Learn more about foods that are dangerous for your pup this holiday season and what to do if he/she happens to sneak some snacks!

Feeding Fido

Holiday Food Toxicities for Dogs

by Dr. Eileen Savier CVA, CVCH

The Holidays are HERE! If you are like me you have been planning your Thanksgiving and Christmas parties since last year! I love hosting, spending time with friends and family, and all the FOOD!! If you have dogs in the house, especially the counter surfing kind, this can also be a dangerous time. There may be guests staying overnight that have not pet proofed their belongings, food and snacks galore, more children then they are used to, and dog loving family who give table scraps. Add all this up and it’s a holiday emergency room trip waiting to happen. When planning your events be sure to set some ground rules with family. Be sure they know what foods are safe for your pet (the list below is a general guide but if you dog has diabetes or a food allergy there may be other items your dog cannot have). Have a treat jar out for family to feed dog friendly “cookies” but give them sparingly….when the jar is empty no more treats! If you dog is a food thief think about putting him to bed early with a long lasting kong treat so there are no accidents.

Foods you should avoid feeding your pet include (but are not limited to):

  1. Alcohol- under no circumstance should your pet be given alcohol. If there has been exposure call your veterinarian or ASPCA poison control immediately
  2. Grapes/ raisins- the toxic principle is unknown at this time but they have been shown to cause kidney failure
  3. Raw Dough- while dough is rising it expands and creates gas. It will not pass out of the stomach and may cause obstruction or gastric dilation +/- torsion.
  4. Macadamia nuts- can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion.
  5. Raw/ undercooked meat and bones
  6. Xylitol (sugar substitute)- this causes insulin to be released causing very low blood sugar. Exposure require immediate medical intervention.
  7. Onions, garlic, chives- causes gastrointestinal irritation but ingesting large amounts could lead to red blood cell damage.
  8. Chocolate/caffeine- low amounts of ingestion will cause vomiting and diarrhea. Larger quantities can cause excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death.

The dog ate it all… What do I do? Plan ahead for emergencies, have the contact information for a 24 hour emergency facility close to you if your primary veterinarian is closed and does not take emergencies over the holiday. If there is not a 24 hour facility close to you call ASPCA poison control at (888) 426-4435. There is a fee to speak with the toxicologist. Call your primary care veterinarian as soon as they are open if your pet is sick but did not require emergency care. Anticipate an emergency or work in fee in addition to the office call as you are not alone and there were a lot of naughty dogs over the holidays. Prevention is best! If you are worried isolate your pet until all the food is put away, they can still be part of the fun but we want to keep them safe!

Happy Holidays- Dr. Eileen


About Dr. Eileen Savier

Dr. Eileen SavierBarks & Recreation is proud to feature Dr. Eileen Savier CVA, CVCH as our Veterinary Blogger in our “From the Vet” Series. Currently part of the team of doctors at Keystone Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Savier is a 2012 Graduate of the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, She completed her clinical experience at The Ohio State University and after veterinary school she pursued further education and certification in Veterinary Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, and Fear Free veterinary visits. Dr. Savier has a special interest in integrative medicine, animal behavior, and internal medicine and is committed to improving animal health care by integrating Eastern and Western philosophies. She enjoys working with fearful & aggressive dogs and cats and she has had additional training in low stress handling techniques and encourages positive reinforcement during exams and procedures. Her clinical interests include pain management, animal behavior, geriatric patient care, and internal medicine. Dr. Savier is a member of the following associations:

Dr. Savier shares her home with two (soon to be three) dogs, two cats, and a toddler. She lovingly refers to her two dogs as Coconut Retrievers as they were rescue dogs she brought home from the island of St. Kitts. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, and planning her next Disney vacation.

Join us every month for Dr. Savier’s “From the Vet” series to get more information related to the health and welfare of your furry family members!

Recomended Posts