Have Your Pet Avoid Harmful Holiday Foods

The holidays are in full swing—if your family is like most, food plays a big role! Unfortunately, many common holiday foods aren’t safe for our animal companions. Below, your Happy Valley, OR veterinarian tells you what to be on the lookout for.

Grapes, Raisins, Currants

Grapes, raisins, and currants aren’t safe for pets; it’s not known what agent in these foods causes poisoning, and some pets even seem to ingest them without any ill effects. It’s not worth the risk, though! If you’re setting out a fruit tray for guests this holiday, keep your pet far away to be safe.

Garlic, Onions, Chives

Did you know that onions and garlic, as well as other members of the allium family of foods like chives, leeks, scallions, and shallots, can prove very toxic to animals? Our canine friends are the most commonly affected, but that may be simply due to dogs’ tendency to gobble up whatever morsel presents itself. Don’t let your pet have onions, garlic, or related foods under any circumstance.

Fatty, Rich, or Buttery Foods

Rich and buttery foods aren’t necessarily toxic, but they can cause an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea if a pet ingests too much. Fat is more dangerous—if too much is eaten too quickly, it can lead to a case of pancreatitis! Have all guests ask your permission before feeding your animal friend any table scraps.


Bones, whether they’re cooked or not, can splinter apart when chewed. Don’t allow your pet to swallow sharp shards! Instead of bones, offer your animal companion a rawhide treat or a chew toy to keep them occupied.


You’re probably aware that chocolate isn’t good for animals. It contains theobromine and caffeine, chemicals that don’t agree with our animal counterparts. This goes for all types of chocolate, including milk, dark, semi-sweet, white, powdered varieties, baking chocolate, and more. Keep pets’ prying paws away!


Candies, gums, and certain baked items are sometimes sweetened with an artificial sugar called xylitol. Xylitol is fine for human consumption, but it can poison pets very easily. To be safe, restrict your pet’s access to all sweets, all year round.


If your holiday gathering includes adult beverages, monitor your pet closely so that they can’t imbibe. Alcohol can cause poisoning very quickly!

Do you want more advice on keeping your pet safe this holiday? Call your Happy Valley, OR animal hospital.

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