If your home is like so many others this holiday season, it’s likely that there will be a lot more delicious food in the house than usual. Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, pie, and pastries – not to mention filled candy dishes and other little treats – will be some of the decadent morsels that grace your table this time of year.

You can be sure that pets have taken notice of the enticing aromas wafting through the air, and chances are that your pets are hoping to be given (or to snatch) a tidbit or three of this deliciousness. Unfortunately, many of the most common holiday foods can wreak havoc on pets’ bodies, causing gastrointestinal issues or worse. By familiarizing yourself with our list of toxic foods for pets and taking the proper precautions, you can set your furry friend up for a safe and healthy holiday season by your side.

Toxic Foods For Pets

The following foods should never be fed to pets:

  • Xylitol – This artificial sweetner is used in a variety of sugar-free items such as candy, gum, baked goods, and peanut butter. Great care should be taken to ensure that dogs don’t come into contact with xylitol or any product that contains it, as it is highly toxic and often fatal if ingested.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate of any kind can cause abnormal heart rhythms in pets, but the kind of chocolate used for baking can be particularly toxic due to its high cocoa content. Play it safe and keep all chocolate away from pets.
  • Grapes and raisins – Grapes and raisins have been known to cause kidney failure and various other issues if ingested by pets.
  • Onions and garlic – Large quantities of onions, garlic, or other alliums (leeks, scallions, etc.) can lead to toxic anemia in pets. Be extra careful of turkey stuffing, which often contains several types of alliums.
  • Alcohol – Pets are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol due to their smaller size, and hops can also be toxic to dogs–so craft beers (in particular) are off the menu for fido.
  • Raw dough – The yeast in raw dough can cause it to expand inside a pet’s stomach, making for a painful tummy, or worse.
  • Poultry skins, gravy, & fatty foods – Although not toxic, even small amounts of highly fatty foods can lead to a dangerous condition known as pancreatitis in pets. Pancreatitis can cause severe pain, scarring of the pancreas, and in serious cases may be fatal.

Preventing A Problem

Even if you don’t intend to feed table scraps to your pets, sometimes pets just help themselves. Your pet may not get into anything toxic, but too much of an unfamiliar food can cause an upset tummy, and indigestible items such as bones and corn cobs can lead to a dangerous digestive blockage.

Think one step ahead of your sweet pet in order to avoid a holiday pet emergency. Always put leftovers away immediately after a meal, keep the trash in a covered bin, and be sure to take it outside right away. Ask that your guests don’t slip any bits of food to your pets, and keep an eye on drinks and snack plates that may be left lying around during a gathering.

Happiness, Health, And Holidays

Your friends at Bayside Animal Hospital want to wish you and your family (both two-legged and four) a wonderful holiday season! Please let us know if you have any questions regarding toxic foods for pets, or if you need to make an appointment for your furry friend.