Season’s Treatings: Safe and Not-So-Safe Holiday Foods for Pets

A photo of dog paws and a dog bone with a bow on it

The holiday season is a joyful time filled with festivities, family gatherings, and of course, delicious food. As pet owners, it’s essential to be aware of what holiday foods are safe for your furry companions and which ones can be harmful. In this informative blog, we’ll guide you through the seasonal treats that your pets can enjoy and those that should be kept far away from their reach.

Safe Holiday Treats for Your Pets

During this season, it’s tempting to share your favorite treats with your pets. Here are some safe and pet-friendly holiday foods to include in their festive meals:

Turkey (in moderation)

Turkey is often the centerpiece of holiday feasts. While it can be a delightful treat for your pets, it should be given in moderation. Remove any bones, and ensure it’s cooked plain without any seasoning or additives. Turkey meat is a good source of protein for your furry friends.

Sweet Potatoes

Plain, cooked sweet potatoes are a nutritious choice for pets. They are rich in vitamins and fiber. Just make sure to avoid adding any butter, sugar, or marshmallows.

Green Beans

Fresh green beans make a healthy and low-calorie snack for pets. They are a great source of fiber and vitamins. Steer clear of canned green beans with added salt and preservatives.

Foods to Avoid During the Holidays

While it’s heartwarming to share the joy of the holiday season with your pets, some foods can be harmful or even toxic to them. Here’s a list of items you should keep away from your furry friends:


Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are toxic to pets. Dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate have higher levels of these substances. Keep all chocolate products out of reach.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure in dogs, so it’s best to avoid them entirely. Even small amounts can be dangerous.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic, often used in holiday cooking, can cause damage to your pet’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. Ensure that your dishes are free from these ingredients.

How to Safely Include Your Pets in Holiday Celebrations

Now that you know what’s safe and what’s not, here are some tips on how to include your pets in your holiday celebrations:

  • Create a Pet-Friendly Space: Set up a designated area for your pets during gatherings to ensure their safety and comfort. Provide them with their favorite toys and a cozy spot to relax.
  • Be Mindful of Decorations: Holiday decorations can be intriguing to pets. Avoid using tinsel, which can be harmful if ingested, and secure ornaments and lights out of their reach.
  • Watch the Trash: Dispose of holiday leftovers and food scraps securely. Pets can be sneaky when it comes to rummaging through the trash, so keep it well-covered.
  • Check for Allergies: Just like humans, animals can have allergies to foods as well. If your pet has never had a new food item before only give them a little to try it. Wait sometime before giving them more. If your pet acts strangely or exhibits any allergy symptoms, get them to a veterinarian right away. 

The holiday season is a wonderful time to cherish moments with your pets. By being aware of what they can and cannot eat, you can ensure their safety and well-being. If you have any concerns about your pet’s health during the holidays or any other time, contact us at our West Loop location at (312) 421-2275 or our Streeterville location at (312) 766-5959. Our team of experts is here to provide the best care for your beloved companions. Wishing you and your pets a joyful and safe holiday season!


West Loop:
(312) 421-2275

(312) 766-5959