Pet owners are often tempted to give their pets special treats. This seems to be especially true during holidays, when food is the center of celebrations. Unfortunately, certain human foods can be dangerous to pets, even in small amounts, so make sure to keep these foods away from your pets this holiday season:

Dangerous Foods Alert | Essentials PetCareChocolate

A mixture of cocoa beans and cocoa butter, chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which cause stimulation and increased heartrate, and 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, while white chocolate (a combination of cocoa butter, sugar, butterfat, milk solids, and flavorings but no cocoa beans) contains negligible amounts.

Grapes and Raisins

Some types of grapes and raisins have been shown to cause kidney failure in dogs 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.

Macadamia Nuts

According to a study, clinical signs commonly reported in dogs ingesting macadamia nuts include circling, lethargy, shaking and weakness. These signs have only been seen in dogs, and the exact cause for their sensitivity is unknown.

Moldy Foods

Moldy foods may contain certain tremorgenic mycotoxins which could cause muscle tremors and convulsions that can last for several days.


Onions (raw, powdered, or cooked) can be harmful to dogs and cats. Onions are members of the genus Allium. Other members of this genus include chives, garlic, leeks, and shallots, which are also dangerous to pets. Onions cause damage to the red blood cells and can lead to anemia.

Rising Bread Dough

Ingesting rising bread dough can be life threatening to dogs. 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.

Xylitol Sweeteners

Xylitol is a sweetener that is often added to candy or gum and even peanut butter.  Dogs can develop dangerously low blood glucose levels and liver failure from ingesting xylitol. Even a very small amount can be deadly.