Holiday Foods to Avoid for Pets (2022)

The holidays are a time for joy, giving, and of course, sharing tasty treats. It might feel like a crime to leave your pets out of sampling some of your favorite holiday meals, sweets, and treats but it actually can be the best thing for their health. Before you make your pet a special holiday plate be sure to check for these foods as they can be harmful and even deadly to your pet.

Poultry Bones

A dog and their bone might seem like a classic combination. However, poultry bones pose a major threat to your pet. Cooked chicken, turkey, duck or other fowl bones are weak and can easily break into shards and splinters when your dog is chewing on one of the bones. These splinters and shards can cause your dog to choke. But even worse, if your dog swallows these shards and splinters they can cause internal bleeding.

Common warning signs of internal bleeding include a swollen stomach, difficulty defecating, and bloody stool. They may also exhibit abdominal discomfort and anxious behavior.

Turkey Skin and Fat

A little turkey skin and fat never hurt nobody. WRONG! A big fatty meal can wreak havoc on your pet’s digestive system. Excessive fat can trigger pancreatitis which can immediately trigger painful symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.

With pancreatitis immediate vet treatment is crucial as pancreatitis can be fatal if not treated in a timely and appropriate manner.

Your pet doesn’t have to totally miss out on all the tastiness of the turkey. A small piece of well cooked turkey that is skinless and fat-free is a safe, festive treat your pet will love.

Caffeine and Chocolate

Most people know that pets cannot have chocolate but did you know that chocolate can also contain a toxic amount of caffeine? Pets like cats and dogs are extremely sensitive to the effects of caffeine. Depending on the size of your pet, even the smallest amount can have a toxic side effect.


Dogs drinking beer may evoke a funny image in your mind, however, just like alcohol can deteriorate your liver and brain, the same thing can happen to your pet. The smaller the size of your pet the more dangerous effects that can occur. Even a small amount of alcohol can induce involuntary vomiting in pets.

Onions, Garlic, and Chives

Eating these can result in gastrointestinal irritation, which can lead to red blood cell damage. Cats are more sensitive to these health issues. But if a large enough quantity of these vegetables or herbs is consumed, dogs can be susceptible too.


A popular holiday treat, nuts contain tasty fats that people and pets both love. Too much of these fatty oils and your pet can experience diarrhea. Even worse, excessive consumption of nuts can result in animal pancreatitis. On the other hand, macadamia nuts can induce weakness and depression in dogs. It can also lead to vomiting, tremors, joint stiffness, and hyperthermia.