Poisonous Foods to Our Furry Friends

How to feed your four-legged friend around the holidays.

Knowing what to feed your pets is important, especially around the holidays.

Julia Tucker

Knowing what to feed your pets is important, especially around the holidays.

Julia Tucker, Columnist

Holidays have so much delicious food, but some of it is dangerous for dogs. Many foods that we put on our table should not be anywhere near your dogs. Many people already know that chocolate is bad for dogs, but chocolate is not the only thing bad for them. According to Nulo, you should never let your dog eat:

  • Chocolate: It is toxic to both cats and dogs, it contains theobromine and caffeine, which is harmful to them. 
  • Fruit pits: While many fruits aren’t bad for dogs, their pits are terrible. They contain toxic compounds such as cyanide. Dogs do enjoy the flesh of the fruit, though.
  • Grapes: While some fruits are fine for dogs, you must also avoid letting them eat grapes and raisins. These fruits can cause kidney failure and other issues.
  • Alcohol: This shouldn’t even need to be explained. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and breathing trouble.
  • Garlic, Onions, and Chives: These all have something called N-propyl disulfide in them. Letting dogs eat these could lead to serious health complications. 
  • Artificial Sweeteners: A common artificial sweetener is xylitol, which can cause an imbalance of insulin. 
  • Nuts: To humans, nuts are delicious and a great source of protein. But to dogs, they can cause upset stomachs and severe toxicity, depending on the nut. Macadamia nuts can even cause temporary paralysis. 
  • Milk and Dairy Products: While these kinds of foods aren’t necessarily toxic to pets, they are bad for them. A tiny bit may be okay, but avoid giving them too much.
  • Animal Bones: Dogs are famous for liking bones, but it is actually bad for them. Cooked bones can chip and break in their mouth and stomach, causing a variety of problems. Uncooked bones aren’t terrible, but it’s overall safer to get a toy one from the store.
  • Bacon: Bacon can have high levels of salt and fat which can cause many different problems depending on your pooch.
  • Corn: Corn isn’t toxic to dogs, but it is a big choking hazard and may get stuck in their stomach, so try to avoid letting them get their paws on it. 
  • Citrus Fruit: Citrus seeds are hard to remove, and the juices of citrus can upset their stomach.
  • Avocado: Similar to bacon, it has a lot of fat, which can lead to health issues.

But don’t worry—there are still plenty of snacks you can feed to your dog safely. According to Healthline, dogs can eat peanut butter, carrots, salmon, blueberries, pineapple, watermelon, bread, blackberries, green peas, oatmeal, apples, broccoli, chicken, sweet potatoes, coconut, pork, mango, turkey, rice, beef, bananas, strawberries, oranges, mushrooms, potatoes, celery, and shrimp. Refer to Healthline to learn how to prepare these foods for your dogs. 

It’s important to not feed dogs right off the table. Some foods are safe and healthy for dogs to eat, while others are harmful and could even be deadly. All foods should be introduced into your dog’s diet gradually, so you can monitor them for adverse effects like allergic reactions. Even if a food is deemed “safe” for dogs to eat, a rule of thumb is to feed it to your dog in moderation. This can help prevent weight gain and other negative effects. Keep in mind that all dogs are different. One dog may tolerate a food just fine, while another experiences adverse effects. Nevertheless, it can be enjoyable to give your dog a treat every once in a while. Just make sure to only feed it foods which are not harmful. If you have questions about specific serving sizes of foods to feed to your dog, ask your veterinarian. Around the holidays, you should watch out to make sure your furry friend isn’t eating anything they shouldn’t be.