Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire . . .

If there is one thing that everyone loves about the holidays, it’s the delicious foods.  Fudge, cookies, egg nog, turkey!  The holidays just aren’t’ the same without a little indulgence.  And while your pets may beg for some Christmas goodies, you have to be careful.  Some people food is deadly to pets.  The following list, while not exhaustive, list the problems caused by certain foods.  These should be off limits to pets:


Alcohol- can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, tremors, coma and death.

Chocolate- can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, excessive thirst and urination, panting, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures and death.

Coffee- same as for chocolate.

Caffeine-  same as for chocolate.

Avocados- can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.  Can poison and kill birds and rodents.

Macadamia nuts- can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia (over heating).

Grapes and raisins – can cause kidney failure.

Raw or undercooked meats and eggs – can spread salmonella and E. coli

Salt – lots of salt can cause excessive thirst and urination, and for some pets can cause sodium ion poisoning.

Onions, garlic, chives – gastrointestinal damage leading to red blood cell damage.

Yeast dough-can expand in the stomach or intestines and cause them to rupture.

Anything containing the sweetener Xylitol can lead to liver failure, hypoglycemia, recumbancy, seizures.

Milk and dairy products – can cause diarrhea and other digestive upset.

Bones- most people think bones are good for dogs, but bones splinter easily, which can cause choking, or grave injury should a splinter become lodged in the digestive tract.


With a bit of caution, both you and your pets can all enjoy a safe and happy holiday season!

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  • Blog Author

    Dee Perez

    Dee Perez is lifelong animal lover and animal welfare proponent. She developed and taught a year-long series of university-level classes called Two-Legged and Four-Legged: Exploring Human Relationships with Animals that explored myriad issues around ... Read Full
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