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Holiday Foods: What to Share with Your Pet and What to Keep to Yourself

No matter what’s cooking, your pet is bound to show interest. But, be careful —for as many tasty treats there are, there’s just as many dangerous holiday foods for pets.

Fueled by instincts, appetite, and possibly even boredom, pets tend to hang around when the family “chef” occupies the kitchen. They linger under foot, providing great company (albeit while crowding kitchen space) while eagerly awaiting a dropped food morsel.

But the tempting aromas that waft from a kitchen during the holiday season can send your pets into a downright tizzy. The smell smorgasbord created by roasted turkey, smoked ham, and garlic mashed potatoes is enough to drive them dog wild and cat crazy.

It’s the season of giving, and you want to share your holiday feast with your pet. While it’s generally not advisable to serve pets people food — and there are many dangerous holiday foods for pets — there are some exceptions. Here’s our lists of foods to offer or omit from your dog or cat this holiday season.

Holiday Foods to Share with Your Pet

It’s worth stating again – in general, it’s recommended not to serve your food to your pet, or to at least consult your veterinarian before doing so. However, during a special occasion like a holiday dinner, there are a few items you can add scraps of to your pet’s dish once your meal is complete, provided you practice moderation and common sense:

Holiday Foods to Keep to Yourself — Avoid These Dangerous Holiday Foods for Pets

While it may be difficult to resist a sorrowful face or ignore a persistent whimper or meow, most delectable holiday foods simply have no business on a pet’s plate. Stay true to your convictions, despite your pet’s protest, and remind yourself you’re doing your dog or cat a favor by withholding these items.

In particular, holiday foods that are fatty, spicy, or sweet should be omitted from your pet’s diet. While you’re readily aware these taste categories encompass the bulk of food deliciousness, your pet doesn’t need to know that (and has a different taste palate anyway).

Special care must be made to prevent your dog or cat from obtaining the following toxic holiday food items:

When in doubt regarding a certain holiday food, it’s best to simply withhold that item from your pet until you can consult your veterinarian. With a proper approach to food-sharing (or lack thereof) this holiday season, you can ensure your pet enjoys a special treat while also maximizing the chance your beloved animal will continue to experience holidays for many years to come.