Keep These Holiday Foods Away From Your Pets

We all know that chocolate is a no-go, but onions and macadamia nuts can also be harmful.

This dog is waiting for dinner. Photo by Ruthie Hansen/Flickr

This dog is waiting for dinner. Photo by Ruthie Hansen/Flickr

The family pet is just that—a part of the family. So it makes sense that many people will have their pets by their sides for the upcoming holiday meals. But with that comes more responsibility for pet owners to make sure that the table food their pets are getting (or begging for) is safe to eat.

Dr. Kiko Bracker, a veterinarian at Angell Animal Medical Center’s Emergency and Critical Care Unit is urging pet owners to avoid trips to the animal ER this holiday season by following some simple, but important food rules. Bracker says that he is “especially concerned” with the following ingredients:

Chocolate: “Even just a quarter ounce ingested can spike heart rate and anxiety in a 10-pound dog,” Bracker says.

Yeast dough: “Raw yeast dough can rise in the stomach and cause severe discomfort,” Bracker says. “Many yeast ingestions require surgical intervention, and even small amounts can be dangerous.”

Garlic, onions, and chives: “Large amounts of these products can significantly damage red blood cells, causing anemia and possible kidney failure,” Bracker warns.

Fatty or spicy table food: “Bones can splinter and cause damage or blockage in the gastrointestinal tract,” Bracker says, adding that spicy or fatty foods can lead to inflammation of the pancreas. “Moldy or spoiled foods can also lead to food poisoning, tremors, or seizures.”

Grapes and raisins: “Ingestion of these foods has been associated with kidney failure in dogs,” Bracker adds.

Macadamia nuts: “In dogs, ingestion [of these nuts] can produce vomiting, weakness, depression, lack of coordination, and tremors,” Bracker says.

“The only sure-fire way to avoid a trip to the animal ER during the holiday season is to keep our pets well away from these substances,” Bracker says. “Our hope is that people and their pets have an enjoyable and safe [season].”