Holiday Foods Your Pets Should Avoid

By on November 24, 2015

We know your pets are like family and we know how much they love to partake in holiday feasts, but there are some seriously dangerous foods common to the holidays that should never be offered to them. Check out a list of foods to avoid giving pets and stay happy, healthy and safe this holiday season!

  • Turkey, Ham, Chicken skin- the skin of these main dishes are often full of marinades, fat and other things that are tasty, but they can be difficult to digest.
  • Stuffing and gravy- fatty food, see above… And stuffing often contains a number of things that are toxic to dogs like mushrooms, chives, herbs, etc.
  • Cooked bones- dogs love bones and it seems natural to “give a dog a bone,” but cooked ones can splinter and do some damage once ingested.
  • Onions and garlic- these are flavorful and fragrant, but also full of sulfides. Sulfides are toxic. Don’t give dogs toxic sulfides.
  • Cranberry sauce- though Cranberry is actually a good thing to ingest for anyone, the sauce is often very sugary. Also, many homemade sauce recipes contain things like raising, nuts and artificial sweeteners that are bad.
  • Alcohol- For obvious reasons, just don’t do it. Beer is especially tasty to dogs, but contains hops- another potential toxicity catalyst. There are dog-safe brews and treats, so consider checking these out, especially from Beer Paws! 
  • Nuts and Nutmeg- various nuts (macadamia) are toxic to dogs, as is nutmeg, a spice used in pumpkin dishes and other sweet treats. Nervous system trouble, seizures and shock can result from ingesting these. Cinnamon is also a no-no.
  • Most herbs are hard on tummies- Sage and other herbs contain oils that can be hard on your animal’s stomach. We’re not quite sure why anyone would give a dog twigs of Rosemary or the like, but just know it’s bad for them.
  • Chocolate- you already know this…
  • Cookie dough, batter, uncooked bread- uncooked items that contain egg or yeast can be especially nasty on an animal’s insides. Salmonella is never fun and dough can actually rise once it enters the stomach. Strange but dangerous.
  • Mashed potatoes- though potatoes aren’t necessarily bad, once their mashed and spruced up, that dish will likely contain a lot of butter, fat and other things that can be extra hard on your dog’s stomach.

If it seems as if all your holiday favorites are especially bad for animals, it’s because most of them can be. If you are going to give your pets a little table treat, make sure it’s small and doesn’t contain any of the really bad stuff listed above. Be careful and assure your pet of a happy holiday season (and yourself no vet trips or vomit/poop clean ups!)

Happy eating!

About Eric Forrest

Eric Forrest is a student, teacher, writer and dad. He's had 5 dogs, 4 cats, two ducks and a cottontail rabbit he nursed back to health. When he's not writing about pets, he's writing essays, teaching literature, changing diapers and reading short stories.

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