Keeping Pets Safe During This Season

Five things to know
Facebook graphic with bright green background and blue silhouette of dog and cat with a question "Should my pet be eating that?
A dog and cat sitting next to each other in blue on a green background. “Should my pet be eating that?”

As a season of gathering is upon us, when rich foods will fill our homes, Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists® at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University merrily share advice to help keep dogs and cats safe.

For dogs, avoid:

  • Rich, fatty foods (turkey skin or meats/vegetables cooked in oil may cause vomiting or pancreatitis)
  • Uncooked foods (or licking cookware used in prep of raw meats) 
  • Chocolate (can be toxic, cause GI upset, tremors, seizures, and is potentially fatal)
  • Xylitol sugar substitute (extremely toxic, can cause hypoglycemia, liver failure, or death)
  • Raisins/grapes (can cause kidney failure or disease)
  • Garlic and onion (can cause blood problems)
  • Macadamia nuts (can cause weakness in the back legs, vomiting and diarrhea)

 For cats, avoid:

  • Chocolate, bones, unfamiliar foods (could cause upset stomach, vomiting) 
  • Uncooked foods or (or licking cookware used in prep of raw meats)
  • Onion/garlic (the flavoring in many prepared dishes can cause vomiting, diarrhea)
  • Flowers and plants, such as lilies (can be fatal), poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe 
  • String/bows (from presents) and tinsel (on the tree, can be fatal if it causes an obstruction in the intestines) 

If you suspect your pet has potential toxicity from ingesting a food item of concern, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.


Interested in learning more about healthy nutrition for your pets? The Petfoodology blog from our veterinary nutrition specialists and experts at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine is a great resource.

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