11 Unlikely Christmas Foods That are Toxic for Pets

Keep your pet’s safety in mind while cooking Christmas dinner, and remember to avoid feeding your cat or dog these common holiday treats.

1 / 11
Chocolate balls
Photo: Shutterstock


Chocolate is a harmful food for pets. Most adults know this, but it’s adults’ responsibility to make sure children know, too. Keep little ones from giving chocolate to pets and do your best to supervise.

2 / 11
Photo: Shutterstock


Too much sugar can give your pet a bellyache, but worse, if wrappers are swallowed, your pet risks tearing of the esophagus or intestines. Clean up as best and frequently as you can when candy is being unwrapped.

3 / 11
Carving Thanksgiving turkey
Photo: Shutterstock

Raw or Undercooked Turkey

All turkey meat should be well cooked and always boneless.

4 / 11
Photo: Shutterstock

Bread Dough

Raw dough could actually rise in your pets sensitive tummy causing discomfort or an even more serious emergency.

5 / 11
Photo: Shutterstock

Festive Drinks

When you’re hosting holiday events, chances are you’re serving coffee, tea or alcohol. Unfortunately coffee and tea leaves are on the ASPCA’s list of People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet, as is alcohol. Alcoholic beverages can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, and breathing difficulty, among other things.

6 / 11
Photo: Shutterstock


Cats are especially sensitive to this herb, it can cause stomach upset and central nervous system depression.

7 / 11
Vanilla cake batter
Photo: Shutterstock

Cake Batter

Raw eggs can cause salmonella infection in your pet, just as it can for anyone in your family. Stick to dog biscuits and kitty treats instead of this sugary concoction.

8 / 11
Beef steak on parchment paper
Photo: Shutterstock


Dispose of aluminum foil, plastic wrap and wax paper. While licking up food left on these wrappings pets can ingest some of the wrapper, leading to intestinal obstructions. Also, look out for tooth picks, skewers and used silverware.

9 / 11
Dog on dinner table
Photo: Shutterstock

Hot Food

When carrying hot food from the stove or to the table, be sure little Fluffy isn’t taking that moment to weave through your legs.

10 / 11
Photo: Shutterstock


While not food to humans, cats and dogs often love to nibble on plants, and holiday poinsettias are particularly dangerous. Should your pet eat this pretty red Christmas decoration, it will likely lead to stomach pain and discomfort, including vomiting.

The ASPCA’s compiled a searchable plant database of dangerous plants (listing over 400 items). Check it out if you are considering bringing a new plant home.

11 / 11
Dog sleeping
Photo: Shutterstock

Too Much of Anything

Little tastes of human food could cause stomach pains, diarrhea and even pancreatitis in your pet. The same goes for you, you should both practice moderation!

Reader's Digest Canada
Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada

Newsletter Unit