Mince pies and Christmas puddings can kill dogs, pet owners warned

24 December 2019, 11:01

Ozzie the Labrador fell ill after eating an entire Christmas pudding
Ozzie the Labrador fell ill after eating an entire Christmas pudding. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Dog owners have been warned not to leave mince pies and Christmas puddings unattended as their ingredients can be fatal for their beloved pets.

The advice comes amid a rise in the number of dogs requiring emergency treatment after scoffing down the festive favourites.

Even small portions of raisins, sultanas and currants commonly found inside the Christmas treats can cause organ failure and prove to be potentially fatal to dogs.

The festive season sees a sharp rise in poisoning cases involving raisins and alcohol, vets say.

One five-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier named Marley, from Stoke, needed a fluid drip and emergency medication after wolfing down a Christmas pudding and chocolates brought into the house by its owners.

Christmas puddings should be kept "out of paws&squot; reach" of dogs
Christmas puddings should be kept "out of paws' reach" of dogs. Picture: PA

Polly Bloor, 41, said: "We had just been shopping and left the bag on the side while we went to pick my granddaughter up from school.

"I wasn't gone that long but when I got back Marley was just sat there with the remains of the Christmas pudding and an empty box of chocolates.

"I panicked, this is our first Christmas with Marley and I thought we were going to lose him."

A two-year-old Labrador from Uttoxeter, also in Staffordshire, survived a similar scare after polishing off a Christmas pudding soaked in mulled wine.

The poorly pooch required activated charcoal in order to absorb the poisonous substances in his stomach.

Ozzie survived his scare after eating a Christmas pudding
Ozzie survived his scare after eating a Christmas pudding. Picture: PA

Andrew Hunt, senior vet at Stoke PDSA Pet Hospital, said: "Traditional Christmas foods like mince pies, chocolate, onions, raisins, grapes, some nuts, sage-and-onion stuffing and Christmas cake or pudding can all be harmful and should be kept safely out of paws' reach."

Laura Playforth, professional standards director at Vets Now, said: "We see a big rise in poisoning cases involving raisins and alcohol at this time of year, largely due to dogs eating things like mince pies, Christmas puddings and fruitcake.

"The good news is the prognosis for grape and raisin toxicity is generally good if treated early and there's been no kidney damage.

"Normally, symptoms start showing between six and 24 hours after the dog has eaten grapes or raisins.

"But these may not take effect for several days and in the most serious cases, the fruits can also cause sudden kidney failure."

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