Safety tips for keeping your pet safe this holiday season


Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and delicious food is everywhere to be found. Human foods smell and taste so good to our pets, particularly at holiday time; however, in many cases, human food can be toxic to animals.,, and several other websites list foods that pet owners should avoid feeding their animals because of their different metabolisms. In most cases these foods may lead only to stomach distress and diarrhea; however, some can cause severe illness and even death.

Here is’s list of the most common foods that are harmful to pets:

• Alcoholic beverages
• Apple seeds
• Apricot pits
• Avocados
• Cherry pits
• Candy (particularly chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
• Coffee (grounds, beans, and chocolate-covered espresso beans)
• Garlic
• Grapes
• Gum (can cause blockages and sugar free gums may contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
• Hops (used in home beer brewing)
• Macadamia nuts
• Moldy foods
• Mushroom plants
• Mustard seeds
• Onions and onion powder
• Peach pits
• Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
• Raisins
• Rhubarb leaves
• Salt
• Tea (because it contains caffeine)
• Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
• Walnuts
• Xylitol (artificial sweetener that is toxic to pets)
• Yeast dough

At Thanksgiving time especially, you may be tempted to feed your dog turkey. The website tells us to refrain from sharing your Thanksgiving turkey with your pets because life-threatening pancreatitis may result—more about this in next week’s blog.