Top Holiday Foods that are Bad for Dogs


Top Holiday Foods that are Bad for Dogs

The holidays are right around the corner and one of the main things everyone looks forward to is amazing holiday meals. From turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes to pumpkin pie and green bean casserole, there are so many classics that return to the dinner table in December. While family gatherings and amazing meals are awesome opportunities to unwind and indulge this holiday season for you, it’s important that your dog doesn’t also have a seat at the table.

It may feel natural to give your dog extra treats and want to share some of the delicious food, but there are a few holiday foods that can be dangerous for pups. Nothing can turn a great holiday gathering from fun to scary like an emergency trip to the vet clinic so keep reading to learn about a few top holiday foods that are bad for dogs. The more you know about what is safe for your canine best friend to eat, the better equipped you can be to share a few small things that are okay for them to eat this holiday season.

Sweets, chocolates, and baked goods

Chocolate tends to be an essential part of the holidays for many people, but it’s important to note that it is toxic to dogs and cats, states the AVMA. Although the toxicity can vary based on the type of chocolate, the size of your pet, and the amount they ate, it’s safer to consider all chocolate off limits for pets. As a rule of thumb, you should also avoid any sweets and baked goods due to them being too rich for dogs and often being filled with high amounts of artificial sweeteners which have been linked to liver failure in dogs.


While it may feel natural to feed your dog a bone, the bones left behind after a meal at the holidays are not safe treats for your pup. Bones can splinter and easily become lodged in your pet’s throat or digestive system. This can result in serious injury which makes bones off limits for your pup, even if they are licking their lips smelling your delicious turkey.

Alcoholic beverages

Wine, cocktails, and beer are popular additions to the menu during the holiday season, but they can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Alcoholic beverages have the same effect on dogs’ livers and brains as on humans’, but it doesn’t take as much to cause serious damage since your pup is much smaller. Avoid sharing your beverage with your furry friend, and same goes for if you have a boozy side dish or dessert.

Garlic, onions, shallots, and chives

All members of the onion family (or close relatives) are amazing, tasty additions, often found in a wide variety of dishes on the table. From creamy garlic potato mashed potatoes to a garlic rubbed roasted turkey, they are flavor enhancers that we love, but unfortunately your dog will need to steer clear of. Eating only a small amount of these ingredients, regardless of whether they are cooked or raw, can cause gastrointestinal irritation and should therefore be avoided.

Foods that are okay to share

To avoid focusing solely on the bad foods, we pulled together a few options that are okay for you to share this holiday season. While any food you give your dog should be given in moderation and after careful consideration, the following holiday foods are great treats.

  • Plain potatoes or sweet potatoes (hold one to the side before you mash in all the yummy flavor additives!)
  • Plain peas
  • Turkey meat (avoid the bone or skin)
  • Apple slices

For a full list of foods to avoid, and holiday safety tips, click here for the AVMA winter holiday pet safety guide. If you have any questions or need any help from us here at the Bregman Veterinary Group, give us a call at (863) 588-4200 for Reunion Veterinary Hospital or (407) 545-7789 for the Veterinary Hospital of Celebration and a team member will gladly help!

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