Cat and dog owners need Jamie’s Christmas list of pet poisons

November 23, 2022

Christmas is a joyous time of year filled with fun and family gatherings, however, festive presents, decorations, and food can often prove to be dangerous for our inquisitive companions. Read Vet Jamie’s guide below to find out more about common Christmas dangers that our cats and dogs can encounter.

Call us in an emergency on 01256 639707.

Unfortunately, lots of our loved products we indulge in over the Christmas period are poisonous for our cats and dogs. Jamie explains this a bit further – poisons are any chemical substance that causes harm when ingested by damaging cells, shutting down organs, and even causing death. Here is a list of the most common poisons for our pets over Christmas.

Download our essential oils and pets infographic

Jamie’s Christmas danger list:

Human Food

The most common poisonings we see around Christmas comes from our treats. Popular treats that we enjoy can be toxic to pets, this includes:

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes, raisins, currants, sultanas – at Christmas this is commonly mince pies and Christmas cake or pudding.
  • Alliums such as onions, garlic, and leeks
  • Alcohol

Beware of foods such as gravy and leftovers which can contain ingredients that can make your pet unwell. Fatty foods can also cause gastrointestinal upsets such as vomiting or diarrhoea, and foods high in sugar and salt can cause health problems too.

Christmas Plants

If you’re planning on having a kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas, make sure it’s out of your pet’s reach! Plants such as mistletoe and holly are poisonous when ingested and Christmas tree needles are very spiky so will be particularly dangerous when swallowed. Also, plants such as ivy and poinsettia are dangerous, and potpourri can clog up their throats when ingested, so keep them out of reach too.


From baubles, ribbon, wrapping paper, and tinsel to tree lights, batteries for gifts, and fake snow; Christmas brings lots of new furnishings which may excite our furry friends. If any of these objects are ingested by your pet, Jamie advises pet owners to call us straight away on 01256 639707 as materials can get lodged or cause burns or discomfort.

Household products and medication

It is always useful to know that cleaning products and many human medications are toxic for pets. In particular Ibuprofen is toxic to both cats and dogs, whilst Paracetamol is toxic to cats. Antifreeze is also highly toxic to cats and dogs. Be careful to keep cleaning products and medications out of reach of pets during the festive season. Call us immediately on 01256 639707 if your cat or dog has swallowed anything or has any substances on their fur or skin.

Essential oils

Whether you use these yourself via candles, diffusers, oil burners, or out of the bottle, or you have bought one as a present, be aware that many essential oils are poisonous to pets, especially cats. Google the oil before using it and keep it well out of your pet’s reach if necessary. Some oils can cause harm through inhalation or absorption through the skin too.

Learn more about essential oils and pets in our downloadable infographic.

Keep in mind that Jamie’s list above is not exhaustive and only outlines the most common household dangers for cats and dogs. If your pet has ingested or come into close contact with any of the hazards above, or anything else you are concerned about, contact our vets immediately.

Call us in an emergency on 01256 639707.

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