Purely Pets reveals the hidden dangers in popular festive treats


19 December 2022
Mince Pies and stuffing among the most toxic festive foods for pets


Purely Pets, a leading UK pet insurance specialist, has called on owners to be more aware of the hidden dangers in popular festive foods that may cause serious harm to our four-legged friends this Christmas.

In a recent poll, 55 per cent of Purely Pets customers revealed they plan to make their pet a special festive meal, with Christmas dinner leftovers topping the list of most popular treats for dogs. However, a number of festive treats listed in the poll included ingredients which could cause serious harm to dogs, including stuffing; which contains onion and garlic and mince pies; which contain raisins, all potentially toxic to dogs and could lead to a very unhappy pet this Christmas.

Ross Hallifax, Affinity Director at Purely Pets, said: “Christmas is a time where many of us overindulge on our favourite treats, with a lot of us wanting to share our festive food with our four-legged family members. It was eye opening to discover that many of the traditional treats could have a catastrophic impact on our pets. We hope that helping to raise awareness of the hidden dangers found in some foods will help pet owners choose festive treats more wisely”.

To ensure your beloved pet does not miss out on a festive treat, Purely Pets has teamed up with Joii Pet Healthcare - the pet insurance specialists’ partner that provides consultations, symptom checkers and treatment plans to all Purely Pets customers - to create a useful guide that highlights the festive foods to avoid, alongside dog friendly alternatives to keep your pooch happy this Christmas.

For full details on the risks associated with the foods highlighted in the guide, please reference the table below:


Food: Chocolate

Risk: Chocolate contains theobromine, which may lead to hyperexcitability, increasedheart rate, sickness and diarrhoea.Any chocolate ingestion requires vet attention for toxicity risk calculation

Food: Christmas pudding and mince pies

Risk:These treats may contain grapes, raisins, or dried currants which are highly toxic to dogs. In certain cases, the ingestion of a single piece of grape or raisins could lead to kidney failure.

Food: Foods which contain the following: Onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives. Example: stuffing

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Risk: All allium species are toxic.

Food: Macadamia nuts

Risk: Eating macadamia nuts could lead to vomiting, ataxia (lack of coordination), weakness, hyperthermia (overheating), and depression.

Food: Sweets or cakes that contains xylitol

Risk: Highly toxic to dogs.

Food: Leftovers that may start to rot

Risk: Mould ingestion could lead to tremor and muscle shaking in dogs.

Food: Avoid feeding too much fatty food

Risk: Can be a challenge for digestion and could lead to pancreatitis in certain cases.

Food: Cooked bones

Risk: Cooked bones splinter into shards that could cause choking and serious damage to dog’s mouth, throat, or intestines.