The festive season is a dangerous time for pets, here are some festive items than can be hazardous:

Amaryllis bulbs

Most bulbs are poisonous to dogs.
The amaryllis bulbs and plant cause vomiting and diarrhoea, depression, drooling, loss of appetite and tremors.
Generally supportive care to maintain hydration is all that is required.
Normally symptoms resolve within 2-3 days.
We would recommend seeking veterinary attention ASAP in this case.


The fruit and seeds are poisonous to animals.
Birds and rodents are especially sensitive.
In cats and dogs it tends to cause vomiting and diarrhoea but, depending on the amount, can be fatal.
You need to make the animal vomit as quickly as possible then seek veterinary attention ASAP.

Macadamia nuts

Poisonous for dogs and can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia.
These need supportive care and resolve generally in 12-48 hours.

Grapes and raisins

Although the mechanism for the poisoning is unknown, they cause kidney failure.
In older patients and those with pre-existing conditions this can be dramatic.


This is used as a sweetener in a-lot of products especially chewing gum, mints and toothpastes.
It causes a massive insulin release which leads to hypoglycaemia (low sugar levels) and possible liver failure.
Signs are vomiting, lethargy and loss of co-ordination.
They can go onto become recumbent and have seizures.

Onions, garlic and chives

These can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and anaemia.
Cats are more sensitive but they can cause serious symptoms if eaten in large enough amounts.
Very small amounts are ok but never allow them to eat large amounts.

Chocolate, coffee and caffeine

All these products contain methylxanthines.
These can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, panting, excessive drinking and unrinating, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death.
The darker the chocolate the more dangerous it is.


Can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, lack of co-ordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, low blood glucose, coma and even death.


Irritates the mouth and the stomach.
Can cause vomiting but generally is not too poisonous.


Toxic to dogs and cats.
Can cause vomiting and diarrhoea but also lead to collapse of the cardiovascular system, trouble breathing, slow heart rate and erratic behaviour.
Definitely need to contact a vet as a matter of urgency if mistletoe is eaten .

Cooked bones

Raw bones are fine and many dogs enjoy them and they keep their teeth lovely and clean.
HOWEVER cooked bones are different.
The cooking process changes the composition of the bone and instead of going rubbery when it comes into contact with the stomach acid as a raw bone would do, it becomes brittle and splitters.
If you get vomiting, or lethargy, or lack of appetite after they have eaten a cooked bone then seek veterinary advice.
It is also common to see a little blood as it has passed in their faeces but watch out for the bone getting stuck in the rectum, this is often painful and often needs immediate veterinary attention.


This is extremely sweet tasting and attractive to cats and dogs.
It is rapidly fatal causing active and often irreversible kidney failure.
If your animal drinks this then immediate veterinary car is required.
Please also be aware many screen washes now contain antifreeze.


Can lead to obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract.
Also if they bite them the alkalinity of the battery can cause chemical burns to their mouth and throat.