My Dog Ate Chocolate: Safe Holiday Treats for Pets and Those to Avoid
For a lot of families, food is a big focus around the holidays. Whether it’s preparing delicious meals for the family, appetizers for a holiday party, or baked goods, food is a huge part of our holiday celebrations in America. Unfortunately, many of the ingredients that are in popular holiday treats can be toxic to your pets, and, if ingested, can cause serious harm.
While it may be tempting to let your pet partake in the food appreciation this holiday season, your pet’s safety should be top priority. The team at Springbrook Animal Care Center wants to make sure you and your pets can celebrate the holiday safely together. Check out our list of holiday Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to pet treats, and what to do if your pet accidentally gets into something they shouldn’t.
The Do’s and Don’ts of the Holidays When It Comes to Your Pets
Follow these guidelines to ensure your pet can enjoy a happy, safe, and delicious holiday season:
DON’T Give Your Pets Food With Toxic Ingredients
Most pet owners are aware that chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs. But did you know there are several other ingredients and foods that are just as toxic? These ingredients below are commonly found in holiday treats or recipes, and could be harmful to your pet. Don’t give your pets table scraps from your holiday meal, and definitely don’t feed them any of your dessert. Some common harmful ingredients are:
- Raisins and grapes
- Macadamia nuts, walnuts
- Onions and garlic
- Coffee and tea
- Alcohol and hops
- Tomato leaves and stems
- Potato leaves and stems
- Yeast dough
- Rhubarb leaves
- Anything salty, sweet, fatty or moldy
DO Keep Human Treats Up High and Out of Reach
All those delicious chocolate baked goodies should be kept up high on the countertops or closed cabinet doors, to keep out of reach from sniffing noses that might be tempted to take a taste when you’re not looking.
DON’T Leave Candy Dishes Out
It may be tempting to leave a cute decorative candy dish out on the coffee table for your guests, but these could easily be nibbled up by a permanent furry resident in your home.
DON’T Feed Table Scraps
Even when your dog or cat is giving you those big, pleading eyes for some of your honey baked ham or roasted turkey, avoid giving your pets scraps from your dinner plate. Many of the holiday dishes enjoyed by humans include seasoning and other ingredients that are harmful to your pets.
DO Let Your Pet Enjoy Healthy Snacks
Whether you share their favorite store-bought treats with them, or prepare your own, giving your pets healthy snacks or treats can be a great way to include them in the holiday celebrations. Some pet-friendly ingredients are:
- Pumpkin (canned or fresh, but avoid pumpkin pie mix and fully cook raw pumpkin before serving)
- Sweet potatoes (baked or fully cooked, skins removed)
- Blueberries and strawberries
- Peanut butter (make sure it does not include the sweetener xylitol)
DON’T Give Your Dogs Rawhide Bones as Gifts
While they may come in cute shapes and colors, these treats are not safe for your pet to consume. They are not good for their digestive system, and can potentially become choking hazards or cause damage to your pet’s digestive track. Don’t give these as gifts to your pets this holiday season, but consider other pet-friendly gifts instead.
DO Call Your Vet ASAP If Your Pet Gets Into Something Dangerous
If you believe your pet has gotten into something toxic, call your veterinarian right away. You can also call ASPCA Poison Control at (888) 426-4435.
If you have any questions about what snacks and treats are safe for your pet this holiday season, give the team at Springbrook Animal Care Center a call at (630) 428-0500. We can help recommend pet treats for the holidays and keep your pets healthy year-round with wellness exams and nutritional counseling.