What to Know About Holiday Foods and Your Pets

Every year during this time there are so many holidays that bring friends and family together. People put up decorations, cook elaborate meals, and partake in a wide variety of festivities. During this time it can be easy to forget about safety, especially the safety of your pets.


The holidays bring a lot of safety hazards for not only people but for pets too. Here at ZenLyfe, we care about everyone in the family, including your fur-babies. With that, we want to share some general information about holiday foods and how they can be dangerous to pets. 

Understand What Foods are Toxic

During the holidays your pets are going to be exposed to a larger variety of people than normal. Not every person who will be around your pets are familiar with what they can and can’t eat. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to inform your guests on what your pets can have, but to prevent them from consuming toxic food in general.


There are a few ways you can go about doing this. First, you want to get familiar with what foods are not safe for dogs to eat. Here is a solid list of foods:


  1. Xylitol - found in candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods
  2. Avocado - Some dogs are highly allergic while others will have small reactions
  3. Alcohol - Alcohol has the same effect on dogs that it does on humans but takes less
  4. Onions and garlic - Includes powdered, raw, cooked, and dehydrated
  5. Coffee, tea, and caffeine - Includes beans and grounds
  6. Grapes and raisins - Just a small amount can cause kidney failure in dogs
  7. Milk and other dairy products - Milk-based products can cause diarrhea, even in small amounts
  8. Macadamia nuts - Just 6 raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make dogs sick
  9. Chocolate - The problem in chocolate is theobromine, which is in all kinds of chocolate
  10. Fat trimmings and bones - Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Bones can cause dogs to choke and create splinters or block in their digestive system
  11. Persimmons, peaches, and plums - The problem with these fruits is the seeds. They can cause problems with their intestines. 
  12. Raw eggs - While many people feed eggs to dogs as part of a “raw diet” many major veterinary medical associations don't think that's a good idea because of the risk of salmonella and E. Coli. 
  13. Raw Meat and Fish - Just like raw eggs, raw meat has bacteria that can cause food poisoning, and some fish even have parasites known as “fish disease”. 
  14. Salt - Giving your dog a lot of salt can lead to them getting extremely thirsty, which can lead to sodium ion poisoning. 
  15. Sugar - Not only can sugar make your dog overweight, but it can cause problems with their teeth and lead to diabetes.
  16. Yeast dough - If you bake, you know that dough will rise if left untouched. Well, this is the same thing that will happen in your dog’s stomach by giving them raw dough.
  17. Human medicine - Not that you should ever share human medicine with pets, but human medicine can be deadly to dogs.
  18. Kitchen pantry items - Many items in your pantry (baking soda, baking powder, certain spices) are extremely toxic.

Have a Safety Plan

Just like any other situation, accidents are bound to happen. With that being said, you still should have a general idea of what to do if these accidents occur. Keep the number to your local vet handy as well as the number of an emergency clinic. You can also always call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. 

What Can They Eat?

From the list that we gave it might seem like there is nothing your pet can safely consume. Well, the good news is there is an endless variety of safe pet treats. You can either buy some from the grocery store, companies like Chewy, or even look up a local pet treat store. Some pet owners even opt for making their own treats by using vet-certified recipes


Overall, you can find many yummy treats for your pets that won’t come with any health complications. Don’t be afraid to educate your guests on pet safety and be sure to keep all non-pet foods out of reach from your furry friends!


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