Food is a major part of most families’ holiday plans. Keep in mind that many of the goodies on your table aren’t safe for pets! Below, a Scottsdale, AZ veterinarian tells you about some of the most common holiday foods that may pose a problem this time of year:

Grapes and Raisins

It’s still not known precisely what agent in grapes, raisins, and currants causes toxicity to animals, and some pets can seemingly eat these foods without incident. That doesn’t mean it’s worth the risk! Don’t allow your pet to ingest grapes or their dried counterparts, as this can lead to serious health symptoms like excessive drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

Onions and garlic, as well as other members of the allium food family like chives, leeks, scallions, and shallots, aren’t good for pets. They contain a toxic substance that can lead to a life-threatening condition known as hemolytic anemia. Make sure your four-legged companion can’t come in contact with onion-related foods or dishes made with onions.

Candies and Gum

Many candies and gums, as well as certain pastry items and several varieties of toothpaste, are sweetened with a sugar substitute called xylitol. Xylitol is a dangerous pet poison and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, and even seizures if left untreated. If you’re setting out a dish of sweets for guests, make sure your pet can’t gain access.


You’re probably already aware that chocolate is a big no-no. Chocolate of all types, including white, milk, semi-sweet, dark, powdered versions, and even baking chocolate, contains chemicals that don’t agree with our animal companions. To be safe, keep all chocolates and foods that contain chocolate inside closed cabinets or the refrigerator.


Did you know that animals respond to alcohol in the same way that humans do? There’s one major difference, though: it only takes small amounts to cause alcohol poisoning! This goes for everything from beer and wine to liquor and champagne, and even certain foods made with alcoholic beverages. If your holiday gathering will include adult beverages, keep a close eye on all drinks to make sure your pet can’t imbibe. Never give your pet alcohol on purpose.

These aren’t the only dangerous holiday foods out there—if you would like more information on keeping your pet safe this season, contact your Scottsdale, AZ animal hospital for advice from the professionals. We are here to help!