Vet Blog

Foods to Be Aware of This Holiday Season

November 24, 2020

It is that time of year when the leaves are changing and the air is becoming crisp.

Everything is smelling like pumpkin and spice. This is personally my favorite time of the year. This also means that the holiday season is here. Thanksgiving is my family's favorite holiday. I know that this year it will be celebrated differently. A lot more of us will be staying at home and so will our beloved fur babies. I know that I will be doing a lot more cooking for Thanksgiving than I have done in the past. It is important that we remember that there are some foods that can potentially be toxic to our fur babies if consumed while we are cooking for the holidays. The following can be dangerous if your pet ingests:

Grapes and Raisins

Both of these can be harmful to pets if eaten. They both have the potential of affecting the kidneys and could cause them to fail.

Onions, Garlic, and Chives

I know that I use a lot of these ingredients to cook at this time of year. These can affect the red blood cells in animals. They can cause hemolytic anemia which is where the body attacks and destroys its own blood cells.

Macadamia Nut

My children love white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. They tend to eat more at this time of year. I tend to use these in a lot of my baking during the holidays. If your pet consumes this, clinical signs usually start within 12 hours. The clinical signs include the following: vomiting, diarrhea, high fever, and depression.


This might seem like a no-brainer that your beloved fur baby should not be consuming alcohol but it happens more than one would think. The following are signs associated with alcohol consumption: trouble breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, and incoordination.


This is my favorite ingredient to bake with. Chocolate contains metheobrominies which can be toxic to dogs. The degree of toxicity depends on the amount and the type of chocolate eaten. Baking chocolate contains the highest levels. White chocolate contains the lowest level. Clinical signs of chocolate toxicosis are increased thirst and urination, restlessness, hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle twitching increased heart rate, and panting.

Yeast Dough

I know that a lot of us will be baking with this during the holidays. It is very important to not let your fur baby eat raw dough. This dough can expand in the stomach. This can cause the stomach to expand and twist upon itself and cause bloat. The signs associated with alcohol consumption can be seen with ingesting raw dough as well. The dough releases ethanol which produces the clinical signs.


This can be found in a lot of baking goods, candy, and gum. It is used as a sweetner. This can cause insulin to be released into your pet's body. This release can cause the blood sugar to decrease and can lead to liver failure. Clinical signs that can be seen are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and seizures.

I wish all of ya'll a happy and safe holiday. If your pet consumes any of the above items please call Hillcrest Animal Hospital immediately. It is also important to have handy the number for ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 1-888-426-4435.