The holiday season is the perfect time to spoil your pet with gifts and extra treats. While you indulge in your festive feasts, though, you’ll want to be careful about what you share with your dog. What’s delicious for you can end up being toxic for dogs, and no one wants to deal with an unexpected health emergency, especially during the holidays.
If you’re hosting a holiday gathering, be sure to talk to your guests about which foods to avoid feeding your dog, no matter how tempting his puppy dog eyes can be.
Read on for some of the top holiday foods that should absolutely not be shared with dogs.
Rich, Fatty Foods
Turkey or chicken skin, gravy and fatty meat drippings, mashed potatoes with butter and milk… if you’re a fan of these foods, we have good news: you get a plate all to yourself. In other words, do not share these fatty foods with your dog, or he may be in for some unpleasant tummy troubles.
As far as meat goes, keep Fido’s servings plain, boneless, and well-cooked.
While dogs and bones are a common combo, you’ll want to avoid tossing any cooked bones Fido’s way. Cooked bones can crack and splinter, which could lead to choking or internal damage.
That said, raw bones can be safe and healthy for your pooch. They can be a good source of minerals and nutrients, along with bacteria-fighting enzymes. Just make sure the raw bones are large enough that they can’t be swallowed whole.
Alliums are toxic to dogs, so avoid feeding your dog any dishes that contain alliums such as onions, chives, shallots, and scallions. It’s harmful to your dog’s red blood cells in any form—fresh, cooked, or powdered—so avoid these ingredients altogether to be safe.
Chocolate is incredibly toxic to dogs. Even if small amounts could be okay in some forms, it’s really not worth the risk, so keep chocolate out of reach from your dog whenever possible.
Caffeine and sugar are also unhealthy ingredients for dogs, so be sure to keep any sweets, desserts, and cups of coffee away from your dog.
We’ve seen what alcohol can do to humans, so it’s only logical that it has a similar effect on a dog’s brain. Plus, it doesn’t take much to take a serious physical toll on your dog’s body.
Keep any dishes containing alcohol away from your dog, and instruct guests not to leave their drinks unsupervised within reach from your pup.
Raisins & Grapes
Raisins and grapes, even in small quantities, can wreak serious havoc on your dog’s kidneys. Keep any fruitcakes, cranberry dishes, and salads containing these ingredients out of reach from Fido.
If you suspect that he’s tried a taste, contact your vet as soon as possible.
Some nuts, such as peanuts, can be perfectly safe and healthy for dogs. After all, what dog doesn’t love licking peanut butter from a hollow bone? Other nuts, however, aren’t quite as beneficial. For example, almonds, pecans, and walnuts all contain fatty oils that can lead to an upset stomach. Avoid macadamia nuts and pistachios, too.
Speaking of nuts… nutmeg can be an extremely toxic ingredient to dogs. Other spices can be dangerous too; as an added precaution, it’s best to keep most festive holiday treats away from your dog, anyways.
Dairy products are generally a bad idea for dogs and cats alike, since they can’t digest lactose the way humans can. (And let’s be real… lots of us humans also struggle with it!)
Avoid giving your pup any dishes filled with butter and milk, such as mashed potatoes and baked goods. And, if there was any doubt, keep your dog away from eggnog! All that fat, sugar, milk, raw eggs, and alcohol may make a tasty treat for you, but it’s definitely not good for Fido’s health.
While you’re in the kitchen preparing your holiday feasts, it’s probably a good idea to keep your dog in another room. If he accidentally ingests an unbaked dinner roll, he’s in for some serious discomfort, as the yeast will cause the bread to rise and lead to bloating.
In addition to paying attention to which foods Fido may be trying to taste, make sure to keep the trash out of reach as well. Keep lids on the trash cans to keep your dog from sniffing and digging through thrown-out plates and tossed ingredients; you may even want to temporarily toss trash into the garage where your dog can’t get it.
Additionally, remind guests to keep plates and cups out of reach from any four-legged friends.
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