top of page
  • Writer's pictureYour Pet AuPair

Holiday Food Safety Info for Your Pets

Your Pet AuPair writes about pets and food safety during the holidays.

Holiday season and food go hand in hand. During the holidays, everyone’s dining table is full of scrumptious foods, their tempting aromas making you unable to resist diving in mouth first, lol.

In addition to catering to guests, it is natural to feel like including our four-legged housemates when it comes to holiday feasts. However, it is important to keep an eye on what your pet consumes as some of the food items can prove toxic. A quick turn of your back can give a dog that small window of opportunity to get into foods that can cause stomach upset and much worse.

It is fine to include your furry friends in holiday dinners, just make sure to watch out for what you give them. Considering that the holiday food recipes can vary, it is best not to give pets cooked dishes to consume.

In case you are wondering what, and what not, to give to your pets, you are in the right place. In this post, let’s go over some holiday foods that are safe and unsafe for your pets.

Unsafe Foods

Keep the following holiday foods away from your pets as they can prove dangerous.

Alcoholic drinks

The effect of alcohol remains the same, be it on humans or animals. Your pet will experience a similar effect on their brain as liver as you would and it won’t take much to do irreversible damage. Even a few drops can lead to serious issues such as respiratory problems and, ultimately, death. And we are sure you don’t want that. Hence, make sure to keep alcoholic drinks away from your pet!


The holiday season calls for desserts such as pies, cakes, pastries, and whatnot. You might need coffee or chocolate to prepare them and these ingredients have caffeine in them. While it does nothing to a human, it can prove fatal for your pets. So, make sure you are watching your pets throughout the dinner so that they don’t even come near desserts.

Furthermore, chocolate has theobromine, which can be toxic to dogs and may even result in death. The toxicity varies based on the type of chocolate, how much they ate, and the size of your pet; it’s safer to consider chocolate off limits for pets.

Let your dog walk off that holiday turkey! Your Pet AuPair provides exercise for your pets in Bel Air.


Turkey skin and areas of the fatty meats, even in small amounts, can cause pancreatitis. If giving turkey to your pet, give only a small piece of breast meat from the inner part of the breast to avoid giving your pup any of the seasonings or basting juices. This means no gravy!

Onion and garlic

They both contain thiosulphate, which can cause problems for pets. It does not matter whether or not your pet could digest it; once inside the body, it can be extremely harmful. They can damage dogs’ red blood cells and can lead to anemia, which can cause organ damage.

Yeast Dough

When dogs eat bread dough, the yeast continues to make the dough rise, which distends the stomach and releases toxic levels of ethanol. The pressue of rising dough can mimic and actually cause bloat. The real danger, however, is alcohol toxicosis.


If any of your guests, out of love, tries to give your pet a slice of ham or bacon, stop them right away! This is because pork or dishes that have pork as an ingredient can end up causing pancreatitis. This can cost you your pet’s life!


Bones are dangerous for dogs because they can splinter. Splintering can cause chokings, fragments can get stuck in their intestines, and can cause cuts in the throat and mouth.

Safe Foods

Let’s now move on food items that are safe for your pets to consume (under certain conditions).

Mashed potatoes

You can give it to your pets only if you haven’t added butter or salt to it yet. A pet can only consume plain mashed potatoes. Make sure the mashed potatoes are plain so that your pet does not end up with diarrhea or any other digestive issues. Milk & butter are not your pets’ friend.

Apples & Pumpkin

It’s perfectly safe to give Fido a piece of an apple (no core or seeds) or a spoonful of pumpkin as a treat. Just give it to them before you’ve added sugar and spice. A great idea that can keep your dog occupied for a while is to freeze pumpkin puree and apples in a Kong. What did we do before Kongs, I wonder???

Green beans

These are not only tasty but also full of nutrition.. They contain vitamins and are a low-calorie food item. However, make sure that if you offer your pet green beans, they don’t have any toppings, especially butter, cheese, or onion. Any such topping can cause serious digestive problems in your pet, and we are sure you want a happy holiday season.


Carrots are another vegetable that can be good for your pet. You can serve carrots cooked or raw, as both are equally good for the pet. They are especially healthy for your pet’s teeth. Carrots are low in calories, rich in fiber as well as vitamins. So, it is one superfood for your pet!

Sweet potatoes

They are a healthier option than white potatoes. However, make sure they don’t have glaze on tops, such as sugar or butter. Such ingredients don’t really sit well with a pet’s digestive system. Like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes are also good for pets, only if they are plain.


The holidays can be an exciting time and our fur family should be a part of every memory we make and this is why it’s best to keep much of our food away from our pets’ mouths to keep them out of danger. Also, remember to secure your trash can so your nosy pup doesn’t help himself to potentially dangerous food that’s been discarded. Your Pet AuPair wishes you a joyful and healthy holiday season!

Your Pet AuPair ishould be your first choice for dog walking and pet sitting in Bel Air.

Your Pet AuPair

We speak “dog!”

Offering Dog Walking and other Pet Care Services in the Harford County, Maryland areas of Bel Air, Forest Hill, Abingdon, Fallston and Churchville!

Cat Visits, Pet Sitting and Vet Taxi

Pet Boarding (Our Home) and Overnight Pet Sitting (Your Home)

To get started with our professional, bonded and insured pet care services,

just call 410-989-1533 or click here to send us an email.

35 views0 comments


bottom of page