animal harm | 

ISPCA warns pet owners about seven festive foods that are toxic to animals

The list includes a number of seasonal treats – ranging from the obvious to some you’d never have imagined.

Dog eating

Patrick O'Connell

THE ISPCA has issued a ‘Christmas dinner warning’ to pet owners – listing seven festive foods that are toxic to animals.

The list includes a number of seasonal treats – ranging from the obvious to some you’d never have imagined.


Chocolate contains a stimulant known as theobromine which is toxic to dogs. Even a small amount can make your pet feel unwell, leading to vomiting, diarrhoea and even death in severe cases.

Christmas pudding and mince pies A staple at most dinner tables at Christmas, these tasty puddings contain raisins, currants, dried fruit and even a splash of alcohol, all of which are highly toxic to dogs and ingestion of a small amount can result in kidney failure.

A plate of mince pies (Chris Ison/PA)

Macadamia Nuts These are also highly toxic to dogs and can cause tremors, vomiting, diarrhoea and weakness and even if ingested by our pets.

Onions, Garlic and leeks These can cause toxicity both raw and cooked. Ingestion of these can cause damage to red blood cells and lead to anaemia.

Alcohol Alcohol ingestion in pets is even more toxic than to humans, it can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, tremors, coma and even death.

Blue cheese

Blue Cheese Commonly on most tables as a festive treat, this ripened cheese can contain roquefortine C, which is particularly toxic to dogs, ingestion can cause similar symptoms to those if alcohol is ingested.

Cooked bones Bone are very appealing to most dogs and cats if left within reach. However, cooked bones in particular are extremely brittle and splinter easily, these can cause an obstruction in your cat or dogs intestines and can pierce their digestive tract.

“Food plays such a big place in Christmas celebrations, but some favourites are often toxic to pets,” the Society warned.

“With all the excitement, make sure to keep cupboards closed, food waste bins closed and if they can be tipped over – keep something heavy on top of them.

“You can also clear away any leftover plates, crumbs and spillages to sneaky.

“Additionally, move wrapped gifts under the tree that may contain food items.

“Kittens and puppies can be curious about new things so don’t forget to keep an extra eye on them!”

But it’s not all bad news for your furry friends as the ISPCA also included a list of foods that can be shared from the Christmas table.

Always give these tasty titbits in moderation and reduce the amount of pet food you give them that day to maintain a healthy weight,” a spokesperson said.

Dogs and cats can have: a slice of plain, cooked, white turkey meat; a small piece of plain, cooked, boneless salmon; raw carrots; plain brussels sprouts; plain boiled parsnips.

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