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Holiday food dangerous for dogs

Watch what you eat this holiday season, particularly if you're a dog. Most of us now know that chocolate is dangerous for our dogs, it contains theobromine and caffeine, which can kill a dog. The effects may not be apparent immediately, but if you suspect your dog has eaten a significant amount of chocolate, get them to a vet to be checked out. The smaller the dog, the smaller the amount of chocolate that is dangerous for them. A guide is around half an ounce of chocolate per pound of body weight, but this varies according to the make and type of the chocolate. If you're a dog, stick to dog chocolate!

As you're preparing your holiday meal, don't be tempted to give any peelings to your dog - peelings and any green looking bits of potato are dangerous. Onion, and to a lesser extent garlic, can cause anaemia in dogs. Avoid large amounts of broccoli too.

Lots of us have fruits and nuts around at this time of year - but store them away from your four legged friend. Grapes and raisins can prove fatal for dogs if eaten in a large enough quantity, and some dogs find fruit too acidic for their digestion. Apple and cherry tree leaves and roots are toxic. Apparently macadamia nuts can cause severe muscle problems, although effects vary between dogs.

Even seemingly harmless ingredients like nutmeg can be hallucinogenic. If you have to use anti-freeze, do so safely. Most dogs like the taste of it, but it will seriously damage their kidneys. Other items associated with seasonal festivities, like alcohol, cigars, cigarettes, cocoa, coffee and tea, are all no-no's for canines.

A Christmas favourite pastime is kissing under the mistletoe, but it may not be puppy love. A small amount of berries can kill a puppy, and all parts of the mistletoe plant are dangerous to dogs, so maybe we'll have to find real love under artificial mistletoe.

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