Seven common Christmas treats you should never give your dog – ‘Could be fatal!’

A recent study revealed that 29 percent of Britons admitted to accidentally feeding their dogs toxic treats. If digested, these Christmas snacks could have “life-threatening consequences to your pup”. Lorna Winter, co-founder and head of training at Zigzag, shared the top seven Christmas treats you shouldn’t be giving your pets.

Raisins and sultanas

Mince pies contain copious amounts of raisins, grapes and sultanas that if given to pets can lead to kidney failure.


Xylitol is a sweetener that is used as an alternative to sugar and it can be found in many foods such as peanut butter, chewing gum and sweets.

The product is very popular as it is a low-calorie version of sugar and fills our needs for something sweet.

“However, if ingested by your puppy could be fatal. Even in small amounts, Xylitol can cause dogs to go into hypoglycaemia which is linked to liver failure and blood clotting disorders,” Lorna explained.

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Nuts are another food to be avoided this Christmas as they can cause intestinal irritation for puppies and for some “nuts like walnuts this can be deadly,” the expert warned.

Another deadly nut is Macadamia, which includes toxins that are life-threatening. The toxins in macadamias can affect the dog’s muscles and nervous system resulting in weakness, swollen limbs and panting. Owners should be checking nut contents on all snacks they give their dogs.


Alcohol should be kept well out of reach of dogs, including any foods that also contain alcohol such as Christmas pudding.



People should keep any form of chocolate away from dogs as it contains theobromine, “a very toxic compound which if digested by your puppy can be fatal,” Lorna said.

Keep it out of reach for your pup, including any chocolate ornaments on Christmas trees or advent calendars.

Leftover meat bones

Turkey is perfectly fine for dogs in small amounts, however, turkey bones should be kept in the broth or the bin.

Turkey bones are very brittle and if ingested, parts of the bones can splinter and be “extremely dangerous for your puppies’ digestive system”. Bones from other meats such as chicken and red meats should also be avoided.

The expert shared three treats that owners can give their dogs this Christmas:


She recommended cutting up carrots into small pieces to avoid choking. “Raw or cooked plain carrot can be a great, healthy snack for your puppies and a safe food to sneak under the table.”


Pumpkin is a popular vegetable this time of the year and canned pumpkin can be safe if given in moderation. “With that being said, it’s essential to comb through the ingredient list as some canned pumpkin can contain chocolate and Xylitol, both toxic for puppies,” the expert warned.


Cheesy delights should be kept to a small amount. The safest options for dogs are Swiss, mozzarella and cheddar, but stay away from blue cheese, goat cheese and feta.

“This is because these cheeses have high levels of saturated fat and lactose which a puppy’s body cannot digest properly. It’s best to keep these cheeses well out of reach!” Lorna explained.

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