We all love our fur babies and include them in our holiday festivities. To keep our babies safe, we need to take the time to do some Petproofing, including decoration checks, setting up quiet retreat spaces, and helping them get used to new people.

A significant part of Petproofing for spending the holidays at home (or someone else’s home) means focusing on your dog’s nutritional safety. You probably know to make sure you have enough of your dog’s regular food and snacks, and to keep them on the same feeding routine. Most importantly you need to review the foods and items your dog should not have. Many pet parents already know what is on the no-no food and ingredient list, but it is necessary that others in the house know what is on the list too. Also, new items are added each year. Please use this list to share with friends and relatives who will be around your fur baby!

Alcohol – Never let your dog have access to alcohol. During the holidays, fancy concoctions are everywhere, and it can be easy for your canine friend to sneak a couple of laps before you even realize it. Depending on how much they drink, dogs can become intoxicated, uncoordinated, have vomiting and diarrhea, and trouble breathing. If a larger amount is consumed, dogs can potentially get severe alcohol poisoning that can cause coma or even death. Even if your dog has only had a few laps, you should watch him carefully. If your dog has consumed more than that, or if you are unsure of the amount, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Apple Seeds the apple seed casing is a chemical called amygdlin. When digested, amygdlin releases cyanide. It would take many seeds to reach a toxic amount, but better safe than sorry of course. Apples are still a great snack for dogs if you make sure to get rid of the core and seeds.

Avocados – Contained within the avocado skin and leaves is a toxin called persin. If enough persin is ingested, your dog can have vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing and even heart problems. The good news is that persin is limited to the skin, stem, and leaves. The bad news is that your dog could still get choked on the avocado pit. However, the edible part of the avocado is good for dogs and is now often an ingredient in dog foods.

Bacon – While not toxic, bacon contains too much salt and fat for your dog, and you should really refrain giving it at all. Too much fat in any food can cause a dog to get pancreatitis.

Baby Food – Although baby food seems harmless, certain varieties can be toxic to dogs. Some foods contain onion powder which is toxic to dogs.

Bread Dough – The yeast in bread dough can rise and expand blocking the airway and cause your dog to become extremely bloated. If left unattended, their stomach and intestines can even rupture. Another problem is that the yeast produces ethanol as a by-product causing your dog to become intoxicated. You should seek medical attention if your dog ingests bread dough.

Caffeine – Caffeine is toxic to dogs. According to the ASPCA, caffeine is a powerful stimulant. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, increased thirst, restlessness and an increased heart rate” in pets. If enough is consumed, tremors, seizures, and even death can occur. If your dog ingests a food or drink with caffeine, you should seek prompt medical attention.

Capsaicin – Capsaicin is found in many spices such as paprika, chili powder and most peppers. It can cause your dog sever stomach irritation.

Cat Food – Many dogs love to chow down on a bowl of cat food if given the chance. However, cat food contains too much protein and fat for your dog. Though not toxic, it is not healthy for your dog to eat any food that is really meant for a cat.

Cherry Pits – Like many other fruits, the danger of cherries is in the, stems, leaves, and pits. They contain cyanide, which is highly toxic to dogs if enough is consumed. The pits can also become lodged and cause intestinal blockage, resulting in serious problems.

Chewing Gum and other candy – Not only does candy contain sugar, but it often contains xylitol, a sugar substitute that can be fatal to dogs. Never give your dog candy or gum, and beware of chewed gum on the ground when you are walking your dog.

Chocolate (and cocoa powder) – You’ve heard this before, but chocolate is one of the single most toxic foods for your dog. It’s not just about the caffeine content. It contains two substances, theobromine and theophylline, that are toxic to your dog. If chocolate is ingested, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, damage to your dog’s heart and nervous systems, and death can occur.

Citrus Fruits – The fruit, seeds, peels, stems, and leaves of any citrus fruit contain citric acid. When small amounts are ingested, your dog may experience vomiting and diarrhea. However, a large amount can serious problems with the central nervous system. So, if you catch your dog eating part of an orange, there is no need to panic – but you may have a mess to clean up later.

Coconut – The coconut and its milk can cause your dog to have stomach irritation, including vomiting and diarrhea. Also, coconut water has too much potassium for dogs, so do not give it to yours.

Coffee – Coffee can be very toxic to dogs, due to the caffeine content. As mentioned above, ingestion of caffeine can cause diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, and an increased heart rate in pets. If enough is consumed, tremors, seizures, and even death can occur. If your dog ingests a food or drink with caffeine, you should seek prompt medical attention.

Cooked Bones – Contrary to what many people believe, you should never give your dog cooked bones. The bone can easily break apart and splinter when your dog begins to chew, causing serious and sometimes fatal stomach and intestinal problems.

Corn – Corn is hard on your dog’s digestive system, so do not feed them too much. However, corn on the cob can be hazardous. If your dog ingests a corncob, his intestines can become blocked, and it can even become fatal if it is not removed.

Dairy Products – Dogs are naturally lactose intolerant and don’t digest dairy products well. Although not toxic, dairy products can wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive system. There’s no need to give them cheese knowing it will make them miserable later.

Energy Drinks – Letting your dog have access to an energy drink is a certain dangerous situation, especially due to the amount of caffeine found in most of them. If you think your dog has ingested even part of an energy drink, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Egg Whites – Raw egg can deplete your dog of biotin. This can lead to hair loss, general weakness, and growth issues.

Fat – Any amount of fat pieces can cause your dog intestinal and digestive problems, and can even lead to pancreatitis.

Fish – Certain fish can be especially fatal to dogs if eaten raw. Salmon, for instance can be infected with a parasite. The parasite isn’t dangerous to dogs, but it is often infected with bacteria called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which can be fatal to them. Also, Thiamine deficiency can result if too much raw fish is consumed on a regular basis. This can cause loss of appetite, seizures, and even death.

Garlic – Garlic is in the onion family, which is toxic for dogs. Just avoid it.

Grapes and Raisins – Grapes contain a toxin that is especially harmful to dogs. Although the exact toxin has not been pinpointed, even a small amount can cause severe liver damage, kidney failure, and death.

Liver – In small amounts liver is harmless and even thought to be beneficial to dogs. However, eating too much liver can result in too much Vitamin A. Too much Vitamin A can cause your dog to have bone and muscle issues.

Marijuana – Like other drugs, marijuana can prove harmful to dogs. It can affect your dog’s heart rate, nervous system, vomiting, and diarrhea. You should seek medical attention if you think your dog has ingested marijuana.

Meat and Eggs – This is currently a controversial issue. However, the ASPCA still says that raw or undercooked meat can be dangerous to your dog. Both can contain bacteria including Salmonella and E.coli that is harmful to your dog. Raw eggs also contain avidin which is an enzyme that decreases absorption of biotin. This can lead problems with your dog’s coat and skin.

Mold – Never give your dog moldy or spoiled food. Moldy food can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause muscle tremors, convulsions, and worse. Beware of fruit that has fallen off trees and become moldy.

Mushrooms – Never give you dog food with mushrooms. Also, watch for wild mushrooms when outside with your dog. Certain mushrooms contain toxins that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, liver and kidney damage, coma, and death.

Mustard Seeds – Though not toxic, your dog will certainly have an upset stomach if he has eaten mustard seeds.

Nuts – Never give nuts of any kind to your dog. Certain varieties of nuts, like macadamia and walnuts, contain an unknown toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and nervous and digestive system issues. Even nuts that do not contain this toxin still contain a high concentration of fat that can lead to pancreatitis.

Oils – In addition to cooking oils, there are also natural oils many people keep around the house for allergies, massage, and to make other homeopathic remedies. These oils are extremely concentrated and can be fatal to your dog. Seek medical attention immediately if your dog has come in contact with these.

Onions – Onions, leeks, and chives are very toxic for dogs, regardless of what form – raw, cooked, dried, powdered, or as an ingredient in other foods. Onions contain disulfides and sulfoxides that can cause dogs to have stomach irritation, anemia, and damage red blood cells which can cause organ damage and even death.

Peach, Persimmon, and Plum Pits –  Like many other fruits, the danger of the peach pit contains cyanide, which is highly toxic to dogs if enough is consumed. These pits can also become lodged and cause intestinal blockage, resulting in serious problems.
Potatoes – Unripe potatoes as well as their plant contain a toxin called solanine, which can cause your dog stomach problems, weakness, lethargy, and confusion.
Rhubarb – Rhubarb contains oxalates. When consumed, dogs can have digestive and nervous system problems.

Salt – Excessive salt intake can cause sodium ion poisoning which may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death. Just skip sharing your salty snacks with your dog.

Sugar – It seems that sugar is in most of the food we eat. Too much sugar for your dog on a regular basis can cause obesity, dental problems, and eventually diabetes. This includes corn syrup too.

Tea – Just as coffee, teas that contain caffeine can be very toxic for your dog. Diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, and an increased heart rate may occur. If enough is consumed, tremors, seizures, and even death can occur. If your dog ingests a food or drink with caffeine, you should seek prompt medical attention.

Tobacco– Tobacco contains nicotine, which is a major toxin for dogs. Nicotine can increase a dog’s heart rate, affect the nervous and respiratory system, and even result in death. Seek proper medical attention.
Tomatoes – Only green, unripe tomatoes as well as the leaves and stems are the problem. Like unripe potatoes, they contain solanine, which can cause your dog stomach problems including weakness, lethargy, and confusion.
Xylitol – Xylitol is a sugar substitute often found in candy, gum, baked treats, now some peanut butters, and many other foods. Even small amounts can cause vomiting, lethargy, seizures, liver failure, and even death.

Yeast – Yeast can cause several problems for your dog. The yeast can rise and expand causing your dog to become extremely bloated. If left unattended, their stomach and intestines can even rupture. Another problem is that the yeast produces ethanol as a by- product, causing your dog to become intoxicated.

Again, please share this list or even post it on the refrigerator for all to see!

Be on the lookout for parts two and three about Petproofing the entire house for the holidays, and foods and tasty treats you can give your dog during the Holiday Season!

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