Holidays are a magical time of year, no matter what you are celebrating. Family and friends gather to visit and everyone takes part in a hearty feast to fill their bellies and their hearts. Our dogs are a vital and important part of most family units. We want them to share in the same joy and festivities as the rest of us by sharing some of our holiday dishes. However, many of the foods that sit upon the Thanksgiving, Christmas or other holiday’s dinner table can actually cause a great deal of harm to your canine companion’s body. Learn about these top 10 holiday foods you should never feed your dog!
Cooked turkey is lovely, and your dog may think so too, but cooked bones crack and splinter, causing internal damage and blockages in your dog’s digestive system. Seasonings, glazes and other flavor additives used on turkey are extremely unhealthy for dogs and can cause upset tummies and vomiting.
A big meaty ham is often used for December holidays, and are too high in sodium and fat for the average pet dog on a standard kibble diet. If you don’t want to clean up accidental diarrhea for the rest of your holiday season, don’t give it to your pooch!
Cranberries, when given in small amounts and raw, give healthy antioxidants and bladder health benefits. Cranberry sauce on the other hand is just asking for trouble when it comes to your pet! Far too much sugar can lead to worse health problems down the road like diabetes. Even a small amount has enough sugar to cause your dog serious health concerns, leading to a holiday trip to the vet!
Candy is everywhere around the holiday season. Candy corn, candy canes, candy apples – and every single one of them is horrible for your pet! Sugars, including high fructose corn syrup or even artificial sweeteners lie in wait to make your pet sick. Artificial sweeteners have even been known to cause immediate and serious health conditions in sensitive dogs.
Chocolate is not quite candy, but can be included in candy bars, gifted chocolates in a cute little box, or even in cakes and pies. Chocolate is widely known as a dangerous substance for dogs, and eating just enough to make them sick will send your pet to an exam table getting his tummy pumped with charcoal to reduce the poison in his stomach.
Pumpkin is actually a very healthy thing to give your pet in moderation in his regular diet. It helps provide a healthy fiber and vitamins to his body. Pumpkin pies or spiced canned pumpkin in which the spices are already added to it for baking, however, is a scary mix for any pet. The spices used to make pumpkin pie, including cinnamon and nutmeg can bring a bout of abdominal pain, shakes, diarrhea and vomiting.
Nothing beats the smell of fresh baked bread, muffins, biscuits, or cornbread as they are ready to be placed on the dinner table for a holiday meal. As fulfilling as these foods are, they can be a nightmare on your dog’s digestive system. Bread items are nothing but carbohydrates, of which dogs have a difficult time digesting. Breads may sit in a dog’s gut for more than 20 hours causing pain and disruption of his digestive system. Furthermore, it can even lead to the dreaded condition of bloat. Just don’t give him bread!
Dogs love gravy, there are no arguments there! Gravy is typically made from the sodium-rich broth of a meat with flour mixed for consistency and spices for flavor. It may be tempting to pour a little leftover gravy over your dog’s kibble, but it is so high in carbs from the flour and sodium from the broth that it can really give your dog an upset stomach. Do it more often, and you will watch him blow up like a fatty balloon!
Eggnog is a staple in winter and fall holidays, and used to celebrate togetherness at family get-togethers. Eggnog for your dog, though, is an especially bad idea. Eggnog can be made with or without alcohol, but it does use cow dairy. Dogs are lactose intolerant, making their ability to digest the large size of cow milk lactose. If you want to keep your dog safe and healthy, don’t give him eggnog! You may find eggnog flavored treats made specifically, and safely, for dogs as an alternative.
Vegetables are always found on every holiday dinner table. Green bean casseroles, potato salad, celery, raw veggies with dip decorate around the big turkey or ham in the center. Veggies are typically an okay food item to give your dog, but only when they are prepared through lightly steaming with absolutely nothing added to them. No salt, no mushroom soups, no spices. Vegetables eaten at a holiday dinner are covered in nearly all of these things, leaving them unfit for doggy consumption!
Keep your dog safe by giving him only safe foods that will keep him healthy and make him happy! Educate yourself on what is safe, always stay updated on new sciences of unsafe foods, and make the right choices so your dog can also enjoy the holiday season!