!Header Buttons Right Side

Common Holiday Foods Your Pet Should Never Have

December 15, 2016

The holidays are nearly upon us! Food is a big part of the festivities—make sure your pet doesn’t get their paws on anything harmful. Below, your Omaha, NE veterinarian tells you about a few common holiday foods that your pet should never have.

Onions, Garlic, Shallots

Onions, garlic, shallots, chives, scallions, and leeks are all members of the allium family, and they all have toxic properties for our animal companions. When a pet eats these foods, the red blood cells are damaged and a dangerous condition called hemolytic anemia can result. Associated symptoms include weakness, loss of coordination, pale gums, discolored urine, vomiting, and diarrhea. Never allow your pet to eat onions, garlic, or other members of the allium species.


Chocolate, as you probably know, is very bad for our pets. All types of chocolate (milk, dark, white, semi-sweet, powdered varieties, even baking chocolate) contain theobromine and caffeine, chemicals that don’t agree with our four-legged friends. Avoid dangerous symptoms like lethargy, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures—restrict your pet’s access to chocolate and foods that contain chocolate at all times.


Did you know that many candies, gums, and certain baked pastry items can prove highly toxic to pets? That’s because these treats are often sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sugar that is very poisonous to animals. As little as a few pieces of candy or a stick-and-a-half of gum can cause serious symptoms in a small pet! Never leave candy or other sweet treats out where pets may be able to reach them, because the results could be deadly.

Grapes and Raisins

To this day, it’s not completely understood why grapes and raisins are dangerous for some pets. It even appears that some cats and dogs can eat these foods without suffering any ill effects whatsoever. Still, it’s not worth taking a chance with your pet’s health! Grapes and raisins have been known to produce serious symptoms in dogs and cats alike, so store these foods in the refrigerator or your kitchen cabinets where they belong.


Alcohol affects pets just like it affects humans. That doesn’t mean your pet will enjoy the experience! Even small amounts of alcohol can poison an animal very easily. Keep your pet far away from all liquor, wine, beer, and champagne.

These aren’t the only hazardous foods out there—contact your Omaha, NE veterinarian’s office for more great pet safety tips.