Holiday Foods to Avoid Giving Your Dog

The holiday season is a time of sharing and goodwill, which is why your dog may get spoiled with extra treats this time of year. There's nothing wrong with feasting with your favorite furry pal, but it's important to know what not to feed dogs over the holidays. There are many foods that make dogs sick, and you don't want your dog throwing up during a celebration (or anytime for that matter)!

Here are the basics on what foods you shouldn't share with your dog. This doesn't mean an end to holiday cheer, though! Read on for a few homemade dog treat recipes you can make especially for your pup.

What Not to Feed Dogs During the Holidays

The holiday season starts in late autumn and spans through much of winter, so it's tough to comb through every holiday recipe to make sure it's safe for your dog (and dog-approved). The ASPCA has a list of people food to keep your dog away from. Here are a few that often find their way into the festivities.

Paws Off the Food on this ListChihuahua licking lips and looking at food on plate at dinner table

  • Bones
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Nuts
  • Yeast dough
  • Fatty meats (or meat scraps)
  • Food cooked with nutmeg
  • Food with xylitol as an ingredient

Because these foods tend to be so prevalent over the holiday season it is a good idea to always keep an eye on your pup. Dogs have a way of getting on tables or counter tops to get at the feast when you're not looking. They also have a way of charming your holiday guests or family members with their big puppy eyes, so make sure all get-together attendees are aware that they should not feed your dog anything without your permission. Another thing to keep an eye out for is loading the dishwasher. Because most machines are down closer to your pup's height, he has easier access to lick the plates, bowls and spoons clean. So, make sure to keep an eye on him so that he doesn't do this. This will not only help keep him from eating any harmful food that might still be stuck to a plate, but it will also help keep him from cutting his tongue on something sharp like a steak knife.

Dogs are curious creatures, and the food that they see you eating seems like it should be okay for them as well. But knowing potential harmful foods to avoid will not only keep him safe, but it will also help avoid the extra holiday pounds that many of us humans have to deal with after the first of the year.

However, if you love gift giving, you'll love sharing tasty homemade treats with your dog. Bonus points for using a fun cookie cutter or mold when making any of these holiday dog treat recipes. Though what your pooch craves most this holiday season is love and attention from you. So, during all of the chaos of the holidays make sure to give some personal attention... okay, okay, maybe a couple extra dog treats too. Shhh, we won't tell.

Contributor Bio

Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila is a pet enthusiast who believes in the power of words and how a message can inform, and even transform its intended audience. Her writing can be found all over the internet and in print. Reach out to her on Twitter @ReinventingErin or learn more about her at

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