Paws down, the holidays are a favorite time of year for dogs and cats. Why? All the baking and merriment-making, of course.
A few puppy dog stares and desperate meows … pets know just what to do to get a treat! But before you over-indulge your four-legged friend this holiday season, know what foods are toxic to dogs and cats.
Check out this list of 7 holiday foods your dogs and cats shouldn’t eat. (We’ll also give you the scoop on human foods that ARE safe for dogs and cats this season.)
The Naughty List: 7 Holiday Foods Pets Should Not Eat
Did you know? A cat’s sense of smell is 14x greater than ours, and a dog’s sense of smell is 40x greater. No wonder they can’t resist the delectable smells wafting in from the kitchen! Just steer clear of the following to make sure your pet has a happy and healthy holiday …
1. Turkey Skin
While you don’t need to go “cold turkey” on sharing your holiday bird with your pet, it’s important to avoid the skin, as it’s loaded with fat and seasonings that can make your dog or cat sick. Some pets will get stomach irritation from gobbling up turkey skin, and worst case scenario is they get pancreatitis. Also avoid giving your pet cooked turkey bones. They can splinter and pierce their intestines or cause them to choke.
2. Dairy Products
We’ve all heard that “milk does a body good.” But that doesn’t include your pet’s body. Milk and other dairy products like butter and cheese (pass the loaded mashed potatoes, please!) can be hard on a pet’s digestive system because they don’t have adequate amounts of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk. The result can be diarrhea, and if you’re hosting for the holidays and spending hours cleaning, you definitely don’t want that to happen!
Your Aunt Pat may brag about having a high alcohol tolerance, but pets are different and can’t tolerate alcohol in any amount. If your dog or cat has gotten into a drink or food made with alcohol, you may notice them suffering from poor balance, slow reflexes or decreased heart rate. So unless you want a trip to pet emergency on Christmas Eve, it’s best to keep a watchful eye on Aunt Pat and your other guests to make sure no drinks are left unattended.
Here’s another reason to re-gift that rock-hard fruitcake. Many contain raisins, which have been known to be fatal to dogs and cats … even in small amounts. This occurs because consumption of raisins can bring on sudden kidney failure. You’ll also want to avoid grapes. Both can be poisonous to dogs and cats, although raisins are the more concentrated of the two. Vomiting will usually be the first warning sign of poisoning, occurring within 24 hours.
Onions bring some major yum to everything from stuffing to dips, but make sure your pet steers clear. Onions are members of the genus Allium and are known to be toxic to dogs and especially cats. They contain compounds that can damage red blood cells, leading to conditions like anemia and methemoglobinemia (a blood disorder). While onion is shown to be particularly toxic to domesticated pets, other members of the Allium family should be avoided as well, such as leeks, garlic and chives.
6. Homemade Dinner Rolls/Yeast Bread
If you whip up a batch of homemade rolls like the kitchen rock star you are, just don’t share a square of the dough with your dog or cat. Yeast dough can actually rise in a pet’s tummy, causing gas pain, bloat (which can be fatal if the stomach twists), or the symptoms of alcohol poisoning.
Sweet treats are a favorite part of the holiday tradition for many of us, but make sure you don’t share with your pet. Here are some goodies that your dogs and cats shouldn’t have:
Whether sitting in a candy bowl or hidden in your closet for stocking stuffers (um, or your own personal stash), pets are particularly good at sniffing out chocolate. While small amounts of milk chocolate or white chocolate likely won’t harm your pet, it’s dark chocolate that can really do damage, like cause liver failure and even death.
This popular holiday spice can cause your pet to hallucinate or have seizures or tremors.
Nuts are a no-go for pets and can cause a host of unhealthy side effects, from pancreatitis and neurological problems to diarrhea.
This plant-derived sweetener is extremely toxic to pets and can mess with their blood sugar or cause seizures and liver failure. It’s found in many baked goods, so be sure to read your labels carefully if you aren’t making homemade.
Holiday Foods That ARE Safe for Dogs and Cats
- Sweet potatoes
- Mashed potatoes
- Green beans
- Corn (no cobs)
- Apples (not the core or seeds)
- A couple bites of turkey (no skin!)
Important: These foods should be served plain and not doctored up with a bunch of seasonings and butter. But don’t feel bad. What may be plain to us can seem like filet mignon to our pets!
P.S. Bad Breath? Oxyfresh Pet Breath Freshener Is the Perfect Holiday Gift.
From stocking stuffers to gifts for all the pets on your list, Oxyfresh’s non-toxic Pet Water Additive for dogs and cats is an awesome gift idea. This is the proven pet breath freshener that stops bad cat and dog breath immediately while fighting daily plaque buildup. (Did you know? Removing plaque from pets’ teeth can actually add years to their lifespan!)
For those who have a lack of time or desire to brush their pets’ teeth, this is the solution that takes the fuss out of cat and dog dental care. Just add to their water bowl! That’s it. Such a small step each day for such big results, like fresher breath, healthier teeth and gums, and a longer life. Home pet dental care has never been so easy!
From all of us at Oxyfresh, we wish you a very meowy holiday filled with good food, fun and lots of pet snuggles. To check out our complete line of pet products, we invite you to visit us at oxyfresh.com.