It’s nearly that time of year again – when households around Australia are preparing for the festivities! From roast dinners and fresh seafood lunches to all the sweets and sides in-between, the holidays for many people are all about eating! During this time people are often exposed to a wider variety of foods and drinks, which they don’t encounter on a year-round basis. Christmas and New Year holiday feasts are enjoyed by all, and with so much, of so many types of food and drink being passed around the table.

It’s important to consider your dog’s wellbeing over the festive season, by making sure they are not fed foods which pose negative consequences to their health. Here are 7 foods and substances your dog should never eat – no matter the time of year.

  1. Onions

Widely consumed during festivities, often from the barbeque, onions are toxic to pets and can be extremely harmful to your dog. Even a small amount of onion, either cooked or raw can poison your dog, and have a potentially fatal outcome. If you think your dog has consumed onion, it’s important that you seek veterinary attention.

  1. Sugar substitutes

Xylitol is a common substitute for sugar and is a form of sweetener. It is often found in baked goods, lollies, mints and sugar-free chewing gum. Xylitol is toxic to dogs, as it causes an increased amount of insulin to be rapidly released from the pancreas, resulting in potential liver failure. It’s important that your gum, mints and lollies are kept well out of your dog’s reach these holidays!

  1. Grapes/Raisins

Often an addition to Christmas and New Year fruit platters or cakes and puddings, grapes are toxic to all breeds of dogs. The exact toxin found in these substances is still unknown, but have a negative impact on canine kidneys, potentially resulting in sudden kidney failure.

  1. Chocolate

Chocolate is toxic to all breeds of dogs, and it is darker chocolates which have higher levels of toxicity than milk, and white chocolate (although all are toxic and should never be given to dogs). Chocolate is toxic to dogs as it contains a variety of chemicals, such as theobromine and caffeine. Even low doses can be toxic, so it’s important to be mindful of where your dog may be exposed to chocolates (including under the Christmas tree).

  1. Caffeine

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system in humans, so obviously this effect is more potent in dogs, and can have potentially fatal consequences. Even small amounts can impact your dog in the form of heart palpitations and at worse – death, so be mindful when leaving that cup of coffee around the home.

  1. Stuffing mix

Stuffing mix is a popular addition to the Christmas feast for many families, but beware!  Stuffing mixes often contain onion, garlic and other potentially harmful foods for your dog. It’s important to consider the ingredients of the food you prepare, before considering ever allowing your dog to consume these foods, as even small amounts of toxic foods are harmful.

  1. Festive Meats & Bones

During the festive season, many dogs are brought into emergency veterinary care after consuming excessive amounts ham or turkey, or their bones which are also dangerous to dogs. Dogs simply cannot process the excessive amount of fat and sodium, leading to acute pancreatitis, which is both painful and potentially life threatening for dogs. Even sausages and prawns may have this effect on dogs who are prone to pancreatitis.

The Christmas and New Year celebrations are busy times for dog owners, but it’s important to never overlook the well-being of your pet. Hosting Christmas and New Year celebrations is exciting, but it’s important to also educate your guests (especially littler ones) on what your dog is allowed to consume, as they are unlikely to know what is good and bad!

During these holidays, indulge your dogs with your presence and love, and ensure they maintain their normal diet – this will keep them safely in the festive spirit! Happy Holidays from the team here at DogTech!