Christmas Hazards and Your Dog

While humans indulge in a little festive frivolity, Christmas can be a dangerous time for pets, with tempting but potentially poisonous treats adorning every open surface – meaning a third of pet owners will experience an emergency this festive season


As 9/10 poisonings happen in the owner's home, and a shocking 5.5 million dog owners unknowingly feed their pets these harmful foods at Christmas.  We have put together a helpful list of the top 6 hazards all owners need to be aware of, to help you avoid any animal-related accidents this festive season. 


1. Chocolate

Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine, a bit like caffeine, which, while tasty, is severely poisonous to dogs (and cats).


2. Mince Pies and Christmas Puddings

All grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas are toxic to dogs; as are foods that contain them – which means no mince pies for your pooch.


3. Tinsel

It might look like a lot of fun to play with, but tinsel can cause dangerous blockages in your dogs stomach.  Be sure to keep it out of reach, especially the icicle type sometime used on Christmas trees.


4. Garlic, Chives and Onions

Found in many festive foods like gravy, stuffing and sausages, all Allium species are poisonous to dogs.


5. Christmas Lights

Dogs are curious and will often try to chew on anything, including fairy lights – which can burn and even electrocute them.


6. Alcohol

Alcohol can cause severe liver and brain damage in animals. As little as a tablespoon can lead to problems for your dog.

If your pet has eaten anything potentially harmful, you should call your vet immediately for advice. Many local vet practices choose to close over the Christmas period so it's essential you're aware of your local after hours emergency pet care. 

Dog Friendly Christmas Recipes

Gingerbread Dog Cookies

1 cup molasses
4 tbsp honey
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
6 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger or 1 tsp of dried powder ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Next you will need two bowls, one medium, and one large.  Combine the molasses, honey, water, and oil in the medium bowl.

In the large bowl mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Then slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Make sure you combine them well. Now, divide this dough in four balls, wrap each ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-5 hrs, or you can freeze them for 1-2 hrs (just don't let them get solid!) After the dough is cold, lightly flour your surface and roll the dough out into about 1/4" thickness.  Remember, the thicker you make it, the longer it will take to cook. Now cut the dough out into fun shapes, such as Gingerbread men, with a cookie cutter.  You can also forget about shapes, and use a pizza cutter and make the cookies into squares and strips.

Bake for about 20-25 Minutes, until the cookies start to get brown. You can take one out and break it to see how crunchy it is.  If you want it really crunchy, then you will want to bake them longer

Doggy Bark


2 1/2 cups plain yogurt drops

2 1/2 cups natural carob drops

75 g fresh raspberries

1/2 cup desiccated coconut


Line a 11 x 7 pan with baking paper

Melt the carob drops in a small heat safe bowl over boiling water, stirring constantly.

Pour melted carob evenly into pan ensuring the bottom surface is fully covered. Place in the refrigerator to set (approx. 30 minutes)

Melt yogurt drops in a small heat safe bowl over boiling water, stirring constantly.

Pour 1/2 melted yogurt into pan on top of the carob layer.

Scatter raspberries and coconut throughout pan mixture and pour remaining melted yogurt on top, spreading evenly.

Place back in the refrigerator to set (approx. 45 minutes).

Break into pieces and serve!

Frosty Paws


1 Banana

32 fl oz vanilla yogurt

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp peanut butter (all natural)


Blend all ingredients together and freeze in 3 oz paper cups.

Microwave just a few seconds before serving,


 We are not veterinarians or pet professionals, it is important to be aware and knowledgeable about any food allergies or sensitivities that your dog may have before trying any of these recipes and sharing them with your pet.   If in doubt, always consult your vet.