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Holiday Foods That Can Harm Your Pet
December 15, 2016

The holidays are approaching fast—in fact, Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Pay special attention to the foods you’re using this time of year, because many holiday food items aren’t safe for pets. Learn more below from a Portland, OR veterinarian.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

Onions, along with garlic, chives, shallots, and leeks, are members of the allium family. Foods in this group are toxic to pets! Our canine companions are the most commonly affected by onion poisoning, but this may be due to the fact that dogs tend to gobble up whatever may be available. Never allow your pet to eat onions in any form, or foods that contain onions.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins have been known to produce symptoms of toxicity in both dogs and cats. It’s not known exactly why these foods are poisonous, and some pets seem to be able to ingest them without any trouble. Still, it’s not worth risking! Keep your pet far away from grapes and their dried counterparts to be safe.


Think twice before slipping your pooch a turkey or ham bone this season. Both cooked and raw bones can break apart into chunks when they’re chewed, creating a choking hazard. Plus, they can splinter into shards that may cut a pet’s mouth or puncture the intestinal lining if swallowed. Rather than a bone, offer your pet a rawhide treat or a simple chew toy instead.


You’re probably already aware that chocolate is a big no-no for your animal friend. Chocolate of all types—milk, white, dark, semi-sweet, baking chocolate, etc.—contains theobromine and caffeine, which aren’t safe for pets to consume. Chocolate poisoning can result in drooling, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures if not treated promptly. To avoid the danger, store all chocolate goodies where pets can’t reach.


Certain varieties of candy, gum, and baked goods are sweetened with a sugar substitute called xylitol. Xylitol is highly toxic to our four-legged friends. Never allow your pet anywhere near candy or gum, because even small amounts can do serious damage.


Alcohol does the same thing to pets as it does to us. The difference is that it only takes small amounts of alcohol to poison your pet! Keep a close eye on all adult beverages this holiday season to make sure your pet doesn’t imbibe.

Ask your Portland, OR vet about other holiday pet hazards.

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