Christmas Food: Pets and Foods Sometimes Do Not Mix

Pet owners know that there are dangers for their pets. However, when it comes to food, some obvious and not-so-obvious dangers can be present. And in Christmas foods? Yes, there are definitely some foods that your pets cannot mix with. Christmas time is great for pets and pet moms and dads. Not only are there a lot of types of foods and snacks for your dog or cat. But there are gifts, decorations and extra company that makes this time of year fun.
Dangerous Food For your pet on Christmas

Christmas Foods and Pets Myths

When it comes to the holidays, we hear the same thing all the time… “She can have a little pie, right?” “I only gave him a little turkey, so I don’t know why he is sick…” “Cats drink milk, so I gave her the rest of mine.” Unfortunately, those thoughts above are just not right. Not only is it careless to simply assume your pet can eat everything that you do, it can be dangerous. At the very least, your Christmas could be filled with a few runs outside and an upset stomach. At worst, you could be dealing with a late-night visit to a pet hospital or worse… Today, we are going to look at 14 different foods and food additives that are dangerous to your pets. During the holidays, most of these could be present in your house, and can expose your pets to health issues. Do you know all the safe foods for pets during Christmas? Do you know the rules about poultry, pets and food?

14 Christmas Foods NOT For Pets

Below is a list of some typical household items and foods. These can either be raw or processed, separate or contained in prepared foods. Anything that you give your pet should be known before giving it to them. Not 100% sure about certain foods? Then read on…


Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is commonly used in candy and chewing gum. As well, it can be included in common baking goods and foods like peanut butter. Xylitol is safe for humans, but can be extremely dangerous to dogs and cats. Just 3 grams of Xylitol can kill a 65 pound dog.


Pets are extremely sensitive to caffeine. Once ingested, it may cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, restlessness and an increased heart rate. In extreme cases, this can lead to agitation, tremors, seizures, increased urination, irregular heartbeat, loss of muscle control, collapse, coma and even death.

Chocolate (non-white)

Chocolate is not safe for animals, except for white chocolate (its the cocoa fat left after cocoa extraction). Dark, milk and normal chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing and even heart failure. Severity of illness for your pet can be based on teh type of chocolate, and the amount ingested.


Even though salt is safe for humans, and used in nearly all cooking, it is toxic to pets. However table salt isn’t the top place that salt poisoning occurs – most of the time, it comes in the form of ingested play-dough and even salt water.

Avocados, persimmons, peaches and plums

These foods cause Persin Toxicity, but not in dogs and cats. Birds are the primary pet that suffers from this when ingesting these foods. Also be mindful of foods containing avocados, like guacamole.

Grapes & Raisins

Just a few raisins or grapes can harm a dog’s kidneys or even prove deadly. And remember, foods like trail mix could include raisins.

Nuts, especially Macadamia nuts

A numbers of nuts are poisonous to dogs, but not so much in cats. Macadamia nuts are toxic to both cats and dogs, however, there is not enough research to make this a 100% verified statement – better safe than sorry, though.

Yeast Dough

Uncooked yeast dough can expand in your dog or cats stomachs. This is due to yeast releasing gases as it becomes active. This could lead to discomfort and pain in some circumstances. In other cases, you will be going to the hospital for treatment or surgery. Also, note that prolonged exposure, or mass amounts, could also lead to alcohol poisoning.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Fish and Eggs

It might seem like a normal idea to give an animal raw meat. However, much like in humans, salmonella and E-coli can develop. Stay away from giving any raw meats, fish or eggs to your dogs and cats to keep them safe.

Fat Trimmings and Bones

Fat is not a good thing for pets – it can cause inflammation of internal organs, and weight gain. With bones, you can see them break and shard. This will result in discomfort, pain and even obstructions and lacerations of their stomach and/or intestines.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic, in raw, cooked, powdered and other forms, can break down blood cells, leading to anemia. This is why eating cooking foods containing onions and garlic, in any form, can lead to a deadly disorder.
Onions and Garlic are bad foods for pets

Milk and dairy products

For most cats, being lactose-intolerant is real. Yes, it seems like giving a cat milk in a saucer is a common and right thing. However, their digestive systems can not handle milks or cheeses, resulting in digestive upset and diarrhea.


While, technically, sugar is safe for dogs and cats, just like in humans, sugar intake can cause highs and lows. If given enough time of these constant blood sugar changes, your pet can develop diabetes and excessive weight gain.


You should never give any animal, your dog, your cat, NOT ANY animal alcohol. Just 3 teaspoons of whiskey can kill a 5+ pound cat. Even beer can harm dogs and cats, depending on their weight and age. So, keep the wine, beer, and other alcohol away from dogs and cats.

More Christmas Food Questions About Pets?

There are many foods that can be harmful to your cat or dog this Christmas. The above 14 foods can be even deadly if your pet ingests them. So what can you give your pet? Frozen vegetables like peas, carrots and yams make a great meal-time choice for your pet. Mashed potatoes are awesome, but only if they are simply mashed potatoes, without the butter, without the milk and without any seasoning. In fact, we have a free dog Kong recipe book that you can use for some holiday AND mid-summer treats.
Download your FREE dog Kong recipe book!