Woman shares how popular Christmas meal almost killed her beloved dog

Odette Odendaal
Dec 24, 2018
11:26 A.M.

Veterinarians warn against foods that could be poisonous to pets following numerous incidents of dogs eating harmful Christmas treats.


Lucie Coffey rushed her dog to the vet after almost dying after snatching an unattended piece of mince pie.


From Shrewsbury in Shropshire, 33-year-old Lucie found her Dachshund, Beatrice on the sofa looking awfully guilty when Lucie found the empty foil casing. Her daughter had gone off to bed and left the pie out on the table, not knowing it may have dire consequences to Beatrice.

Knowing that raisins are poisonous to dogs, which the pie contained plenty of, she rushed Beatrice to the veterinarian clinic. After Beatrice received activated charcoal and an injection to induce vomiting, it reduced the chances of harmful toxins being absorbed.


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Busy with chopping vegetables in the kitchen for supper, Lucie decided to check on Beatrice and said:

“When I went back in I saw the foil on the plate, but no pie and I thought, ‘right, there’s only one explanation for this,’ and there was the dog looking very sheepish.”


Thinking of what the outcome could have been Lucie added:

“We were there about three hours getting everything checked out and tested. I couldn’t have lived with myself if we hadn’t taken her to get checked out and something was badly wrong. A dog is part of your family, and I would have been devastated if anything had happened to her. Santa’s mince pie is definitely staying outside with the carrot for Rudolph at the back door – out of harm’s way.”

Thankfully Beatrice recovered fully from her pie stealing experience, but others may not be so lucky, as Lucie acted quickly after Beatrice ingested the raisins.


Veterinarians advise pet owners to have their animals checked out, even if they only ingested a small number of raisins or currants. All grapes, raisins, currants, and sultanas can be poisonous to dogs and can cause fatal kidney failure.

According to Debs Smith, from Scarsdale Vets’s Pride Veterinary Centre in Derby, the standard treatment for animals that ingested harmful substances include an intravenous drip for 48 hours to keep the pet hydrated along with activated charcoal and a vomit-inducing injection.


It serves to get as much of the substance out of the pet’s system as possible before full absorption of chemicals occurs.

With Pride Veterinary Centre seeing roughly three times the amount of poison cases in December compared to other months of the year, Debs Smith added:

"Unfortunately if they are not treated early it can be fatal. The earlier these things are treated, the more successful."


Be mindful about the things your pets could have access to, they love their human owners unconditionally and deserve the same loyalty and care they give to us so freely.

While on the topic of foods that could be harmful to your dog, a recent recall alert got sent out regarding different products in the Abound dog food range. Elevated levels of Vitamin D got found, which could be very harmful to your dog.


The elevated Vitamin D levels can cause kidney failure as well, and owners are warned to be on the lookout for symptoms associated with raised levels including, vomiting, loss of appetite, increased drooling, weight loss, excessive urination, and increased thirst.


Following are the dos and donts of what your dog can safely enjoy, to make differentiation easier.

Foods that your dog can enjoy

  • Christmas turkey - Your dog can enjoy small quantities as long as it's skinless, free of bones and gravy or marinades.
  • Potatoes - Because they are starchy, only small quantities are allowed, but make sure its free of salt, butter, and other additives.
  • Winter vegetables - Keeping with small quantities, green beans, courgettes, carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, peas, and cauliflower are all safe, just make sure there are no spices and butter or oil that go along with these vegetables.

Foods that your dog should not be eating

  • Chocolate and sweets - Chocolate contains a chemical named theobromine that can be fatal in large quantities, other sweets also offer no health benefits and packed full of additives that are not beneficial to your dog’s health.
  • Grapes, raisins, currants, and sultanas - Any dish that contains these ingredients should be given a wide birth as they are extremely toxic to cats and dogs.
  • Cooked bones - Cooked bones become brittle and can splinter, which could cause damage to your dog’s throat, stomach, and intestines, but are also a choking hazard and should not be fed to your dog.
  • Bulb vegetables - One that pet owners are probably not too familiar with is that onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, and chives are all dangerous to your dogs and cats. A substance in these bulb vegetables can damage your pet’s red blood cells and cause anemia.
  • Nuts - Walnuts and macadamia nuts are also toxic and can seriously affect their digestive, nervous, and muscular systems.
  • Herbs & spices - Nutmeg is extremely poisonous to dogs and can damage their nervous systems, while other herbs and spices can be upsetting to your dog’s stomach.
  • Pips and stones in all fruit contain cyanide which is poisonous to your pets and should be avoided at all times.
  • Pigs in a blanket may be tasty to us but can cause pancreatitis in your dog, so best to have them enjoy something else instead.

Be mindful of what you feed your furry best friend, look after them like they look after us so that you can have many happy years together in good health.

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