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Holiday Table Scraps You Can and Can’t Feed Your Pet

With the fall and winter holidays approaching, you may have a busy kitchen and dinner table, and many of your guests might not be used to having pets around. Before your guests have the chance to start feeding your pet table scraps, take a look at these guidelines for which human foods are and are not safe for your pets. 

Worry-Free Holiday Treats

There are some worry-free holiday treats you can give your pet without risk of illness. Some of these treats even have health benefits, like easing upset stomachs, promoting healthy digestion, and making your pet’s coat healthier:

● Pumpkin (canned or fresh) – just make sure it is canned pumpkin puree, not canned pumpkin pie mix (which has way more sugar than your pet needs). Cook fresh pumpkin before serving it to your pet. 

● Sweet potatoes – only feed your pet plain, cooked sweet potatoes. Don’t feed your pet a sweetened dish with marshmallows, nuts, raisins, or other add-ins. 

● Turkey – just remove the skin and fat and go easy on the seasoning to avoid digestion problems 

Holiday Foods to Avoid

These foods might cause digestive problems, upset stomach, or even toxicity if fed to your pet. Because all pets are different, the amount necessary to cause health problems might vary due to the age, weight, and overall health of your pet. If you suspect that your pet has eaten any of the following, call your veterinarian immediately:

● Nuts – almost all nuts are toxic to pets.

● Onions & garlic – onions and garlic can cause gastrointestinal problems and hemolytic anemia.

● Fats or oils – butter, oils, and fatty meats can cause stomach upset and increase your pet’s risk of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.

● Alcohol – alcohol can give your pet seizures, brain damage, and increase their blood sugar to dangerous and even fatal levels.

● Artificial sweeteners like Xylitol – these sweeteners are common in candy, gum, and other sweet treats. 

● Chocolate – chocolate is incredibly poisonous to pets, especially dark chocolate.

● Raisins or grapes – raisins and grapes can cause kidney problems (and even kidney failure) in pets.

● Raw meat or bones – raw meat can cause food poisoning in pets, and can contain dangerous bacteria or foodborne illnesses. Bones can splinter, causing dangerous and fatal internal injuries and bleeding. 

If your pet has eaten something it shouldn’t have, or is suffering from vomiting and/or diarrhea, call your local veterinarian as soon as possible.