Celebrations may not be quite the same this year, but where possible, we will all be trying to catch up with friends and family at this special time.  And while we can still indulge in our favourite traditional food, some of it isn’t so good for our pets. Here are some of the foods that should not be on the menu for pets (at any time of year).   

Entrées and Mains   

Onions, garlic, leeks and chives  are super tasty but they can cause serious blood problems if pets eat even a tiny amount. As well as being the star of a dish, at festive times they can be hiding in soups, sauces, bread, stuffing, accompaniments, pickles, preserves, crackers. Spices can cause an excess of gas in your pets stomach which can be dangerous in large breed dogs! 

Like all fatty foods, turkey skin, gravy, ham and other pork products  can be difficult for pets to digest and may even cause a painful condition called pancreatitis in dogs and cats. You should seal that carcass carefully before tossing in a secure (pooch-proof) rubbish bin. Poultry and turkey bones can be sharp and cause vomiting and serious internal damage to your pet if they obstruct or puncture the stomach or guts.   


Raisins, sultanas, grapes and currants: did you know that just one of these little tasty fruits can actually kill your pet by causing kidney failure? Mince pies, Christmas Cake and Christmas Pudding are all tempting for your pet! And it’s not just sweet treats that are the culprits (more on those later).  At Christmas time these dried fruits can be lurking in sauces, bread stuffing’s, accompaniments, pickles, preserves. 

Lactose intolerant dogs or cats who eat mashed potatoes with milk or butter could end up with vomiting and diarrhoea, or even pancreatitis due to the fat content.   

If you’re whipping up a batch of fresh home baked bread (yum!), don’t let your pet have any uncooked yeasted dough. It can cause a very serious condition called bloat or a twisted stomach.   


Chocolate should be kept for humans only as it’s poisonous to dogs and cats.  Advent calendars, selection boxes, tins of chocolates, chocolate Santa’s, Chocolate tree decorations, the list goes on!!

Some sugar free candy and baked goods contain a sweetener called xylitol which is also toxic.   

Macadamia nuts can make your dog vomit and become weak, give him diarrhoea and could cause pancreatitis too, due to their high fat content. And they’re a choking hazard for smaller breeds.   

Pets that eat wrappers and packaging to get to the tempting food inside, could develop a serious blockage internally. Another common cause of blockages at this time of year is tinsel, or any type of decoration really! Cats and dogs love chasing and chewing these shiny objects so keep them out of harm’s way. 

Keep pets away from candles, fireworks, lanterns and any naked flames.

Give them somewhere quiet and secure to rest. 

We hope you find our tips helpful. Enjoy a happy and safe celebration!