Foods That Dogs Should Avoid

Christmas is almost upon us and as we all get carried away with the festivities we must remember our furry best friends. If food and drink looks attractive to us then you can pretty much be sure it will look great to your Dog. With lots of different smells and an abundance of food your Dog is likely to feel like a kid in a candy store. However, this can be very dangerous for your loved one and the potential to poison and injure your Dog is massive.

I do not want to take away the joy of Christmas, but want to make sure everyone is aware of the foods that dogs should avoid over Christmas.

Turkey Bones

We all see pictures of Dogs chewing happily away on bones and it is a common belief that all bones are good for Dogs. Yes, a lot are and there is nothing wrong with a nice leg of lamb bane or a knuckle from a pork joint. Unfortunately Turkey and Chicken bones, once cooked, become brittle and easily splinter. The larger bones can become a choking hazard and the smaller ones and splinters can irritate the gut or in worse situations get stuck in the gut.

Foods That Dogs Should Avoid

Stuffing and Bread Sauce

A Christmas Dinner would not be complete without your sage and onion stuffing and bread sauce. Unfortunately as lovely as it is for us it can be deadly for Dogs. The stuffing contains onions, garlic, shallots, leeks and scallions, bread sauce contains onions. These all belong to the Allium family and are all toxic to your Dog. If digested the compounds damage the oxygen-carrying substances found in red blood cells called hemoglobin. The damage can cause anemia and in severe cases can lead to organ damage, organ failure or even death.


If dogs drink alcohol they react very similarly to humans. They will become unsteady on their feet and seem drowsy, but at a much faster rate than us humans. The ethanol in the alcohol hits animals at a far quicker rate than us. A Dog’s kidneys and liver are not designed to filter or process alcohol. Drinking alcohol can be so severe in Dogs that it could lead to seizures and heart failure.

Food That Dogs Should Avoid

Top tip, don’t leave your Christmas drinks on the floor, as your best friend may want to join in the festivities, drink your beer, and become very sick.

Blue Cheese

Stilton, Roquefort and other blue cheeses contain a substance called roquefortine C. This is produced by the fungus that is used to make blue cheese. It seems that Dogs are very sensitive to this and it can cause muscle tremors, vomiting, diarrhoea, high temperatures and in extreme cases seizures.

Food That Dogs Should Avoid


Dogs can have some nuts like peanuts, cashews and almonds. However, never give them chocolate covered nuts as they chocolate is poisonous. Nuts to stay well clear of are high fat nuts like macadamia nuts and black walnuts. These can cause weakness, lethargy, tremors, vomiting and an increased blood temperature. Also, peanut butter should be avoided as it contains artificial sweetener than can cause liver failure.

Food That Dogs Should Avoid


Minced Pies, Christmas Cake and Puddings

All of these contain raisins, sultanas and currants. Although it is a well-known fact they cause a toxic reaction it is not known why they cause this. It is important to note that even a small amount of grapes and raisins can prove to be fatal for your Dog. The symptoms for grape or raisin poisoning include vomiting or diarrhoea, loss of appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain, dehydration, foul breath, ulcers, tremors, seizures and finally coma.

Food That Dogs Should Avoid



Keep your Christmas fruit bowls and cheese and grapes well out of reach from your loved ones.


This is one of the most plentiful foodstuffs around at Christmas and also one of the most deadly. From tins lying around the house, for people to help themselves, to decorations on a Christmas tee, you must make sure they are all out of reach of your Dogs. Remember chocolates under the Christmas tree, just because they are wrapped it doesn’t mean your Dog can’t smell them. If your dog decides to eat your chocolate presents, other fatal conditions could occur, like wrappers lodged or stuck in his gut.


Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is poisonous to dogs, cats, rabbits and other rodents. The general rule of thumb is that the darker the chocolate the more theobromine it contains. White chocolate contains very little thoebromine so is unlikely to cause poisoning. However, it is very fatty, and can still make your Dog ill.

Chocolate can initially cause vomiting and diarrhoea which can then develop into muscle twitching, tremors and then fits and life threatening heart conditions.

Rich Fatty Foods

There are many rich or fatty foods that are abundant over Christmas. Too much for us can cause us to become bloated and for us to become uncomfortable. WeFood That Dogs Should Avoid should know when to stop eating these foods but we often don’t. Just think how your Dog will feel if he is given a free rein to eat what he likes. He will over indulge and make himself very poorly.


Well I hope everyone is looking forward to their festive time and you all have a fantastic Christmas and New Year. Please bear in mind our furry friends and do not let them come to harm. Whether it be the food we are eating or the drinks we are drinking make sure our loved ones do not have access to anything that could make them ill. A visit to the vet over Christmas is not a planned or pleasant part of the Christmas festivities.

If you require any information on nutrition and diet for your Dog have a ;look at these best sellers on

If you have any comments or photos you would like to share please feel free to leave them below.

All the Best over the Christmas


10 Replies to “Foods That Dogs Should Avoid”

  1. Thanks for this post on the foods dogs should avoid, I could remember during last year festive period I gave some turkey bones and a little bit of alcohol to my dog thinking it will make her feel better but i was wrong after some days she got very sick and I when I took her to the hospital the doctor said it was due to the alcohol I gave to her that they are very sensitive to it since then I have been avoiding to give it to her, thanks for the best foods you mentioned that they should avoid .

    1. Hi Rose, oh my god what an awful situation you must have been in and thank you for sharing your experience. Whatever the cause it’s always horrible having to take your loved one to the vets when they are poorly. At least she made a good recovery. Unfortunately many do not. I hope my Post has made more people aware and made people think twice about what they are passing to their Dog under the dining table. 
      Thanks again Rose


  2. This is perfect timing with Christmas just around the corner. Along with Christmas comes all kinds of food, and it can be easy to forget about the dog sometimes with company over. It reminds of of Christmas Vacation when the dog gets into the trash haha. In all seriousness turkey bones can be very dangerous indeed. I hadn’t considered something like blue cheese, that’s definitely good to know, and a reminder about chocolate is always appreciated. I know some dog owners who would appreciate this information as much as I have, and I will definitely share this post with them. Thanks for such important and timely information!

    1. Hi and I’m really pleased you enjoyed the article. You did make a very valid point, a lot of people know about Turkey bones and Chocolate but most, including me, until recently, had no idea about Blue Cheese. Always good to get the information out there hey. 
      Thanks again for your comment


  3. Great post you have here and thank you so much for sharing it out here. In truth, I value every bit of this information because getting to know this cannot have come at a perfect time because I just got a dog for my daughter. So, it feels great knowing the don’ts for her and her dog. Thumbs up to you

    1. Hi Rodarrick,

      Thank you for your comment and I’m so pleased you have been able to pass this information to your daughter. Owning a Dog for the first time is a massive learning curve so I am pleased I have been able to help. If you need any further tips or info there are plenty more on this site. 
      All the best


  4. Hello David, Thanks for writing on Foods That Dogs Should Avoid. You have listed many foods that dogs must not eat. If any dog eat such food. He become ill. I will avoid Chocolate & Rich Fatty Foods . we must avoid darker chocolate. Chocolate contains a chemical called the obromine which is poisonous to dogs, cats, rabbits and other rodents. Thank you . Parveen

    1. Hi Parveen,

      Thank you for your comments. You are absolutely right. A lot of people have no idea how bad chocolate is for their Dog. I am glad I have added some awareness. 
      Thanks again and take care


  5. Hi, David.
    Thanks for sharing the information on food that our dogs should avoid. Some of the food items we never considered dangerous are in your list like chicken bones. Now we will take all the necessary steps to ensure that our lovely puppy does not fall ill due to our mistake. Thanks for all your efforts, I am bookmarking this page for our future reference.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

    1. Hi Gaurav,

      I’m glad I have been able to help. As I am sure you are aware, a trip to the vets due to your puppy accidentally eating something he or she is unaware is dangerous for them would totally ruin your festive activities. I hope you, your puppy and family have a fantastic festive period. 
      All the best


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