What Not to Feed Your Dog During the Holidays

Dec 21, 2020

The holidays are here…and though it’s hard to believe we’re near the end of 2020 (the longest year EVER), here we are.

Even though this is a very different year than we’ve ever had, most of us are generally trying to enjoy the season the best we can…and that usually includes yummy holiday foods and treats.

But did you know that as much as your puppy dog begs with those eyes for special holiday goodies, you need to be careful and not feed them certain things? Some things can make their tummies good and upset, while others could literally kill them.

Watch out for these delectable (but sometimes deadly) treats this season and be sure to keep them from your dogs.


What? Dogs and bones go together like…well, a dog with a bone. Except not usually during the holidays. Cooked bones are more brittle than raw, which means they splinter into sharp pieces that could choke Fido. Or it could become an obstruction in the throat or digestive tract. That’s not great either. You may think that giving your pup the wishbone after it’s been broken is a treat, but it’s actually a choking hazard, so best not to.

Skin or Fat

Speaking of the turkey…as much as you think that your dog will go nuts for the turkey skin and fat (or the bacon if you do it like that–yum!), it’s not good for them. That skin and fat will actually be really hard for them to digest and that can mean an upset tummy, diarrhea or vomiting. Those foods with high-fat contents can even trigger pancreatitis in your dog, and that’s painful and dangerous.


So you may be familiar with this artificial sweetener often found in gum, candy and baked treats. The thing is–it’s EXTREMELY toxic to pets and can cause liver failure and death. Pretty quickly. Don’t give dogs treats that have xylitol, and be careful of purses or stockings that may have candy or gum that’s sweetened with xylitol. If you know your pup has had something with xylitol, get them to the vet immediately!

Grapes, raisins, currants and cranberry

If your dog ingests any of these, he could experience rapid kidney failure. And we’re talking rapid. Like, call the vet and race there the second you know he’s eaten grapes or raisins or even cranberries or currants because certain types can do this. There’s no real scientific reason why they do, but these items are highly toxic for dogs and could kill them quickly.
Garlic, Chives or Onions

So, while the jury is still sort of mixed on garlic and whether it’s good for dogs (like it’s good for humans) or not, the general consensus among most vets is, “Why risk?” Foods from the allium family have been known to cause stomach issues in dogs, and even anemia at toxic levels. If your dog takes in large amounts of these foods, it could damage their red blood cells–and lead to anemia. But, at minimum you risk upsetting their tummies and that may even be days later. It’s best just to avoid.


Most people know not to give your dog chocolate but most people ALSO believe it’s like instant poison and death. That’s not really the case unless consumed in massive quantities. Chocolate has a stimulant in it called theobromine. It’s like caffeine, and in dogs it can lead to vomiting, restlessness, dehydration, increased heart rate and seizures. It can also lead to death when in large quantities, and even if not death, it can cause diabetes in dogs. Continue to just say, “No!” to chocolate for dogs.


We’re preeettttty sure it goes without saying, but…in case it doesn’t….don’t give your dog alcohol. Don’t let your dog get into your wine glass. Alcohol is toxic to them and they’re sensitive to the effects. They can (and do) suffer from alcohol poisoning, so be careful with them.


Nuts are great for human brains because they have high fat contents but they’re bad for dogs because they have high fat content. They can give your dog pancreatitis or toxic shock, and they can even lead to intestinal obstruction or choking. Just best not to give any, as some are even more toxic than others.


Plants? Who gives their dogs plants? Not many of us, at least on purpose, but that’s the thing. Poinsettias are toxic to dogs (along with lilies, lantana, azalea, hydrangea, ivy and more) and if your dog gets into your holiday plants, they could suffer gastric distress. Keep them away from dogs and out of their mouth’s reach for sure.

The bottom line is to be careful during the holiday season. We love our dogs and want to spoil them, but those ‘treats’ can actually be bad for them.

Gut health is pivotal to overall health, and you can keep your dog’s gut in check during the holidays and the rest of the year by gonditiving them Bernie’s Perfect Poop. The unique 4-in-1 combination of pre-and probiotics, fiber and enzymes keeps your dog’s gut health the best it can be, and ready to tackle whatever the holidays (or any other day of the year) throw at them.

4.4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 16,055+ reviews

Sign up now to receive the latest updates via email.