The holidays can provide plenty of fun food for everyone, but what’s good for humans could be dangerous for dogs.
In fact, any pet who roams the house can be threatened by holiday treats. However, because cats are pickier, dogs appear to be more at risk for eating foods that can harm them.
So this holiday season, ignore those puppy-dog eyes and remember this list from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It contains foods that shouldn’t get into a dog’s mouth:
- Watch for deadly ingredients. Macadamia nuts are very harmful for dogs. Keep this in mind when your dog licks their lips at the sight of those white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies. And you may already be aware that chocolate is dangerous for dogs, but also be sure to keep anything with xylitol—a sugar substitute—out of reach, because it can be deadly too.
- Raw meat is not for the domesticated dog. Although your dog’s wild ancestors may have hunted for their dinner, raw meat isn’t appropriate for your pet. E. coli, salmonella and other bacteria can be found in uncooked meat. And be sure to wash your hands after handling raw meat before you feed anyone—including your dog.
- Grapes, raisins and currants can turn toxic. These foods can cause kidney failure in dogs. Not all dogs are affected by it, but it’s not worth the risk to find out. Are any fruits safe? Bananas, and apples with core and seeds removed, appear to be fine.
- Fried and fatty foods are no better for Fido than they are for you. These foods sometimes give us indigestion, and they do the same for dogs. But these foods can also cause a potentially deadly disease called pancreatitis.
- The mold means it’s old, so throw it out. You wouldn’t give moldy food to your family, so don’t give it to your dog. And when you throw old food away, make sure your dog can’t get into the trash.
- Salty snacks can be sickening. One potato chip or pretzel may not harm a dog, but a whole bag can make them sick. And because your dog might be getting more salty snacks during the holidays, make sure to keep their water bowl full.
- Onions, garlic and chives are no pet’s friend. This includes onion and garlic powder, which means any foods with these items need to stay out of your dog’s reach. Also note that cats are sensitive to onions and garlic products too.
Keeping your dog safe
All dogs are different. A certain type of food might harm one dog but not affect another. So play it safe.
And remember that dogs with food allergies are affected differently than people with food allergies are. Allergic reactions in animals usually cause skin and ear problems.
The best plan is to keep all human food away from your dog. This will help ensure the holidays are fun and safe for everyone in the family—including your beloved pup.