Experts warn these festive foods could be toxic for your dog

Don't let them near the dinner table!

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Many of us dog-owners love giving our furry friends a little leftover treat as we finish our meal.

Whether it's a small piece of our leftover toast, or a small lick of gravy, it always feels like a bit of fun to share the scraps of our meal with our pooches.

But of course, we all know that it's definitely not the best idea for our dog's health to give them a taste of human food - in fact, it can sometimes even be poisonous.

And these worrisome foods are even more prevelant during the festive season, as there's actually a whole heap of Christmas foods that are awful for our pups.

According to pet food experts from, many festive goodies can be terrible for a dog's health, and could lead to vomiting, upset tummies, convulsions, or even kidney failure.

So which foods should we make sure our dogs don't get anywhere near at the Christmas table this year?

Festive foods that are toxic for dogs

1. Gravy

So, this one applies all year round, but particularly so on 25th December. The pet experts explained that gravy is incredibly high in salt, meaning it's best that our dogs avoid consuming any at all - and yes, that means little spots of gravy on the floor, too!

2. Alcohol

This one might seem obvious, but with glasses of fizz, bubbly, and everything in between left on low surfaces and floors in households across the UK at Christmas, it's worth a reminder. Alcohol can have the same affect on dogs as it does on us, making it particularly harmful. If your dog ingests any, get them to the vet ASAP.

MORE: Vet issues winter grit warning for dog owners as it can cause potential health problems

3. Christmas pudding and mince pies

They're a staple in all of our Christmas day menus, but don't let your pet pooch get their paws on these festive desserts. explain that grapes, and their dried counterparts, including sultanas, raisins, and currants, are all highly toxic to dogs. And of course, many of these are found within our favourite mince pies and puddings. In fact, even a small quantity could cause kidney failure, so if your dog manages to snaffle any seek urgent medical help.

4. Onions

Onions and their corresponding veg, such as shallots, garlic and leeks, might all be a main ingredient in many of our festive dishes, but they're super harmful to dogs. They can cause toxicity, with symptoms including vomiting or diarrhoea, and can also cause damage to red blood cells which could cause anemia. Symptoms often present slowly, so if you suspect your pup has ingested some, visit the vet immediately.

5. Cheese - and other dairy products

We all love a festive cheeseboard, but watch out when you're enjoying them near your dog. While not poisonous, many pooches are intolerant to lactose - and so, if they eat them, they may suffer diarrhoea and vomiting.

6. Chocolate

Put away those selection boxes - because for your pet dog, chocolate could be seriously harmful. Giving them any quantity of the stuff is toxic, and even small amounts can cause agitation, hyperexcitability, tremors, convulsions and problems with the heart. So perhaps save the Quality Street's until your pooch is safely asleep in their bed!

7. Artifical sweeteners

It's news to us, but apparently, a sugar-free sweetener called xylitol is found in many of the sweets we eat over the festive period - and while it's not particularly good for us, it's even worse for our canine pals. It's poisonous to them, and could result in liver damage in the worst case. The pet experts at explain that signs of poisoning can be rapid or delayed, and include vomiting, lethargy, convulsions and comas - so be sure to keep a eye on your pup during the busy festive time.

Senior Digital Writer

Amy is Senior Digital Writer across Woman & Home, GoodTo and Woman, writing about everything from celebrity news to health, fashion and beauty features. When she isn't obsessing over the latest dress drop from Marks & Spencer, you'll most likely find Amy out running, or with a cup of tea in hand ready to dive into a gripping new Netflix series.