Christmas Dangers For Pets by Dr Sarah Hunter (BVet Med MRCVS) Station House Vets

by Handymag

As Christmas approaches, we start to fill our homes with decorations, food and plants, some of which can be harmful to our furry friends. Read on to find out which ones to avoid.


Although it is toxic, very few animals will develop signs of intoxication after eating the plant. However if they eat enough of it, signs will include irritation to the mouth, drooling and vomiting.

Salt Dough Decorations

Often homemade salt dough is used to make decorations, although the recipes vary, they usually contain around 8g of salt per tablespoon of dough. If your pet has too much salt in their body, they could develop vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, increased thirst and dehydration. In severe cases, it can cause seizures.


There is usually a lot of chocolate around at Christmas, especially when we start with advent calendars! Chocolate can be very toxic to dogs so it is important to keep it out of their reach. Dark chocolate is the most dangerous as it contains a higher quantity of the chemical compound theobromine. Signs of poisoning include vomiting, tummy pain, wobbling and diarrhoea.

Dried Fruit

Grapes and dried grapes (currants, sultanas and raisins) are toxic to dogs. Even a small quantity can cause severe kidney failure. Don’t forget this will include food items that contain dried fruits such as mince pies.

With all toxins, it is important to let us know straight away if you think your pet has eaten something that they shouldn’t have, especially if they are showing any abnormal signs.

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