If you are hosting a Thanksgiving fiesta or planning to take your dog to someone else’s home for holiday fun, your dog will be around lots of new types of food it would love to try, and you can be sure it will carefully comb the crowd for easy marks to give it a taste.
Unfortunately, many holiday foods are toxic to dogs and can either kill them or cause serious health problems.
Please take a look at this list and be sure to keep your dog away from these foods. More importantly, be sure to tell your guests, especially kids, not to feed anything to your dog.
Another thing you can do is empty garbage cans after you’ve made the meal and after clean up to keep potentially dangerous food away from dumpster diving dogs.
Here’s a list of foods to keep away from your dog:
- Onions or other alliums like garlic, leeks, shallots & scallions. Though small, well-cooked portions of this plant group can be okay when pets are accustomed to them, larger quantities can lead to toxic anemia — especially in dogs. Also, be careful with turkey stuffing. Many stuffing recipes include onions.
- Xylitol. Most people don’t cook with this sugar substitute, but diabetics often do. Anything with xylitol in it is toxic and absolutely deadly to dogs. Do not keep it in your house (or if you must, keep it safe and secure away from your animal). Sugar-free cupcakes, gums, and mints may also contain this product, so be careful all year round.
- Walnuts and Macadamia nuts. Within twelve hours of eating these nuts dogs can start to develop symptoms such as an inability to stand, ataxia (walking wobbly), depression, vomiting, muscle tremors, hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), weakness, and an elevated heart rate.
- Turkey Bones. Turkey bones (and chicken bones) are hollow and will splinter when your dog chews them. The sharp points of splintered bones can cause internal perforations in a dogs throat, stomach, or intestines that can lead to life threatening health problems. The bones can also get lodged in your dog’s throat and cause choking.
- Chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance that can be toxic to pets. Dark, semi-sweet or Baker’s chocolate can be lethal to pets if ingested. Milk chocolate is less dangerous but should still be avoided.
- Tomatoes, Potatoes and Rhubarb. Parts of these contain oxalates, which can be toxic to dogs.
- Raisins and Grapes. These can cause kidney failure, even in small amounts.
- Pits from plums, peaches, cherries or other fruit. Pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs as well as humans. They can also create intestinal blockage.
- Nutmeg. Can cause seizures and central nervous system damage.
- Avocados. The fruit, pit and plant are all toxic. They can cause difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and heart.
If you suspect that your dog may have ingested one of these foods or another harmful substance, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.
Have a safe and happy holiday!