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A small dog wanting food scraps from the table
"Nutmeg is one of the lesser-known poisonous foods."

Festive food watchouts for your dog

The festive season brings with it an abundance of indulgent foods like chocolate, coffee, dairy products and spices. While these foods are relatively harmless for humans, they can be extremely dangerous for dogs.

As human digestive systems work differently to those of the canine family, foods that are considered healthy for your own consumption could actually be deadly for your dog. As you may have already discovered, dogs will try to devour virtually anything put in front of them. Unfortunately, this includes foods that can be both dangerous and deadly. For example, those table scraps or that chocolate biscuit may seem harmless, but they could actually poison your dog.

If you’re looking for a healthy treat for your dog over the holiday season, spoil them with LUCKY DOG Bones and Meaty Chews. You’ll keep them happy, healthy and away from any tempting foods.

Explore the most toxic food groups for your dog:


All alcohol contains ethanol which can be lethal for dogs. Just a small amount can result in a change in behaviour, breathing problems, cardiac arrest, induced coma and even death. While you’re probably not intentionally feeding your dog alcohol, unattended drinks and minor spills can be common in the household. Alcoholic drinks with a high sugar content (e.g. mixer drinks) are particularly inviting to dogs, so keep all drinks out of paws-reach and clean up any little spillages immediately.

Chocolate and caffeine

Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which are both poisonous for dogs. The chemicals are diuretics and can cause dramatic fluid loss (through vomiting, diarrhoea and excessive urination). Other symptoms include panting, restlessness, increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Avoid feeding your dog any foods that contain cocoa or caffeine and ensure all crumbs and scraps are cleaned up immediately. Remember, the darker the chocolate, the higher the cocoa content.

Animal bones

While bones are not toxic, their ability to splinter is extremely dangerous for your dog. They can cause cuts and lacerations inside your dog’s mouth as well as their stomach and digestive system. Bones can also cause obstruction in the throat and digestive system which can result in choking or suffocation. Just remember, bones are not a treat, they’re a potential threat to your dog’s health. If looking for a treat for your dog,  why not consider a product like LUCKY DOG Meaty Chews.


Dogs are naturally attracted to the alluring smell of a ripe avocado. However, avocados contain persin which is a fatty acid that is hazardous for dogs. Symptoms of avocado poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, respiratory distress, congestion, fluid build up around the heart and in severe cases, death. If you’re an avocado lover, just ensure you keep them out of temptations way for your dog.

Onions and leeks

Even the smallest amounts of these substances can be toxic to your dog, regardless if they’re cooked or raw. They can cause anaemia, which results in the destruction of red blood cells. Symptoms to look out for include blood in the urine, a rapid heart rate, abdomen enlargement, breathing difficulties and a pale mucous membrane.


Nutmeg is one of the lesser known poisonous foods. By eating this substance your dog can suffer from tremors, seizures, issues with the nervous system and even death. As nutmeg powder can be inadvertently inhaled, it’s wise to keep your dog away from the kitchen during food preparation. This is also a good habit to get into for the preparation of any food that is not exclusively designed for dogs.

Other harmful substances

There are also a host of other foods which can be harmful to your dog. These include grapes, raisins, currants, macadamia nuts, dairy products, raw eggs, mushrooms, raw fish, citrus fruit, green potatoes and tomatoes, as well as salt when eaten in large quantities.

About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre

PetCare Advice Centre The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.

Last updated: 19 December 2017 at 02:27 AM
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