Bad Foods

Keep your dogs safe from these 7 common holiday foods.

Baking and cooking during the holidays is one of America’s favorite
winter past-times.   Sharing food with your friends and family is as normal as apple pie at Thanksgiving.   Our dogs ARE family, so please remember that not every ingredient we use for human cooking is safe for dogs.  Keep your dogs (and cats) safe during the
holidays by taking special care NOT to feed your dogs some of the things that humans LOVE to cook and bake with.


1.   Xylitol

2.   Unbaked bread dough/ Alcohol

3.   Onions/Garlic

4.   Grapes/Raisins

5.   Chocolate

6.   Macadamia Nuts

7.   Avocados 

Xylitol is a natural, sugar-free sweetener. It can be used as a sugar
replacement in all holiday baking.  It can be found in chewing gum, puddings, Jell-O, mints, and many oral rinses (Be sure that if you use Listerine on your dogs gums, that it contains NO Xylitol) Xylitol is extremely lethal in even the smallest doses for your dog or cat,
producing symptoms of hypoglycemia. Symptoms of ingestion include: vomiting, loss of muscle control, seizures, tremors, and coma.

Raw baking dough, commonly found on kitchen counters during the holiday season creates alcohol and bloating in the stomach of the dog that has ingests it.  The yeast in the dough expands, creating pressure in the dog’s stomach, which at the least, causes discomfort and at worst, death of the stomach tissue.
As the yeast multiplies, alcohol is produced.  Dogs are far more sensitive to alcohol than humans. Alcohol poisoning is potentially lethal. Symptoms your dog has ingested raw dough: belching, vomiting, distended stomach, lethargy,  ‘drunken behavior’, and decreased respiration.

Onions and garlic both contain a compound that attacks the red blood cells of dogs and cats.  If enough is eaten in raw, powdered, dehydrated form, and even cooked form, it can potentially cause toxicosis.  The stronger the garlic or onion is, the more concentrated the reaction is to the red blood cells.  Signs of toxicosis show
up 3 to 5 days after ingestion and include breathlessness, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea.  Ingestion of onions and garlic is rarely fatal, but does commonly create physical discomfort for the
dog or cat.

Grapes and Raisins are both believed to be extremely toxic to dogs,
causing renal failure in many cases, though clinicians have not come to agree on any one theory to explain why.
Raisins are generally thought to be more toxic to dogs than grapes,
based on concentration levels.  Symptoms
begin with vomiting, usually within hours of ingestion, followed by diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy.

Chocolate contains a chemical compound called theobromine,
which is toxic to dogs and cats.  The
darker the chocolate, the more potentially toxic it is to the dog. This is part of the ‘caffeine effect’ that humans experience, and metabolize quickly. Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine quickly, which is why chocolate consumption can be life threatening.  Symptoms of
chocolate poisoning in dogs include vomiting and diarrhea.  High-risk symptoms include hyperactivity, tremors, increased heart rate, respiratory failure and heart attack.

Macadamia Nuts are not typically an extreme risk for your dog’s health but can give your dog some uncomfortable side effects.  It is unknown why macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs and they are thought to affect the nerves of the dog’s body.  Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, stiffness, staggering tremors, motor loss in the legs, and sometimes temporary paralysis.  Onset of symptoms is typically 12 hours after consumption

Avocados are a controversial food for dog consumption as they are
highly toxic to many breeds, such as birds and horses, but are not toxic to dogs. It can give them some uncomfortable symptoms such as: diarrhea, vomiting and lack of stool production.  Avocado
pits (seeds) can be potentially lethal to your dog, as they can completely block the stomach and intestines.

If your dog is experiencing a potential poisoning, call the ANIMAL POISON


They are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to help with any emergency.  The website for pet poison helpline is:



Copyright DuAnn Chambers 2013, all rights reserved.