Keep your dog safe this Christmas

Myhills would like to send out a message this Christmas – keeping your pets safe. At Christmas time, everyone likes to get into the holiday spirit by singing Christmas songs, playing board games, drinking festive drinks, and – eating festive food. Although it is the time for giving, dog owners need to realise that not all festive food should be fed to dogs. Doing so can actually put your dog at risk.

Make sure food related presents aren’t kept under the tree for your dog to come and indulge in. You should also avoid over feeding your dog on treats this Christmas, as they can easily put on a lot of weight in a short space of time. Here is a list of foods to keep out of reach of your furry friends during the festive season.


Onions contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which is toxic to dogs. Ingesting onions causes a condition called haemolytic anaemia which damages the red blood cells. It is dangerous to feed both small amounts over time and big amounts all in one go. It’s advised by vets not to give table scraps like stuffing and gravy that could have traces of onions in. Also, garlic, leek, shallots and chives will have the same effect as onions.

Symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, lethargy and breathlessness. If symptoms are not addressed right away (2 – 4 days), extreme cases can require a blood transfusion.


All chocolate has a similar effect as caffeine and is highly toxic to dogs. It contains theobromine which stimulates the central nervous system and cardiovascular system, causing an increase in blood pressure which in turn can be fatal to your dog.

Symptoms – Diarrhoea, vomiting, excessive panting, excessive urinating, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, dehydration, seizures and an increased heart rate.


You should always avoid feeding cooked bones from the turkey or chicken. They splinter once cooked and can cause severe internal damage to your dog’s throat, stomach and intestines, as well as choking.

Grapes (raisins, sultanas, currents)

These foods are known for being toxic to dogs but the cause of it is still unknown. Some dogs can eat grapes and raisins and be absolutely fine, but others can’t and eating them can lead to kidney failure. To be safe, it is advised to not feed them at all.

Rich food

We eat a lot of extremely rich food around Christmas time. It’s fine for humans but for dogs who aren’t used to it it’s not a good idea.  Very rich food can be too much for them and result in digestion issues and discomfort.

Symptoms – Passing gas, loose stools, irritated bowels.

Gravy (high in salt)

Everyone loves gravy on their roast dinner and lots of people give their dogs scraps without thinking it’s bad for them. Although gravy is very tasty to our dogs, it is high in salt so should be avoided. Special gravy from pet stores are available low in salt.

As well as lots of different foods that should be avoided, it is also important to keep an eye on your dog whilst your house is full of Christmas decorations.

Things like batteries, candles, baubles, tinsel and other small objects that are not usually on display and in reach can pose a threat too. If you have a dog that is prone to chewing and swallowing random objects, be sure to keep them out of reach.

We at Myhills hope you have a fun, festive holiday with your pets!