`Tis the season to be jolly, and as we gather around the festive table to indulge in the delights of Christmas dinner, it’s essential to keep in mind that our furry friends should not partake in the same feast. While it’s tempting to share the joy of delicious Christmas treats with our dogs, some Christmas dinner staples can pose serious health risks to our four-legged companions. In this blog, we’ll explore the foods that should be kept off the menu to ensure you have a safe and happy holiday season.


christmas dinner table set up

Rich and Fatty Foods

The richness of Christmas dishes, such as gravy, ham and turkey skin, may be tempting to share with your dog, but these foods can be very fatty and contain high amounts of salt. Fatty turkey skin can cause pancreatitis in dogs – a painful inflammation of the pancreas. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. Opt for lean portions of meat without seasoning and avoid giving your dog any fatty scraps.

But ‘my dog eats chunks in gravy?’ you may ask. However human gravy has different ingredients, it is often high in sodium (salt) and can contain onions and garlic which can all be harmful for dogs. So avoid any gravy made for human consumption and treat your dog to their favourite Recipes in Gravy this Christmas!


While a bone might seem like the perfect Christmas treat for your dog, cooked bones can splinter and cause serious harm. Poultry bones, in particular, are known for their tendency to break into sharp fragments, posing a choking hazard or risking internal injuries. Instead of giving your dog bones from the turkey, provide safe and purpose-built dog chews to satisfy their natural chewing instincts.

Onions and Garlic

Commonly used in delicious human savoury dishes, onions and garlic contain compounds that can damage a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anaemia. While small amounts might not cause immediate harm, cumulative exposure over time can be dangerous. Ensure that these ingredients are kept well out of reach and refrain from sharing any dishes seasoned with onions or garlic such as human gravy as mentioned above.


After Christmas dinner, it’s time for fruitcake and traditional Christmas pudding. However these contain raisins and other dried fruits, which are toxic to dogs. Ingesting these fruits can lead to kidney failure, and even a small amount can be harmful. Keep the Christmas pud and any other dishes containing grapes or raisins safely away from your canine companion.


christmas gingerbread

Sweet treats – Chocolate and Gingerbread

Christmas is synonymous with sweet treats, and chocolate is a common ingredient in many desserts. However, chocolate contains theobromine, a substance that is toxic to dogs. Dark chocolate, in particular, has higher theobromine levels, making it even more dangerous. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, and, in severe cases, seizures.

Traditional gingerbread often contains ingredients like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and molasses. While these ingredients are not harmful in small amounts, the overall composition of gingerbread, including sugar and sometimes chocolate, can be problematic for dogs.

Keep all sweet Christmas foods out of reach and resist the urge to share them with your furry friend. Swap them instead for some of Butcher’s delicious Naturally Meaty Treats for a very merry Christmas.

spaniel by a christmas tree

Treat your dog to their own Christmas Dinner

While it might be tempting to share Christmas scraps with your dog, opt for dog-friendly treats and keep the hazardous items out of their reach.

Instead offer them their favourite Butcher’s recipe and mix it up for Christmas Day by adding a few dog-friendly vegetables, such as sprouts or carrots, so your four legged friend doesn’t feel left out from the festivities! By taking these precautions, you’ll ensure that your pet enjoys a safe and happy Christmas with you.

We ‘woof’ all our pack a very Merry Christmas!

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