Can dogs eat mince pies?

Mince pies contain raisins which are poisonous to dogs. Raisins, as well as grapes, sultanas and currants can lead to acute kidney failure and death. Even a very small amount can cause severe problems in some dogs.

Why are mince pies dangerous for dogs?

As well as containing toxic raisins, mince pies may contain lots of fat and sugar which can cause stomach upset in dogs. Other ingredients such as chocolate or sugar substitute xylitol, which can be found in some types of mince pies, are also highly toxic to dogs. 

In addition, mince pies are often packaged in foil casing which could pose a risk if eaten by your dog. 

My dog ate mince pies, what should I do?

Take the mince pie away from your dog and call your vet or, out of hours, your nearest Vets Now clinic as they will be in the best position to offer advice. If your vet asks you to bring your dog into the clinic take a sample of whatever they’ve eaten or, if possible, the wrapper or box they came in.

Do not try to give your dog salt water or induce vomiting.

Image of a dog and a mince pie for Vets Now article on can dogs eat mince pies?

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How many mince pies can my dog eat safely?

Fresh grapes and any dried form such as raisins, sultanas and currants can lead to acute renal failure and death if eaten by dogs. The cause of poisoning is still not 100% certain, but we think it’s most likely to be a substance called tartaric acid. 

While all forms of grapes are poisonous to dogs, extra caution should be taken with foods containing raisins, currants (dried fruit of dark grapes) and sultanas (dried fruit of white grapes) as these have been associated with more severe cases. 

The tartaric acid content of grapes varies due to lots of factors so there is no way to predict whether it will be at toxic levels. Therefore, there is no definitive answer to the question of how many grapes or raisins are toxic to dogs. Even the smallest quantity of raisins could potentially make your dog seriously ill, meaning just a bite of a mince pie could be dangerous. So, keep the mince pies well out of your dog’s reach this Christmas. 

What happens if a dog eats a mince pie?

If your dog has eaten a mince pie you should contact your vet straight away for advice, even if they don’t seem ill.
Symptoms can include:

Symptoms normally start showing between six and 12 hours after your dog has eaten them, with organ damage developing within 24 to 72 hours of exposure. But these may not take effect for several days. In the most serious cases, raisins can also cause sudden kidney failure.

Can dogs eat pastry?

You should avoid giving your dog pastry for several reasons. Pastry can be high in fat and sugar which can cause stomach upset and the endless filling options could also contain ingredients which are dangerous for dogs. If the sugar substitute xylitol has been used, even a small amount can make dogs seriously ill. While your dog might beg for a morsel, the bottom line is that feeding your dog pastry is not worth the risk.

Can a mince pie kill a dog?

Dogs treated for raisin toxicity generally have a very high chance of survival if treatment is quick and early and there’s been no kidney damage. However, if treatment is delayed and there are signs of kidney damage your dog may suffer lifelong health issues or, in the most severe cases, lose their life.

Image of mince pies on a table for Vets Now article on can dogs eat mince pies

What will the vet do if my dog eats a mince pie?

There’s no direct antidote for raisin toxicity so, if your dog has eaten a mince pie, it’s vital that they receive treatment as early as possible to maximise the chance of a successful outcome.

Treatment for raisin toxicity may involve placing your dog on intravenous fluids (a drip) to support kidney function and for rehydration. They may also be given a drug to make them sick and/or receive a treatment called activated charcoal which helps to clear away toxins left in the intestines.

Typically, the vet will also check your dog’s kidney values and perform an ultrasound scan to look at the kidneys. If these tests indicate kidney damage, then more intensive treatment will often be required.

How to prevent dog raisin poisoning at Christmas?

Be aware of any products containing raisins (or grapes, sultanas and currants) which might be in your home this Christmas and keep them well out of reach of your dog. Also, be sure to put your shopping away as soon as you get home. Mince pies and Christmas cake are perhaps the most obvious fruit-laden Christmas staples but there may be others.

If you’re baking with these ingredients at home, handle them with care and make sure your dog can’t steal anything while you’re not looking.