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Harmful Holiday Foods for Pets

December 15, 2017

In most homes, food plays a big role in the holiday celebrations. Keep in mind that many of these tasty morsels aren’t safe for our dogs and cats—it’s essential to keep your pet far away from harmful holiday foods. Your Roanoke, VA vet tells you what to watch for below:

Garlic, Onions, Chives

Onions and garlic are categorized in the allium family of foods, along with chives, leeks, shallots, and scallions. All of them contain a sulfuric substance that proves quite toxic to our animal friends! Garlic is the most potent, and therefore the most dangerous, but use caution around all such foods so that your pet doesn’t experience poisoning. If your pet has a history of food sensitivities or you’re concerned about allergies and skin health, learn how our Allergies & Dermatology’‘ services can help keep your pet healthy.

Fatty, Buttery, or Rich Foods

These sorts of foods aren’t necessarily toxic to pets, but they can cause harm nonetheless. Too much rich or buttery foods can lead to vomiting or diarrhea, and ingesting too much fat too quickly can even cause a case of acute pancreatitis! To be safe, don’t let holiday guests slip your pet any table scraps during or after your holiday meal.

Grapes, Raisins, Currants

It’s still not known exactly why grapes, raisins, and currants poison some pets. Some of our animal friends even seem immune to the danger. Still, it’s not worth the risk! Never allow your pet to munch on these foods, and keep a close eye on fruit trays.


Chocolate, as you probably know, is a big no-no for our dogs and cats. Chocolate of all types—dark, milk, semi-sweet, baking chocolate, powdered versions, white chocolate, etc.—contains theobromine and caffeine, two chemicals that don’t agree with our four-legged companions. To avoid vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, and worse, don’t leave chocolate within reach of your pet.


Did you know that many candies, as well as gum, toothpaste, and certain baked pastries, are often sweetened with xylitol? It’s an artificial sugar substitute that is highly toxic to pets, causing lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and more even in small doses. Don’t let pets get anywhere near the holiday treat dish.


Cooked and uncooked bones alike can chunk and splinter apart when your pet chews on them, creating sharp shards that can cause real harm. Give your pet a chew toy instead.


Alcohol can poison pets easily—never leave drinks unattended so that pets could imbibe!

After ensuring a safe holiday for your furry friends, get inspired for the new year with ‘New Year’s Resolutions Inspired By Dogs’ for ways to improve both your and your pet’s life. Want more tips for keeping your pets safe this holiday? Contact your Roanoke, VA vet’s office.

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