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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Vance

Toxic Food Guide for Dogs: Holiday Dos and Don'ts

It is common knowledge that chocolate is a hazardous food for dogs to ingest, but there are actually lots of foods that are unsafe for our furry friends that you may be unaware of. As the holidays approach and you may be giving extra scraps to the pooch, make sure you are careful about what you let them have. My advice would be to have your dog stick to normal dog food meals and treats so you know exactly what they are consuming. Nevertheless, here’s a list of what to avoid at all costs.

  1. Fat trimmings and bones. Bones from turkey tend to be thin and brittle, so they pose a major choking hazard. Bones meant as dog treats are thicker and produced specifically for dog consumption, whereas bird bones are not safe for dogs to have and can splinter in their digestive tract. Even bones from ham can pose a choking hazard for big dogs! Also, the fat on the meat can cause pancreatitis in dogs.

  2. Avocados. The substance in avocados called persin is toxic to dogs and it can be found in the seed, fruit, stem and skin of an avocado.

  3. Onions and garlic. These items in powdered, raw and cooked form can cause anemia in dogs, because they destroy their red blood cells. Symptoms of anemia in dogs can include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and lack of interest in food.

  4. Grapes/raisins. Grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs, even in small amounts, by decreasing blood flow to their kidneys. Symptoms include vomiting and lethargy. Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs, so make sure you keep grapes out of your dog’s reach!

  5. Dairy. Dairy products can cause allergies (usually presented as itchiness), as well as tummy aches in dogs. Also, cheese intake in dogs can be associated with a decreased sense of smell after long term ingestion.

  6. Persimmons, peaches and plums. Aside from the risk of the seeds being a choking hazard, these fruits can cause inflammation in the small intestine of dogs. These seeds contain cyanide and are toxic to a dog. People avoid seeds, but dogs don’t know better.

  7. Salt. Too much salt ingestion can lead to excessive thirst and urination and sodium ion poisoning. Even small items, like chips and pretzels, should be avoided; dogs are much smaller than us and cannot handle consuming large amounts of salt.

  8. Candy and gum. Candy and gum contain xylitol, which can cause your pup’s blood sugar to drop dramatically, and they can also cause liver failure. As the holidays come around, make sure no one is feeding your dog candy canes or cookies!

  9. Alcohol. Never let your dog get a hold of your alcoholic drink! If you know you have a curious dog who likes to go on furniture and nibble whatever is on the table, make sure your drinks are out of reach. Alcohol has the same effect on dogs that it does for people, but symptoms such as breathing problems, vomiting, and coma can happen a lot faster due to their small size.

  10. Raw meat/fish. Don’t give your dogs uncooked meat, just like you wouldn’t serve friends uncooked meat. They can have harmful bacteria that can lead to severe food poisoning. Fish can have parasites that lead to fish disease, which can present as vomiting, swollen lymph nodes and fever. If this is happening, call your vet right away!

Stay safe this holiday season by remaining mindful about what you feed your dog. We love a good candy cane moment, so opt for a Christmas themed dog treat. DM us your cutest holiday moments at @ocpomrescue on Instagram!


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