Dog at kitchen table waiting for food.

From sweet treats to savory meats, holiday celebrations are steeped in food and fellowship. And while it may be tempting to share a bite of fruitcake or a nip of eggnog with your pet, it’s best to keep the people foods on your plate and offer your pet a festive treat made just for him! 

Our team at Blue Valley Animal Hospital takes pet safety seriously, and we want you to be aware of popular holiday food that is bad for pets.

  1. Not-So-Sweet Treats

Cookies, pies, cakes, and candies are for people—not pets! There are a number of ingredients commonly found in desserts and sweets that are toxic to pets, including: 

Chocolate: A major no-no for cats and dogs, chocolate can cause heart arrhythmia, vomiting and diarrhea. And the darker the chocolate, the less it takes to make pets sick.

Xylitol: This artificial sweetener is extremely toxic to pets. 

Nuts: A staple in many holiday desserts, nuts can cause pancreatitis in pets.

Raisins (and grapes): The ingestion of raisins, grapes, and currants can cause kidney failure in pets.

Wrappers: While not a toxic ingredient, a shiny candy wrapper with traces of tasty chocolate or peppermint can smell very appealing to a pet. Most wrappers today are cellophane or foil, which can cause life-threatening intestinal blockages if consumed.

  1. Keep a Lid on Alcohol Consumption

Eggnog, champagne, and other alcohol-containing beverages should be kept out of reach of pets. Eggnog in particular is creamy and sweet and may entice a curious cat or dog. Pets are extremely sensitive to the effects of alcohol and can experience the following symptoms after ingesting just a small amount:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Low blood sugar and blood pressure
  • Respiratory depression
  • Reduced body temperature
  1. No Bones About It

Bones present numerous risks to our pets, including the following:

  • They are choking hazards.
  • They can cut or puncture a pet’s mouth, throat, and intestines.
  • They can block an animal’s digestive system.
  • They can become stuck in your pet’s teeth. 
  • Large bone fragments can get trapped in the stomach and require surgical intervention.

Protect Your Companion From Harmful Food for Pets

Follow these tips from our team to help keep your pets from ingesting holiday food that is bad for pets:

  • Keep trash cans tightly covered.
  • Clear dirty dishes immediately from the table.
  • Keep platters of food out of your pet’s reach.
  • Consider keeping pets in a quiet room during holiday gatherings.
  • Remind your guests not to share table scraps with your pets.

If you suspect that your pet has eaten something toxic, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

We want you and your pets to have a joyful, safe holiday season. Please contact us at (913) 681-2818 for more holiday pet safety tips.