7 Holiday Foods to Never Feed Your Dog

©istockphoto/Jari Hindström

7 Holiday Foods to Never Feed Your Dog

The holidays are around the corner and it’s the season where food, family, friends and Fido unite. We all know your dog is just as excited as you are about turkey, mashed potatoes and mom’s homemade stuffing. Unfortunately, certain foods are toxic and dangerous to your dog’s health and wellbeing. Think before you treat with these seven foods you should never feed your dog this holiday season.

Chocolate
Whether its chocolate cake or a piece of homemade chocolate, think twice before letting your dog into your chocolate stash. The toxic ingredient in chocolate is the caffeine and a chemical called theobromine that, if consumed in large quantities, can cause a seizure or even death. Different chocolate contains more or less of these substances, and the size of your dog makes a difference. The larger the dog, the more chocolate it takes to make them sick. Either way, you should play it safe and steer clear.

Doughs with Yeast
Your dog’s stomach produces the perfect enzymes to make yeast dough rise. Avoid feeding raw dough as it expands the stomach and results in nausea, bloating and vomiting. If eaten in large quantities, the dough may cut off the blood supply, requiring an emergency surgery. Whether it’s homemade or a pre-packaged dough, keep all raw breads and cakes away from Fido.

Nutmeg
This common Christmas spice flavors holiday favorites such as pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes and spiced nuts. Nutmeg contains a mild hallucinogenic property that causes problems to the nervous system. It’s common for the dog to experience seizures, tremors, and severe shaking. Dogs can eat pumpkin and sweet potatoes, but make sure you feed them the plain version.

Turkey Skin
Although your dog may love the smell and taste of turkey, avoid feeding them the skin. The skin is high in fat and is very difficult for digestion. High fat foods can cause pancreatitis, which leads to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness.

Nuts
Nuts are harmless to most humans, but they’re toxic to dogs. When consumed, the dog can experience nausea, confusion, vomiting, joint stiffness, and a lack of coordination. Macadamia and pistachios are higher in fat and can lead to pancreatitis. Almonds, walnuts and pecans are hard to digest and if not chewed properly, can lead to obstruction in the stomach lining.

Onions and Garlic
Even if they are thoroughly cooked, these vegetables contain thiosulphate, which causes red blood cells to burst and can lead to anemia. Onions are the most toxic and even a tiny bite can lead to large problems. Toxic symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea.

Holiday Drinks
Alcohol is more toxic to a dog than a human. Signs of intoxication are difficulties in walking, cardiac arrest, and even death. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine and dairy. Dogs do not contain high quantities of the enzyme lactase and cannot digest dairy like humans. Eggnog is a definite no as it is high in dairy and spiced with nutmeg. Dairy beverages can cause an upset stomach, bowel issues and extreme dehydration.