Forbidden Foods For Your Dog & Cat


With the holidays in full swing, we’d like to help you keep your pet safe with a list of foods that are great for people, but not so great for pets for pets. We’ve also included some of the effects these foods can cause your pet to suffer should they get a hold of the forbidden food.

During the holidays, there are also a few non-food products to be aware of

With all the additional cooking and eating we may be tempted to give a morsel here and there to our cat or dog to spread the holiday cheer. We thought it would be useful to have a quick refresher course on what to avoid giving our furry friends.

  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Can cause kidney failure

  • Chocolate (especially dark chocolate and cocoa)
  • Can cause seizures, coma and death

  • Many types of Nuts
  • Can cause weakness, muscle tremors and paralysis

  • Onions, Garlic and Chives
  • Can destroy red blood cells and can cause anemia

  • Mace, nutmeg, paprika and turmeric
  • Can cause tremors, seizures and death

  • Raw eggs
  • Can cause salmonella poisoning

  • Animal fat and fried foods
  • Can cause pancreatitis

  • Caffeine products
  • Can cause many of the same symptoms as chocolate

  • Tomatoes
  • Can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias

  • Persimmons
  • Seeds can obstruct the intestinal tract

  • Salt
  • Can cause kidney problems

  • Seeds and pits of apples, plums, cherries, peaches and apricots
  • Can cause seizures and death

  • Liver in large amounts
  • Can cause Vitamin A toxicity

  • “Cooked” Bones
  • Can splinter and damage internal organs

  • Avocados
  • Can cause difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and heart. Many different opinions on this but better to be safe than sorry

  • Raw yeast dough
  • Can expand once in the stomach or cause alcohol poisoning

  • Cookie dough and cake mixes
  • Can cause salmonella poisoning (raw eggs)

  • Dairy products
  • Can cause diarrhea

  • Baby food
  • Can contain onion powder which has the same effect as onion

  • Raw Fish
  • Can cause vitamin deficiency that can lead to death

  • Canned tuna in large amounts
  • Can cause malnutrition in cats

  • Lemons, oranges, limes and grapefruit peels, fruit and seeds
  • Can cause vomiting or diarrhea

  • Popcorn
  • Can cause a significant choking hazard

  • Feeding dog food to cats
  • Can cause malnutrition and heart disease

  • Pepper
  • Can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and gastrointestinal tract

  • Potatoes
  • Can cause intestinal and neurological problems. Opinions vary on the effects of potatoes

  • Beer
  • Can cause Malignant hyperthermia, which is usually fatal

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Pets can die from alcohol ingestion

  • Tobacco
  • Can cause illness and even death in fairly small amounts

  • Xylitol artificial sweetener
  • Can cause hypoglycemia and acute death of liver cells (saccharin, aspartame and sucralose are generally regarded as safe)

    Should your dog or cat indulge accidentally over the holiday season, be sure to call your vet for advice specific to your pet’s breed, age, and weight as well as specific to the type of food they consumed and just how much of it you think they ate.


    About Author

    Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi worked in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions. Retired, she currently lives with her spoiled dog and four chickens (who are, interestingly enough, also spoiled).


    1. I have been very interested in this for a long time. This time of year, with “goodies” and the hustle and bustle of the holidays, including people in the home who may not be familiar with what pets can and cannot have, is a danger time for pets. Pet Parents MUST become more knowledgeable about what their pets can have, and take command of reminding guests not to “feed” the pet anything. I appreciate the article.

    2. Yes, we do have to be careful that our little guys don’t ingest such foods as the ones listed above. This is especially difficult when you have little ones running around who think they are being kind when they feed the dog yummy goodies such as a delicious chocolate cookie that contains caffeine and is toxic.

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    3. Thanks for all the information that you have given to everyone . I have a chihuahua and he just loves to beg for anything that anyone will give him to eat. He doesn’t beg me because he knows I will not give it to him.

    4. I can’t sit back & say I’m the purrfect pet owner on this one. Unfortunately an ex boyfriend got my cat into eating table scraps. Grrrr so I use it as an occasional treat now. At thanksgiving each of my cats got a small piece or Turkey . And they get the occasion bit of canned tuna. But since my older cat Kizzy is on a renal (kidney) diet I have to be very careful what I give her to eat.
      But I have no problem giving my girls a table spoon of tuna each or a small piece of turkey or ham from time to time as a special treat. And I do let them clean up my ice cream bowl (if its not chocolate). But I’m glad my girls aren’t table beggers & only have 1 holiday a year at my home. They get their treats when I shoose to give it to them. I had a cat once who was so bad he’d jump on the dinner table in the middle of the meal & steal your food! I had to lock him up when ever I had company. It was really embarrassing.

    5. Cats shouldn’t be fed the same tuna that humans eat, as it contains an enzyme which breaks down vitamin B. The deficiency of this vitamin can result in various neurological symptoms for you cat – not nice! Also as a general rule it is best not to feed your cat any canned food that you would eat yourself.

    6. Thanks for all the information that you have given to everyone . I have a chihuahua and he just loves to beg for anything that anyone will give him to eat. He doesn’t beg me because he knows I will not give it to him

    7. Turn Your Pet Into A Well Behaved Family Member on

      I knew some human foods were dangerous to pets, but I had no idea that so many of them were. Grapes, dough and avocadoes were certainly ones I hadn’t heard of or expected. Thank you for the heads up.

    8. Hello!I am really einoyjng all the cute pics that you have on ! I am such an animal lover myself. I will have to check you out on too I just posted a photos of both my cat and dog on Pinterest. I have never posted any of MY personal photos on there. Where do you get the photos that you post? Are those YOUR personal pets and/or friends and families or just photos people post or submit to you? I was just wondering because they are so darn cute! Anyway .please keep sharing because I am einoyjng each and everyone of them! Many Blessings,Kathy A.

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