Animal charity PDSA are warning pet owners of the dangers of feeding their dogs chocolate this Christmas.

More than 350 dogs have suffered the symptoms of chocolate exposure in the last five years, according to research published in Vet Record.

Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant similar to caffeine, which can cause vomiting, increased heart rate, agitation and seizures in dogs.

[Read more: 11 reasons why getting a dog will make your life - and health - better]

But what else should you avoid treating your pets with? Here are five other foods you should steer clear of treating your pet with this Christmas.

Grapes and raisins

They contain a potent toxin that can damage the liver and kidneys of dogs and cats. Raisins are a key ingredient in mince pies and fruitcake, so make sure these are kept well away from your dog or cat.


It's especially a toxin present in macadamia nuts that you need to watch for, as it can impede the function of a dog's digestive, muscle and nervous systems, resulting in weakness and breathlessness, tremors and swollen legs.


This spice is also a danger. It’s a favourite ingredient of egg nog, but if it’s eaten by a dog its nervous system will begin to suffer with potentially severe consequences.

[Read more: 6 common home and garden plants that are poisonous to your pets]


Alcohol has a far stronger effect on dogs than humans, and even a drop of it or any other stimulant-type drink can cause disorientation, laboured breathing, and even death.

Peaches, plums and persimmons

They've all been known to have been known to cause digestive complaints in dogs. The pips of these fruits not only pose a choking hazard, but contain a harmful cocktail of toxins.