Typical holiday foods contain ingredients that present very real dangers to dogs. While it’s great to spend the holidays with your most precious pets, you need to be very careful and vigilant in order to keep them safe. Make sure you keep them away from the following ingredients and foods that are known to be unsafe for dogs:
Traditional Holiday Foods That Are Unsafe for Dogs
Dogs can safely consume turkey meat. However, the typical ingredients used to make a scrumptious feast are unsafe for dogs to eat. That includes the gravy!
Furthermore, turkeys have bones that are delectable to dogs but could really harm them. Turkey bones could get lodged in their throats and cause them to choke. The bones can also splinter and cause serious damage to their stomach and intestines.
Cured meats like ham and bacon are processed with lots of salt. Dogs that consume too much salt could experience excessive thirst and urination. Salt is especially harmful to dogs with heart or kidney conditions.
Processed pork like ham and bacon is further unsafe for dogs because of their high fat content. At best, eating too much fat causes stomach discomfort and indigestion. However, a fatty diet is also known to cause pancreatitis, which could be life-threatening.
Typical Holiday Ingredients That Could Make Dogs Sick
Aromatics and Herbs
Ingredients like chives, garlic, and onions are the flavor foundation of almost every holiday dish. While these ingredients make food tasty for us, they are known to cause poor blood quality and anemia in dogs. This is true whether in fresh or powdered form.
Dairy products like butter, cream, cheese, and milk are in almost every holiday food. It’s important to note that some dogs are more tolerant of dairy than others. However, dairy is generally known to cause indigestion and diarrhea in dogs. Some may even suffer from allergies.
Nuts are generally high in fat and so should not be fed to dogs. However, some nuts are more dangerous to dogs than others. For example, pecans and hickory nuts can cause gastric intestinal upset in dogs. Walnuts can cause seizures and macadamia nuts can cause various neurological problems.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins can cause life-threatening illnesses in dogs. These foods can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. For some, it can also cause severe kidney damage.
It takes a large amount of nutmeg to cause serious illness in dogs. These illnesses include disorientation, hallucinations, and seizures. However, it is generally best to avoid it. Even in small quantities, it can cause abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Common Holiday Beverages That Are Dangerous to Dogs
It doesn’t matter if it’s wine, punch, beer, or liquor. Even small amounts of alcohol could be very harmful to dogs. Alcohol consumption could cause nausea and gastrointestinal upset. It could also cause disorientation, lethargy, muscle tremors, seizures, respiratory distress, and paralysis.
Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea contain caffeine, a chemical that is poisonous to dogs. At large enough quantities, it could cause restlessness, vomiting, cardiovascular stress, and seizures. It could also be fatally toxic.
Apart from raw eggs, Eggnog is usually made of sugar, milk, heavy cream, bourbon, and nutmeg. No other holiday drink could potentially be more harmful to your dog than eggnog.
Holiday Sweets That Could Cause Illness in Dogs
Sugar isn’t great for dogs but it isn’t really considered to be fatally harmful. However, xylitol, a sweetener that is now used in a variety of sweets is extremely toxic to dogs. It can cause blood sugar to drop to dangerous levels. It can also cause seizures and liver failure.
Chocolate contains both caffeine and a compound called “theobromine.” Both can be fatally toxic to dogs. Small amounts of chocolate can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. At larger quantities, it can cause seizures and muscle tremors. It can also cause cardiovascular stress, which could lead to a heart attack.
Hosting family gatherings could be incredibly hectic. Along with keeping your guests well fed and entertained, keep an eye out for your dogs. Make sure they feel safe despite the sudden crowdedness and excitement at home. More importantly, make sure they don’t have access to dangerous holiday foods.