Beware of These Holiday Foods!
Published December 8, 2021
As much as you want to share the joy of the holiday season with your pet, sharing table scraps may not be the best way to show them you care. Avoid sneaking these helpings from the table. It could save your pet a tummy ache — or even an emergency visit.
- Turkey skin, stuffing, & gravy: These holiday meal staples have high fat content and additional ingredients, like butter and spices, which can be difficult for your pet’s digestion. Adverse effects can range from a mild stomachache to deadly pancreatitis. It’s best to pass altogether on sharing them with your pet, as it can be easy to overdo it and give your pet too much.
- Turkey or ham bones: Cooked bones of any kind are NEVER safe for pets! They can splinter and puncture your pet’s digestive tract. Hold off on passing out any raw bones as well. Your pet’s mouth will harbor bacteria from raw bones, which could be dangerous to both your pet and you.
- Onions, garlic, & more: Whether raw, powdered, or cooked, plants in the Allium family, including chives, garlic, leeks, and shallots, are dangerous to pets. They cause damage to their red blood cells and can lead to anemia. Generally, the stronger the taste, the more toxic the plant is to your pet, with garlic being one of the most dangerous members of this plant family.
- Mashed potatoes: Plain mashed potatoes aren’t necessarily harmful for your pet, but they do not contain much nutritional value. Mashed potatoes prepped for holiday meals likely will also contain ingredients like garlic, butter, and spices, which could be harmful.
- Sweet potatoes: While plain, cooked sweet potatoes are usually safe for most pets in small quantities, added ingredients like butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows are not.
- Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which cause stimulation and increased heartrate. It could be deadly to pets. Generally, the more bitter the chocolate is, the more toxic it can be. In fact, unsweetened baking chocolate contains about seven times more theobromine than milk chocolate!
- Sweets: Xylitol is a sweetener that is often added to candy, gum, and even some peanut butters. Pets can develop dangerously low blood glucose levels and liver failure from ingesting xylitol. Even a very small amount can be deadly.
- Pumpkin pie: The added sugar and spices in pumpkin pie can be harmful to your pet.
- Grapes/raisins: Some types of grapes and raisins have been shown to cause kidney failure in pets when consumed in large amounts. The basis of this kidney failure is unclear, but it is currently being studied in the veterinary community. The exact amount that would be dangerous is unknown, so any amount could potentially be dangerous.
- Rising bread dough: Make sure to keep rising bread dough out of your pet’s reach. Ingesting rising bread dough can be life threatening. The animal’s body heat will cause the dough to “rise” in the stomach. Ethanol is produced during the rising process, and the dough may expand to several times its original size.
- Macadamia nuts: According to a study, clinical signs commonly reported in pets ingesting macadamia nuts include circling, lethargy, shaking and weakness. These signs have only been seen in pets, and the exact cause for their sensitivity is unknown.
Essential Tip: The best ways to show your pet you love them this holiday season is to spend quality time with them and keep them healthy!
As this year comes to an end, here are our recommendations to start the next on the right paw with resolutions for your pet’s best behavior and health.
We wish you and your furry friend a happy and healthy holiday season!