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Wildebeest's Guide To Holiday Food Safety For Pets

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The holidays are approaching fast, meaning festive dishes will be in abundance before we know it! Though you probably know the common household foods that aren’t safe for dogs, many holiday meals make use of ingredients that aren’t typically used year-round. While beest’s nose will be going crazy for all the new smells, these obscure dishes can lead to confusion on what scraps are okay to share with your furry family.

To keep beest safe this holiday season, we’ve compiled a list of foods that are and aren’t okay for beest (and instructions on how to safely make them their own dog-friendly holiday plate!). We’ve also got a handy printable that’s sized perfectly for the side of your fridge so you can have a quick reference whenever you need it. Just right click the image above to save & print!


Unsafe Holiday Foods:

Alcohol & caffeine: Caffeine and alcohol both affect dogs in the same manner as they do humans, but because dogs are more sensitive to their effects ingestion can quickly turn fatal. Excessive hyperactivity from caffeine can damage the nervous system while alcohol poisoning can affect animals after even a minuscule dose.

Chocolate & nuts: Most of us know that chocolate is unhealthy for dogs, but it’s important to remember that nuts are, too! Different nuts contain various toxins that can cause symptoms from an upset stomach to neurological problems, so don’t sneak your leftover fruitcake into the dog bowl!

Cinnamon, nutmeg, & sage: The trifecta of holiday seasonings is also the trifecta of doggie danger! While both cinnamon and nutmeg aren’t fatal in small doses, cinnamon can lead to liver failure and nutmeg is known to cause hallucinations, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, and seizures. Fresh sage is often used safely as a supplement for dogs, but dishes cooked with dried sage can lead to too much being ingested.

Cooked bones: While research shows that some raw bones are okay for dogs to consume, cooked bones should never be used as a chew toy. Because bones weaken as the meat around them is roasted, they can easily splinter and cause internal injuries and blockage.

Cranberry sauce, grapes & raisins: Grapes in both fresh and dried forms contain a toxin that is highly dangerous for dogs and can lead to acute kidney failure. While fresh or dried cranberries are okay in moderation, cranberry sauce typically contains sugars and additives that aren’t healthy for pup.

Dairy: As they grow out of puppyhood, many dogs become lactose intolerant and will have a hard time digesting dairy goodies such as butter, sour cream, and milk. They may not experience discomfort from a cheese treat, but when it comes to creamy mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese, their upset stomach may become more pronounced.

Garlic & onions: Both garlic and onions can cause anemia for dogs and can be toxic depending on their sensitivity levels. These effects can even occur following small doses, so dishes such as Thanksgiving stuffing and gravy should be avoided.

High fat, sodium-rich foods: Foods such as ham, fried turkey and green bean casserole are all laden with fat and sodium which can lead to pancreatitis and fatal bloat for animals. A good rule of thumb is to avoid giving beest anything that would lead to high cholesterol in a human.

Poinsettias: They aren’t a food, but your dog or cat might treat them as such. The white sap poinsettias produce can cause stomach upset and sometimes vomiting if ingested by dogs, cats, and even humans.

Uncooked dough: Did you know that a dog’s stomach is the perfect environment for activating yeast? As the dough rises, it releases ethanol that is quickly absorbed into their bloodstream from the stomach lining, making uncooked loaves an extremely dangerous snack.


A Dog-Friendly Holiday Plate:

While the list of things beest can’t have is quite exhaustive, the list of things they can have make up a tasty, well-balanced holiday dinner they’re sure to love.

Carrots: Raw carrots are a great substitute for a chew toy to keep beest busy while you’re working in the kitchen, and cooked carrots without sugars or seasonings are a delicious way to up their vitamin intake.

Cooked Turkey (No Skin): While the skin is often laden with sodium and spices, plain turkey meat is perfectly okay for pups to have a small amount of.

Green Beans: Raw or cooked, green beans provide a delicious crunch and are a great way to get your dog more veggies.

Plain Mashed Potatoes: Make ‘em a special serving with no salt or cream!

Pumpkin: Don’t forget dessert! While they can’t join you in enjoying a heaping slice of pumpkin pie, they can lap up some unsweetened, cooked pumpkin either fresh or from the can.

Tip: Stuff unsweetened canned pumpkin in a durable rubber chew (such as a Kong) and pop it in the freezer! It will freeze up just like peanut butter and provide a festive way to keep ‘em entertained.

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes show up in dog treats often due to all the nutrients they provide. As long as they’re served without butter or sugar, they’re perfectly okay for pup.


Wildebeest creates durable, stylish dog gear right here in California. Equipping your best friend for all of your adventures while providing a Wild4Life guarantee, we’re committed to creating products the entire family will love.