Holiday Feasts Are for People, Not Pets

— Written By and last updated by Leeann Crump
en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

The Christmas and New Year Holidays are coming up and everyone is getting excited for their parties, tree decorations, and buying gifts. Many people think they are giving their pets a treat, by sharing holiday meals with them, but this practice can be very unhealthy and even dangerous. I’m writing this article to remind livestock and pet owners that giving animals part of our holiday feast can make them very sick. Onions, scallions and garlic often used in our food can be toxic for pets. They can destroy their red bloods which results in anemia. Bones can cause choking or intestinal tearing that may require surgery or could even result in death. Never give your pets raw meat or eggs because they could get salmonella, ecoli, toxoplasmosis, or parasites. Candy, gum, peanut butter, and baked goods could contain xylitol which can cause insulin surges and liver failure in animals. Raisins and grapes can cause kidney failure. Theobromine in chocolate isn’t harmful to people, but it’s the toxic part of chocolate for dogs. It’s especially found in dark chocolate and baking chocolate. It can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, become overly thirsty, and can cause abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, tremors, or death. Unattended plates and cups should be avoided, especially since caffeine and alcohol can cause a lot of problems in animals.

Even if you have fed your pet a certain people food in the past and they didn’t have any problems, you could be causing serious issues that you aren’t even aware of. The best thing you can feed your pet is pet food that is labelled for their species. It has all the vitamins, minerals, protein, and fat that is needed for that particular animal to grow and maintain. Giving them other things can really mess up their diet and cause indigestion and pain. If you switch their food, you want to do so slowly by incorporating the old food with the new food over a period of a week. Cats that do not get enough taurine in their diet can actually go blind or lose part of their eye sight. Feeding them cat food prevents any worries of this happening. Young animals, old animals, and ones with certain health conditions have different nutritional needs, so it’s a good idea to check with your veterinarian before switching food for your pets. A new trend in pet care is people cooking for their animals. It is really difficult to get the correct nutritional requirements of animals by cooking for them and it can also be very time consuming and expensive. Cooking for pets should only be done if recommended by a veterinarian because of a certain medical condition. An occasional treat is ok to give your pets as long as it doesn’t consume a large percentage of their diet. You also have to be careful with indoor pets around the holidays because most of our house plants are toxic to animals. Be careful to keep your dogs and cats away from the poinsettias so everyone has a safe holiday!

Tiff head shot November 2016If you have questions about animal nutrition, please email me at Tiff_Conrad@ncsu.edu or call 910-997-8255.

Written By

Tiffanee Boone, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionTiffanee BooneExtension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture & Local Foods Call Tiffanee Email Tiffanee N.C. Cooperative Extension, Pender County Center
Updated on Jan 3, 2017
Was the information on this page helpful? Yes check No close
Scannable QR Code to Access Electronic Version