Christmas Dangers For Dogs

A lot of us Land Rover owners probably own a dog or two. So here at JGS4X4 we thought we would write an article all about potential Christmas dangers to our dogs.

A Romanian rescue dog near a christmas tree | JGS4X4 Land Rover Parts

Christmas is the time to be having fun, celebrating with friends and family and generally indulging ourselves: our dogs are part of this too. But at Christmas time we also need to be aware of food and plants that can potentially be toxic to our dogs.

Here at JGS4X4, we have put together a guide to remind you of how to keep your dog safe at Christmas time. 

Christmas plants


Your dog could get an upset stomach if they ingest the berries from this plant.


This is one of the most common plants that we see at Christmas time. They are often given as a gift, but all parts of this plant, leaves, stalk and especially the bulb are toxic to dogs. This can result in diarrhoea, vomiting, seizures and tremors. 

Holly and Ivy

Prolonged contact with ivy can be an irritant to dogs and cause a reaction to the skin. If your dogs ingest berries from either of these plants, then it could lead to them having an upset stomach.


Poinsettia plants came from Mexico originally and reach their full bloom in December. They are synonymous with Christmas time, and their red blooms are actually their leaves. It’s unlikely that your pet would eat enough to cause any severe damage as the plant contains a sap that irritates. The toxins can cause mouth pain, vomiting and drooling.

Other Christmas hazards

  • Tinsel
  • Christmas wrapping paper
  • Silica gel
  • Cigarettes

As with almost all poisons, the amount they ingest and the size of your dog will determine how sick they become. Obviously, the bigger the dog, the less likely they are to suffer after eating a small amount, compared with a smaller dog. For example, our Romanian rescue dog which we adopted through 1 Dog At A Time Rescue UK weighs in at just under 50kg, so theoretically poisons would affect him less than our Jack Russell who is only small.

Two dogs in christmas hats | JGS4X4 Land Rover parts

Dangerous food and drink


When we think about poisonous food for dogs, chocolate is probably the first thing we think of. The chemical that is found in chocolate is called theobromine and the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains, so plain chocolate would be more poisonous than milk chocolate. Theobromine can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, seizures, and in severe cases, can cause death. Even small amounts are toxic to dogs, and you should contact your vet for advice immediately. Do not put any chocolate presents under the tree, nor put any chocolate decorations on the tree, put them somewhere out of your dogs reach.  

Grapes, currants, raisins and sultanas

All of these items can be found in mince pies and Christmas pudding. Kidney failure can result, even if a dog has eaten a small amount of these food items. If chocolate covered raisins have been eaten, then you would have the added toxicity of the theobromine from the chocolate too.

Macadamia nuts

If dogs eat macadamia nuts, the most common symptom seen is weakness, especially in the hind legs. Other signs to look out for are vomiting, tremors, diarrhoea and fever.


This includes shallots, leeks, chives and garlic. All the parts of these foods are poisonous to dogs, cooked or raw and should be avoided at all costs. The signs are often not seen until a few days after being ingested. These include diarrhoea and vomiting, but it can also have an effect on the dog’s red blood cells, which could ultimately result in anaemia.  


If your dog helps themselves to an alcoholic drink, then the effects are similar to us if we overindulge. Signs to look out for include wobbling, drooling, retching or vomiting, and it can cause their body temperature to lower. Ensure all your drinks are put somewhere high up, out of their reach.

Mioritic Romanian dog in santa hat | JGS4X4

Leftover food

All of us like to give our dogs a bit of leftover food, which is okay provided it’s suitable for them and it isn’t mouldy or has gone off. We wouldn’t eat this sort of food, so it won’t do our dogs any good by feeding them this sort of food either! What Christmas dinner leftovers can I feed my dog?

Here is a list of safe foods put together by the JGS team, that you can feed your dog. However, do remember that if you give your dog lots of new leftovers that they are not used to having, it can lead to an upset stomach and could result in diarrhoea and vomiting.

  • White meat from turkey but no bones
  • Parsnips
  • Green beans
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Swede
  • Carrot
  • Peas
  • New potatoes
  • Mash potato 
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Scrambled egg

Remember to make sure that there are no oils or sauces on any foodstuffs that you give your dog. Remember too, that a dog size portion will be much smaller than for a human, even if your dog is a large breed. You can always spoil your dog in other ways if your leftovers aren’t suitable, spend lots of extra time playing with them, treat them to a new toy or puzzle or take them for a walk somewhere new.


Whichever model of Land Rover you own, whether it is a FreelanderDefenderDiscovery or Range Rover, JGS4x4 has a large range of parts and accessories for maintaining, servicing and personalising your Land Rover, available for worldwide delivery on the JGS4x4 website.

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