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Holiday Food Scraps to Avoid Feeding to Your Dog

Holiday Food Scraps to Avoid Feeding to Your Dog

In Singapore, the festive season brings with it a delightful array of holiday feasts, filling homes with joy and a spirit of indulgence. However, dog owners must tread carefully during these celebrations, especially when it comes to their pets’ diets. Understanding and knowing what holiday food scraps to avoid feeding to your dog is essential. 

This knowledge is crucial in preventing health complications in our pets due to unsuitable feeding choices. As we relish the festive treats, it’s important to remember our responsibility towards our dogs’ well-being, ensuring they remain safe and healthy by steering clear of harmful food scraps during these merry times.

Let’s delve into the specifics of what foods to avoid giving your dog during the festive season.

Rich, Fatty Foods

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Holiday meals often include rich, fatty foods. These can be hard for dogs to digest. Foods like turkey skin and gravy are high in fat and can cause vomiting or diarrhoea. More seriously, they can lead to pancreatitis. This condition is painful and can be dangerous for your dog.

Remember, what’s a treat for you could be a danger for them. It’s best to avoid sharing your festive meals with your furry friend, no matter how pleading their eyes might be.

Cooked Bones

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While it might seem natural to toss a bone to your dog, cooked bones, especially from your holiday roasts, can be hazardous. Cooking causes bones to lose their moisture and become brittle. These bones can easily splinter and become lodged in your dog’s throat or digestive tract, leading to serious injury or obstruction. It’s safer to keep all cooked bones away from your dog and opt for healthier, safer chew options that are specifically designed for pets.

Onions and Garlic

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Onions and garlic, common ingredients in holiday cooking, are toxic to dogs. They belong to the Allium family, which can damage red blood cells in dogs, leading to gastrointestinal irritation or even more severe conditions like anaemia. This toxicity applies to all forms of these ingredients, whether powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that your festive dishes containing onions and garlic are kept well out of your dog’s reach.

Candy, Cookies, Chocolates and Sweets Alike

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The holiday season often brings an abundance of sweets like candy, cookies, and chocolates. However, these are not suitable treats for your pets. Sweet treats can cause a range of issues from mild digestive discomfort to severe health problems. This is especially true if they contain chocolate or xylitol, a common artificial sweetener. 

Chocolate contains substances like caffeine and theobromine, which are toxic to dogs and can lead to symptoms ranging from vomiting to more serious issues like seizures or heart problems. Xylitol, even in small amounts, can cause a rapid insulin release in dogs, leading to hypoglycemia, liver failure, or even death.

Alcoholic Drinks

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Alcohol poses a significant risk to dogs and must be kept well away from them. Dogs have a much lower tolerance to alcohol than humans, and ingesting even a small amount can lead to severe health complications. These include decreased blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and respiratory distress.

Raisins or Grapes

Holiday Food Scraps to Avoid Feeding to Your Dog

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Raisins and grapes, common in many holiday dishes, pose a serious threat to dogs, potentially causing kidney failure. Even in small quantities, these fruits can be toxic, leading to symptoms such as vomiting and hyperactivity. It’s crucial to keep any food containing raisins or grapes, including fruitcakes and desserts, out of dogs’ reach.


Holiday Food Scraps to Avoid Feeding to Your Dog

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Certain nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts, are unsafe for dogs and can cause health issues ranging from digestive upset to more severe reactions. While some nuts like peanuts and cashews may be safe in moderation, it’s generally better to avoid giving dogs any nuts to prevent potential health risks.

Dairy Products

Holiday Food Scraps to Avoid Feeding to Your Dog

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Dairy products can be problematic for dogs, as many canines have difficulty digesting lactose. Consumption of milk, cheese, and other dairy items can lead to gastrointestinal distress, including diarrhoea and vomiting. Therefore, it’s advisable to exclude dairy products from your dog’s diet to avoid unnecessary discomfort.

Yeasty Doughs

Holiday Food Scraps to Avoid Feeding to Your Dog

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Yeasty doughs are hazardous for dogs because they can expand in the stomach, causing bloating and potential internal issues. The fermentation of yeast also produces alcohol, which is toxic to dogs. It’s important to keep unbaked bread dough and other yeast-based products well out of your dog’s reach.


Holiday Food Scraps to Avoid Feeding to Your Dog

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Caffeine is a dangerous substance for dogs, commonly found in coffee, tea, and certain sodas. Ingesting caffeine could result in symptoms like restlessness, rapid breathing, and heart palpitations in dogs. To prevent caffeine poisoning, ensure that your dog does not have access to these drinks or any food items containing caffeine.

Seasonings and Spices

Holiday Food Scraps to Avoid Feeding to Your Dog

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A variety of seasonings and spices commonly used in holiday cooking can be harmful to dogs. Beyond onions and garlic, herbs and seasonings like chives, leeks, and shallots also pose risks due to similar toxic compounds. Nutmeg, often found in holiday desserts, may lead to seizures and central nervous system problems in dogs. It’s important to be vigilant about keeping foods seasoned with these spices out of your dog’s reach. This precaution will help prevent gastrointestinal distress and other health issues that can arise from their consumption.

Tips for Keeping Your Dogs Safe During the Holidays Season

To ensure your furry friend’s safety amidst the festivities, here are some practical tips to follow.

1. Secure the feast: Keep all holiday food out of your dog’s reach. This includes securing tables and countertops and ensuring leftovers are stored immediately.

2. Inform your guests: Politely ask your guests not to feed your dog. Educate them briefly about the risks certain foods pose to pets.

3. Safe space: During festivities, create a quiet, comfortable space for your dog away from the noise and bustle, reducing their stress and temptation to snatch food.

4. Trash management: Ensure garbage bins are covered or inaccessible to prevent your dog from scavenging harmful scraps.

What Can You Feed Your Dogs?

Holiday Food Scraps to Avoid Feeding to Your Dog

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While it’s important to know what foods to avoid, it’s equally crucial to understand what is safe and healthy for your dog. Here’s a guide to some dog-friendly foods that you can include in your pet’s diet during the holiday season. This ensures your dog doesn’t miss out on the festive spirit while maintaining their health.

1. Lean meats: Offer your dog cooked, boneless, and lean meats like chicken or turkey. Ensure they are free from seasoning or sauces.

2. Certain fruits and veggies: Apples (without seeds), carrots, and pumpkin are healthy options. Remember to serve them in moderation.

3. Special dog treats: Invest in quality dog treats from pet stores, which are formulated for canine health and well-being.

4. Homemade dog food: Consider preparing homemade dog food or treats. Ensure they are made from dog-safe ingredients and consult a vet for recipe advice.


As the festive season wraps up in Singapore, it’s vital to reflect on the importance of keeping our canine companions safe. We’ve traversed through a list of holiday food scraps that pose dangers to dogs, from rich, fatty foods to the hidden perils of seasonings and spices. This guide has aimed to arm you with the knowledge to prevent health complications in your dogs due to unsuitable feeding choices. Remember, the holiday cheer is best enjoyed when our pets are healthy and happy. May this guide serve as a resource for you to ensure a pet-safe celebration, keeping the festive spirit alive for all, including our four-legged family members.

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