Holiday Hazards: Foods to Keep Away from Your Pets This Festive Season

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and lots of delicious food. While we indulge in festive treats, it's essential to remember our furry friends. Pets are curious by nature, and the allure of Christmas and New Year's delicacies can be irresistible to them. However, several holiday foods can be harmful, or even deadly, to pets. This blog post highlights some of the foods you should keep away from your pets during the holiday season.

1. Chocolate and Caffeine

A well-known no-no for pets, especially dogs, is chocolate. Theobromine and caffeine, found in chocolate, are toxic to dogs and cats. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Ensure that all chocolate treats, including cakes and hot cocoa, are out of reach of your pets.

2. Grapes and Raisins

Often found in holiday fruitcakes or as snacks, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Even a small amount can be hazardous, so it's crucial to keep these fruits far away from your pets.

3. Xylitol

Xylitol is a sweetener often used in sugar-free products like gum, candies, and some baked goods. It can cause insulin release in many animals, leading to liver failure. Check the ingredients of any sugar-free treats and keep them away from your pets.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol can be extremely dangerous for pets, even in small quantities. It can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, coma, or even death. Ensure that your pets can't access any unattended alcoholic beverages during your holiday celebrations.

5. Bones and Fat Trimmings

While it might be tempting to give your pet a special treat from your holiday meal, bones and fat trimmings can be dangerous. Bones can splinter and cause choking or serious damage to your pet’s digestive tract. Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis, a severe and painful condition for pets.

6. Onions and Garlic

These common kitchen ingredients can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage in pets. Foods containing onions or garlic, such as stuffing or casseroles, should be kept out of reach.

7. Nutmeg and Other Spices

Nutmeg, which is often used in holiday pies and eggnog, contains myristicin, which can be harmful to pets. In large amounts, it can cause seizures and central nervous system problems. Other spices can also cause stomach upset, so it's best to avoid giving your pets human food seasoned with spices.


The holidays are a time for sharing, but when it comes to festive foods, sharing with your pets can be dangerous. Keep these food items out of reach, and ensure your pets have their own safe and pet-friendly treats. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, contact your veterinarian immediately. Let's keep our furry friends safe and healthy this holiday season!

Happy Holidays!