Pet Health

5 Foods To Avoid Feeding Your Pet During The Holidays

During the holidays, we tend to allow ourselves a few more treats than usual. Who doesn’t love a hot chocolate or a warm chocolate chip cookie or Gramma’s famous cheesecake? While it’s okay for us to indulge a little here and there, it’s important not to be tempted to allow our four-legged friends to join in on the fun. What can bring a full belly and a smile to us can actually be quite dangerous to them.

Here are 5 common foods we’re often tempted to share with our pets during the holidays and why we shouldn’t. 

1. Chocolate

The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to your pet. This includes baking chocolate. Be sure to keep any boxes of chocolates up and away from your pet’s reach. And don’t leave any of those decadent dark chocolate brownies lying around where they can get too either!

Possible symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, heart palpitations and seizures.

2. Bones and Fat Trimmings

It seems almost counterintuitive, but DON’T throw your dog a bone! They can easily choke on bones or, worse, the bone can splinter and cause either an obstruction or a puncture in the digestive system, which can be very dangerous.

As much as we’d like to make our furry friends part of the festivities during the holidays, pass on dropping them any fat trimmings. Yes, they’ll lick it up and give you an adoring smile afterwards, but too much fat can lead to pancreatitis in dogs.

3. Milk and Dairy Products

Our four-legged friends lack the enzyme lactase, which is needed to properly break down and digest dairy. Be careful to keep any dairy-containing foods away from your pets. That means no tossing them a piece of cheese from the table!

If dairy is ingested, symptoms can include diarrhea and other digestive issues for both dogs and cats.

4. Nutmeg

I just learned of this recently. Nutmeg, which can be rather alluring to dogs, is actually quite dangerous in high amounts. A common holiday spice, it’s important to keep any foods and especially the spice jar far away from your beloved pet.

High amounts of this spice can actually be fatal. In smaller doses, symptoms can include tremors or seizures and other nervous system abnormalities.

5. Holiday Plants

While you are clearly not planning on feeding your fur friend any of your holiday decor, sometimes they take it upon themselves to do so. Be cautious of what plants you have within your pet’s reach this holiday season.

We’ve all heard that poinsettias are toxic to pets, but did you know holly can be dangerous as well? When ingested, it can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can also cause digestive upset and cardiovascular problems. Lilies, another common holiday plant, can cause kidney failure in cats if consumed as well.


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