Dog eating holiday bone.

Nothing says “the holidays are here” like a gathering of family and friends around a table full of mouth-watering foods and sweet treats. And while you’re indulging yourself in all your traditional favorites, it’s only natural to want to indulge your pets, too. But before you slip a bite of honey baked ham to your canine or feline companion, it’s important to know that some people foods can actually be poisonous to pets

This holiday season, the team at True Care Veterinary Hospital reminds all pet families of the importance of practicing holiday pet safety, especially when it comes to food. With our tips below, you can start a new holiday dinner tradition just for your pets!

Style Points for Presentation

Charcuterie boards are all the rage, so why not create an aesthetically pleasing platter of safe holidays foods for your pets? 

Many foods are safe for pets when served in their purest form—without spices, salt, butter, sugar, or fatty sauces and gravies—so set aside some samples before pouring on the toppings. Keep portions for your pets small, and if you have any doubt about the safety of a food, don’t share it with your pets.

Delicious Holiday Foods for Pets

Meats: Your pet can enjoy small bites of skinless, boneless white meat turkey breast (Cats can tolerate tiny portions of dark meat). If a holiday ham is the centerpiece of your meal, offer small pieces only—without glaze.

Gravy: The gravy we eat is a dietary no-no for cats and dogs, but the pet food aisle contains a selection of soups, broths, sauces, and gravies made just for cats and dogs.

Veggies: Add color and texture to your pet’s holiday dinner with healthy and delicious veggies. Try steamed carrots, Brussels sprouts, green beans, mashed potatoes (dogs only), steamed and mashed sweet potatoes, and peas.  

Dessert: Plain pumpkin puree tastes great, and it’s healthy! Pumpkin provides important minerals like iron and potassium, plus it’s loaded with vitamins and fiber. Serve a dollop of pumpkin alongside colorful, fresh fruit, such as cranberries, blueberries, or strawberries.

Unsafe Holiday Foods for Pets

There are plenty of healthy holiday foods for pets, but there are some definite don’ts that are harmful, including:

  • Greasy, fatty foods such as poultry skin or butter can cause pancreatitis.
  • Bulb vegetables like leeks, onions, and garlic can cause hemolytic anemia.
  • Raisins and grapes are extremely toxic to cats and dogs.
  • The artificial sweetener xylitol is highly poisonous.
  • Chocolate is extremely toxic, especially baker’s grade and dark.
  • Sweet treats like pies, cookies, and other desserts can lead to stomach problems. 

The team at True Care Veterinary Hospital is here to help you keep your pets healthy year-round with wellness appointments that include nutritional guidance. Please contact us if you have questions about holiday foods that are safe for your pets.