Dear Mom: Please Make Sure I Don’t Eat Dangerous Holiday Foods!

Merritt Milam | November 1, 2022

The holidays are fast approaching. That means a time for family, friends, and a feast of great food. Unfortunately, some pets may partake in foods that can be dangerous to their health. Whether it’s a stolen snack or an innocent treat from family or friends, pets can experience dangerous consequences from ingesting certain foods.

Here are some important food safety tips you need to know to keep your furry friend thankful for their health.


  • Onions and garlic (Stuffing) – Stuffing is a holiday tradition in most homes, but for pets it can be harmful. Any variety that contains garlic or onion (powdered, cooked, or raw) is lethal to dogs and most small animals. Consumption causes damage to the pet’s red blood cells and can ultimately lead to death.
  • Mushrooms – Mushrooms can cause a variety of problems ranging from stomach upset to seizures depending on the kind of mushroom ingested.
  • Raisins, Currants, Grapes – These fruits have been associated with liver and kidney failure.
  • Cooked bones – Despite popular belief, cooked bones are hazardous to dogs. They can cause choking, stomach bleeding, and intestinal blockages.
  • Heavy fats like butter and turkey skin – The most common problem with fried food or items high in fat content is upset stomach and diarrhea. However, regular consumption can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
  • Ham – Pork products can lead to pancreatitis, vomiting, and diarrhea in pets. Further, even small portions of fatty meat can cause obesity in smaller dogs and cats.
  • Chocolate – While it seems like a simple treat, chocolate can be deadly to pets. An ingredient called theobromine is the trouble and can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures, as well as death.
  • Alcohol – It should go without saying but, pets can suffer from alcohol ingestion. Even in small doses, intoxication can lead to seizures, respiratory failure, and death.
  • Nuts – Macadamia nuts are just as lethal as chocolate. Other nut varieties such as; cashews and walnuts aren’t as deadly as Macadamias, but they can still make your pet very sick.
  • Raw bread dough – Raw bread expands in the stomach and can cause an intestinal blockage that can lead to death.
  • Turkey – Unless the meat is totally plain, boneless, and well-cooked, your pet should avoid turkey. Turkey which is raw or smothered in garlic, butter, or seasonings, can be extremely toxic to your pet.


  • Sweet potatoes – Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene and fiber. Served ungarnished, though, sweet potatoes are perfectly fine, according to the ASPCA.
  • Carrots – Carrots are low-calorie and high in fiber and vitamin A. However, they are also high in sugar – so, you may want to skip them if your dog is diabetic. If carrots are chosen as a pet snack, steam or boil them and provide a couple of unseasoned ones to your furry friend.
  • Green Beans – Green beans are filling and low-calorie. Make sure you use fresh or frozen green beans with no seasoning.
  • Cranberries – Cranberries are a great source of antioxidants and can add a fun burst of flavor to your dog’s plate. Not all dogs like cranberries so try adding just a few as a dessert or topping.
  • Apple slices – Apples are a sweet treat for your pup. Save a few slices if you make apple pie and chop them up or mash them for your pup. Seeds and skin should be removed prior to serving to your pet.
  • Pumpkin – Pumpkin can help regulate your dog’s digestive tract. Whether the pumpkin is steamed, baked, or canned make sure that nothing has been added to it.


Avoiding food illnesses in your pets is always important, but especially at this time of year when there are so many opportunities for them to be tempted and affected. Aside from making sure you and your guests keep unhealthy foods from your pet, there is another option – Training!


Whether your dog is a seasoned counter-surfer, garbage can crasher, or a persistent food beggar, our collaborative training classes with Roverchase can address issues in dogs to help them learn important life skills to keep them safe. If you are interested in learning more about training classes for your dog, call (205)-902-WAGS (9247) or visit our website training page.


From all of us at Wags, we hope you and your family have a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving!