Foods to Keep Away from Pets This Christmas

dog with christmas hat and cookies

The American Veterinary Medical Association is aware that many pets end up in emergency vet hospitals because of eating toxic foods. Christmas is the time for baking and cooking up a storm. The hustle and bustle of entertaining during the holidays leave most pets unsupervised. That is why many of them get their paws on forbidden foods. Keeping these foods away can prevent that emergency trip to the vet hospital. Here are some of the foods harmful to pets during the holidays.

Alcoholic Beverages

Christmas is a time for drinking merrily with friends and family. Sometimes, pets join the drinking space. If you are not careful, your pet could have a taste of your wine or brandy. If this happens, your pet will experience breathing difficulties, depression, vomiting, and dizziness. Keeping these beverages on high counters or in spill-proof containers with lids can prevent your pets from accessing them.


The holiday season is when all the desserts pour into your home. Chocolates tend to lie on almost every surface. If you are not careful, your pets may eat them while you are busy baking or cooking. Keeping your chocolates in sealed food containers and placing these containers on the top shelves can prevent your pets from consuming them. Apply the same to your chocolate drinks and syrups.

Cooked Bones

Holiday feasts often end up in the form of cooked bones. Pets often mingle with the guests during lunches and dinners. They could take the cooked meats from unattended plates, giving them access to the cooked bones. These hard substances can split as your pet bites into them. Cooked bones could fracture your pet’s teeth and scratch your pet’s throat. It is best to serve boneless meals to prevent an emergency trip to the vet hospital.

Chives, Onions, and Garlic

These common ingredients often come by the bag during the holidays. It is easy for any of them to roll off the cooking table if you are not careful. These ingredients can cause damage to the red blood cells and stomach of your pet. It is ideal to keep your pets away from the kitchen while you cook. Cleaning up as you prepare your holiday meals can prevent your pets from eating these ingredients. Once you have cleared everything, you can welcome them back into the kitchen for some homemade Christmas treats.

Raisins and Grapes

Kidney failure will develop in pets if they eat raisins and grapes. Holiday meals and desserts often have these ingredients. Make sure you keep them and the dishes you make with them away from your pets.

Macadamia Nuts

These nuts can cause hyperthermia, vomiting, and depression in pets. They can also cause choking. Be careful in handling macadamia nuts while you are baking or cooking. If you do drop them, be sure to clean them up right away.

​​​​​​​You can prevent emergency vet trips this Christmas by keeping the toxic foods away from pets. At Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center, we always give our pet parents holiday reminders that can keep their pets safe during the festivities. Please visit our facility in Cave Creek, Arizona, for a one-on-one consultation. Call us at 480-595-8600 to schedule an appointment or inquire about our holiday pet care and emergency packages.