Article written by Poop Away – Salem, MA Dog Poop Cleaning Service

The best part of the holiday season, in my opinion, is the food! And lets be honest, our dogs often get some of that holiday food too whether we give them table scraps or they snatch it when no one’s looking. We all know it’s not a great idea to let our dogs eat off the table, but since it happens, let’s talk about 5 common, and very dangerous foods for our dogs.

Photo by rfranca on Shutterstock

  1. Chocolate – We all know about this one already but the danger can’t be overstated. Even a little bit of chocolate can cause a lot of damage. It’s extremely toxic and a lethal dose for a small dog can be as little as a couple pieces of dark chocolate. Be extra careful with this ubiquitous treat.
  2. Garlic and Onions – I love onions, and both are staples of holiday cooking. But they come from a family of vegetables that can rapidly sicken and kill even the hardiest breed. Leeks and chives are also part of this family and should be avoided at all cost. Remember these veggies can be hidden in all kinds of holiday food, like gravy, stuffing, pasta sauce, etc. Keep these as far away from your dog as possible.
  3. Xylitol – We all know about winter weight, and who doesn’t try to watch their calories by using no calorie sweeteners from time to time? Xylitol is a newer sweetener, but can be deadly for your pet. You’ll most likely find this in low calorie, or sugar free snacks. Check the packaging before you buy. If your dog is a notorious snack thief, like my dog Jasper, it’s not worth even having in your home. Avoid this at all costs.
  4. Leftover Bones – I have to admit I’m guilty of this one. Dogs love bones, and we’ve all seen the cartoon dog chewing a comically large bone. Lots of dog treats are even bone shaped! But bones can be dangerous, especially small bones. Remember bones are the structural component of our bodies, they’re meant to be hard. When bones break they can splinter and become lodged in your dog’s throat or digestive system. Avoid the real bones and stick with the safe toy ones.
  5. Alcohol – Dogs are curious by nature… and voracious. It’s easy to leave a drink out on a table, especially at a holiday party. But keep the booze as far away from your dog as you can. Alcohol can be attractive to dogs, especially in a holiday cocktail. But a little alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning in dogs and they lack the natural mechanisms humans have developed over millennia to process alcohol. They can get black out drunk on very little, with all the same side effects, confusion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and liver failure.

If we’re all careful with our food and drinks over the winter and holiday seasons, we can ensure we all have a fun, warm, safe winter.