It’s that time of year again! The leaves are turning yellow and red and the temperature is getting cooler and cooler. Fall also means that all our favorite holidays are coming up, and that means lots of yummy delicious food! As always, we want our fur babies to take part in our festivities BUT not all food is good food for them, so we’ve put together a list of the foods you want to avoid sharing with your fur pals.

  1. Poultry Bones- The way that we cook our poultry causes the bones to become dehydrated and become brittle. If your pet eats them than can splinter inside their stomach and puncture it. However, freeze dried chicken bones are not dehydrated and have a soft moisturized texture making them perfectly safe. So instead of giving them bones straight off the turkey, give them one of these yummy treats instead.
  2. Turkey Skin- Many holiday foods are HIGH in FAT, which can lead to pancreatitis. The key here is moderation. Be sure to wash off any seasonings from the skin (unless you want to clean up diarrhea and vomit) and only give them a small portion of the skin.
  3. Alcohol- We’ve all seen the funny videos of pets drinking beer, wine, and other alcohols, but did you know that alcohol is MUCH more toxic to pets it is to people? This is especially true for alcohols made with Hops. It is extremely poisonous, so save a trip to the vet and keep the alcohol away from your pets
  4. Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine- These three might be a given but its always worth a mention. They all contain methylxanthines, which are found in the cacao and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. Baking chocolate is the most dangerous because it has the highest level of methylxanthines, followed by dark chocolate, then milk chocolate, and lastly white chocolate which contains the lowest level of methylxanthines, although its still unsafe to give to pets.
  5. Citrus- While our pets can enjoy many fruits and vegetables, cross citrus products off your list. Literally every part of the citrus plant, from the leaves to the seeds contain citric acid that can cause irritation of the stomach in small doses. If ingested in significant amounts citric acid can cause central nervous system depression in our pets.
  6. Macadamia Nuts and Pistachios: These two nuts are very rich in fat which can lead to pancreatitis in pets. Macadamias are the most dangerous because they are reported to contain a toxin that may result in neurological issues such as weakness, depression, and tremors. In general, nuts such as almonds, pecans, and walnuts should be avoided because they can get stuck into the dog’s stomach or become lodged in other unwanted places (like stopping up their butt!)
  7. Grapes and Raisins, and Fruit Pits- This is another one on the list that is probably obvious but again it’s always worth the mention. These two guys can cause kidney failure in dogs. So, keep any desserts, fruit baskets, or fruit cakes away from your fur pals. Fruit pits such as those found in peaches, plums, and apricots also contain chemicals that are toxic to pets and can cause severe gastrointestinal issues.
  8. Doughs with yeast- Our dogs tummies provide the perfect environment for bread to rise. I know, it sounds crazy, but it’s true. Raw dough consumed by your pet will expand inside the stomach and result in vomiting, severe abdominal pain, and bloating. So, make sure your pets don’t taste test the dinner rolls before they’re all baked up!
  9. Nutmeg- This popular spice is used in everything from pies to apple cider. However, this product contains hallucinogenic properties that can cause seizures and other central nervous system problems. In severe cases, shock and even death have been reported. Instead of giving them a slice of pie, set aside a bit of cooked PLAIN pumpkin or sweet potato (both skinless) to give them as a treat, these are great for digestion and super yummy!
  10. Salt- What is food without salt? Very bland for us humans, however for our dogs, the less seasoning the better. In fact, when giving food in general to your pets, BLAND is what you want it to be. Not only can too much salt cause excessive thirst, it puts them at risk for sodium ion poisoning which can lead to death.
  11. Raw Potatoes, Tomatoes and Eggplants- While SMALL, I’m talking minuscule amounts of these plants are ok to give COOKED (although they will still cause blockage and other issues), NEVER EVER give them to your dog raw or give them the skins of these plants. They contain solanine and chaconne which are their natural defense to deter insects, but cause symptoms like food poisoning.
  12. Rhubarb leaves- These are toxic to humans and dogs. The STALKS that we eat are non-toxic and are safe for the dogs to eat as well. If you grow this plant, just make sure you put a cage around it to make sure the dogs or kids don’t get into the leaves!
  13. Cranberries- What’s turkey without a side of cranberries? Most of us have cranberries as a staple for our holiday meals, but these bittersweet plants can cause serious tummy ache in our pets, thankfully that’s the worst that can happen from these guys. In small amounts, cranberries can be great for urinary health in our pets BUT in excessive amounts they will cause serious problems.
  14. Peppers- Moderation is key when giving this veggie to your pet. If you don’t feed them too much red, green, or yellow peppers, you should avoid any diarrhea or vomiting. NEVER EVER feed your dog HOT PEPPERS, those are no good in any amount and can burn your dog’s intestinal tract.

Using these tips will help you keep you pet safe for the holiday and keep your holiday safe and EMERGENCY ROOM VISIT FREE!