Holiday Pet Safety

11 foods and beverages that should always be kept away from pets

Adopt Holiday!

  • Turkey Bones: Turkey (and chicken) bones and splintered fragments can get stuck in the roof of the mouth, throat, and intestines.
  • Tomatoes: all kinds are toxic to cats, including parts of the tomato plant. Ingesting even a single cherry tomato can cause severe gastrointestinal upset.
  • Alcohol: alcohol poisoning can lead to coma and death
  • Gum, candy, chocolate: many candies and gum contain XYLITOL which can cause toxic or fatal liver damage to pets. All products containing xylitol should be kept well out of pets’ reach. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which is toxic to cats and dogs.
  • Mushrooms: Certain species of mushrooms, including those growing in damp areas of your yard, are toxic to pets and can cause shock and death.
  • Raw potatoes (especially with green spots)
  • Turkey skin
  • Nutmeg
  • Peach, apricot, other fruit pits: contain cyanide
  • Caffeine: anything containing caffeine, including chocolate, coffee, and cocoa is dangerous
  • Grapes and raisins: can cause renal failure

NEVER allow your pet to rummage through trash. Moldy food contains toxins that can cause serious illness. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your pet has ingested any of these items.

What about the tree / decorations?

If you have a Christmas tree, make sure it’s secured so that pets won’t be able to tip it over, which can cause all sorts of issues including broken ornaments (dangerous sharp fragments that could be ingested or stepped on), tangled wires (fire hazard), or injury (tree landing on pets). And if it’s a real tree, remember to keep pets from drinking the water. Some families add tree food to the water, and even if without additives, the stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria often causing stomach upset and diarrhea if consumed. Tinsel and pets is another bad combination. Skip the tinsel to avoid curious pets ingesting it. Once eaten, tinsel can get entangled in the digestive tract and cause issues leading to expensive surgery. Unattended lit candles are another big no-no around pets. When in doubt, blow those candles out.

Enjoy a safe and happy holiday season with your pets!