Unsafe Holiday Foods for Cats & Dogs

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The Christmas season is upon us! Time to bring on the delicious holiday foods. Your cat or dog will go Grinch green with envy, but don’t be tempted! Not all holiday foods are safe for pets. Some can even be deadly! Here is a list of holiday foods that pets should never eat!


Some parts of the turkey is completely safe for both cats and dogs to eat. The meat and gizzards are a great source of nutrients for pets. What isn’t safe is the cooked turkey bones, turkey skin, drippings and gravy. Turkey skin, drippings and gravy are high in fat. It could could contain large amounts of salt, depending how the bird was prepared. Certain spices used in flavouring the bird could also be dangerous and should be avoided.

Onions & Garlic

Stuffing is oh so yummy for us but not for our pets! Onions contain a chemical called thiosulphate. This can cause severe damage to red blood cells that help bring oxygen through the body. It can make them burst and cause anemia in cats and dogs. Garlic is a little trickier. It is recommended to stay away from it completely but there has been some studies done that tells us garlic can be beneficial in small doses. As a rule of thumb though, stay clear until you talk to your vet.


Some people like to add nuts to their holiday spread. There are a few that are actually quite good for dogs as a small treat every now and again. Dogs are able to eat unsalted hazelnuts, peanuts and cashews. Cats can eat peanuts as a treat too. Stay clear from all other nuts for cats. Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans and pistachios are all toxic to cats and dogs. They should never be consumed because they can cause pancreatitis or seizures.

Holiday Chocolate & Sugars

Christmas chocolates, chocolate cookies and goodies! Oh my! But keep chocolate and sugar away from your four legged friend! Chocolate contains Theobromine and caffeine which can speed up the heart rate and cause tremors or seizures. Sugar can cause blood sugar to drop and liver failure in cats and dogs. Keep these treats up high or in containers to discourage pets from trying to get these human treats. If they really need a treat, stick to the usual biscuits and cookies that come from the pet store or your own kitchen.


This is a big one. It is sure fun for us but not for our pets. Be sure not to leave your glass of wine, beer or spirits out for pets to find. If they have ingested alcohol they might vomit, have difficulty breathing, slip into a coma, have a heart attack or even die. Keep drinks up high or place your pet in a safe place while the festivities go on. This way there is zero chance of pets getting into anything they shouldn’t.


Stay happy and healthy this holiday season! For foods that are safe and that your pets will love, check out our blog on Ways to Improve Pet Food.


She has been with NaturPet since February 2017 and has her Pet First Aid. Using her knowledge of pet health, she has created social media posts and blogs on the subject. Her free time is spent volunteering with Okanagan Small Dog Rescue, having a nice cold beer with her Fiancé and hanging out with her friends and family and her new puppy, Bandito.

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