmas pudding and mince pies we probably consume more raisins at Christmas time than through the entire remainder of the year! Both raisins and grapes, though, can cause acute kidney failure in your dog, so be careful not to give them any leftovers.


                                         chocolate      grapes


Onions and Garlic

Raw or cooked onions are very dangerous to cats and dogs, even if a minimal amount is ingested. A component present in both foods is responsible for destroying a dog’s red blood cells, a serious condition that can lead to anaemia. Various symptoms signal an anaemic dog, such as breathlessness, listlessness, vomiting and general disinterest in life. Onions and garlic are popular seasoning ingredients found in all manner of foods and are likely to feature in meals over the Christmas period. Stuffing contains both, so make sure your cat or dog is kept away from it. Garlic is also found in a number of commercial dog foods and treats, and many claim it actually has beneficial properties when administered in small amounts. Again, it all depends on how your dog reacts to it and it is sometimes better to veer on the side of caution


Is a spice commonly used at Christmas, whether in cakes, hot drinks, preserves or soups. Many people also choose to baste their Christmas poultry with it, which is often offered up as scraps to the dog after dinner. If a dog consumes too much nutmeg, its nervous system will begin to suffer the potentially severe consequences. Highly toxic to canines, this spice is to be avoided and kept out of reach of all pets.

                                        onions      nutmeg


A popular Christmas food but they also contain a toxin which can damage the heart, lungs and tissue of many different animals, including Fido. Fortunately the effect in dogs is usually mild – definitely keep avocados away from any pet birds though!


Especially macadamia nuts are also dangerous to our pets when consumed. A toxin present in macadamia nuts can impede the function of a dog’s digestive, muscle and nervous systems, resulting in weakness, breathlessness, tremors and swollen legs. Nuts can also be found in fruitcake and are a popular festive nibble, so always ensure these are kept out of reach of pets.

                                       avocado     macadamia nuts


Of course, we tend to celebrate the festive season with beer, wine and bubbles but even small amounts of alcohol can kill a pet so keep glasses out of reach and don’t let them lick any you spill!


Turkey skin, pork crackling, sausages and fatty meats are staples of a good Christmas lunch but are foods which can all lead to inflammation of the pancreas in dogs due to high fat content so best avoided.

                                       alcohol     turkey


Posted by Charlie Groves

Charlie is the manager at Groves Nurseries.  He is the 6th generation of C.W. Groves to run the garden centre. 

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