The foods not to feed your dog this Christmas

It might seem like the best way to dispose of your leftovers, but an expert has warned against allowing your dog to eat festive foods at Christmas.

While many owners wills be tempted to give their pet leftovers, dogs should avoid chocolate, garlic, onions, leeks, chives or grapes, sultanas or raisins.

Research conducted by Welsh company Burns Pet Nutrition has prompted an urgent health warning, as a third of owners overfeed their pups, with 45 per cent even sharing cheese with their dogs.

While owners may see themselves as simply being generous, they could be putting their pup at risk.

Sugar-free items may seem tempting for controlling our human waistlines but the same can't always be said for pets.

Marketed as a healthy alternative, manufacturers tend to sneak Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, into our foods, causing a spike in insulin which could even be lethal for dogs.

While symptoms are often relieved within an hour, if lots of Xylitol has been consumed, the risk of liver failure increases.

Pups should also avoid nuts as they can induce weakness, vomiting, tremors and even depression.

While side-effects usually ease within 12 hours, it's always best to prevent this from happening in the first place.

Avocados may seem an odd thing to put on the list but just like cooked bones, Burns Pet Nutrition described these as a choking hazard.

If by chance your pup does eat any of these foods, the company stressed you should contact your vet immediately.

Burns Pet Nutrition also added that too much salt and fat from overfeeding of foods like bacon can cause pancreatitis.

Founder of the company, veterinarian John Burns MBE, wants to encourage owners to think twice before letting their pet overindulge on December 25.

He said: 'Dogs don't necessarily need tasty treats, it is just us owners that love to give them!

'As everyone tucks into their Christmas dinner, don't let those big puppy dog eyes pressure you.

'What's on our plates is not a great idea for your dog but if you want to give them a little Christmas lunch then plainly cooked vegetables are fine'.